June 12th, 2023 (Washington, DC) – Today, Credential Engine, a national non-profit, releases its Equity Advisory Council’s Report and Recommendations on improving equity in and through the expanded use of linked, open, and interoperable data about credentials, competencies, programs, quality, outcomes, and related aspects. 

The Council’s recommendations focus on two areas:

  • What are the data points that students and workers need to know–and that providers should make public–in order to make their most informed decisions about whether a program and credential can lead to an equitable outcome for them, and
  • What are the data use principles that counseling, guidance, navigation and pathway tools and services should incorporate in order to ensure that such data are most effectively usable and used by students and workers to achieve their most equitable outcome.

The report identifies three tiers of data to describe a range of elements about education and training providers, programs, credentials, supportive services, quality indicators, transfer value, pathways, outcomes, and links to job skills.  These three tiers are designed to recognize and support providers’ ability to make the data available, and the Council and Credential Engine call on all providers of educational and occupational credentials to commit to publishing these three tiers of data as open and interoperable data using the Credential Transparency Description Language (CTDL).

In addition, the Council identified six broad principles for the appropriate and effective use of these data to support students’ discovery and successful navigation of pathways and transfer to achieve optimal and equitable outcomes.   The Council and Credential Engine also call on all entities building customer facing tools and services to adopt these data use principles and to utilize available CTDL data.

Together these recommendations can and should also be utilized by federal and state agencies, systems and districts, funders, and others to ensure that the necessary information is both available to and best used by students and workers.

With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Credential Engine brought together a set of expert thought leaders and practitioners to serve on the Council:

  • Bettina Celis, Maricopa Community Colleges, acting Vice Chancellor and Provost of Academic and Student Affairs
  • Kathleen deLaski, Education Design Lab, Founder & Board Chair 
  • Dhanfu E. Elston, Complete College America, Chief of Staff & Senior Vice President for Strategy
  • Ernest Ezeugo, Lumina Foundation, Strategy Officer for Federal Policy
  • Linda García, Center for Community College Student Engagement, Executive Director
  • Tina Gridiron, ACT Center for Equity in Learning, Vice President 
  • Debra Humphreys, Lumina Foundation, Vice President of Strategic Engagement
  • Richard Irwin, University of Memphis Global, Executive Dean
  • Su Jin Gatlin Jez, California Competes, Executive Director
  • Alison Kadlec, Sova, Senior Partner and Co-founder 
  • John Lane, State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Equity Initiatives
  • Tamera Maresh-Carver, FedEx Express, Managing Director of Development, Innovation & Organizational Strategies
  • Elena Quiroz-Livanis, Massachusetts Department of Higher Education, Chief of Staff and Assistant Commissioner for Academic Policy and Student Success
  • Robert Ruffins, The Education Trust, Assistant Director, State Advocacy
  • Louis Soares, American Council on Education, Chief Learning and Innovation Officer
  • David R. Troutman, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, Deputy Commissioner for Academic Affairs and Innovation

We are pleased that a number of education and training entities have committed to publishing, or are already publishing, many of the data elements identified in Tier 1, including but not limited to: Western Governors University (WGU), Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), and the Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR).

We are also pleased that a number of organizations that develop and provide counseling, guidance, navigation or pathway tools and services for students, workers, and employers have committed to the data use principles outlined in the report, including but not limited to Territorium, the College Board, and the Learning Economy Foundation.

Credential Engine will continue to work with credential owners and providers, counseling and pathway companies, state and federal agencies, and others to ensure that more and better information is available as linked, open and interoperable data to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and equity of the education and training marketplace.

An open, public webinar is scheduled for July 20th, 2023 at 1 PM ET to share information about the report, its recommendations, and how to publish and use the identified data.  To register, please click here.

Click here to view the report. 

Visit www.credentialengine.org/equity to learn more about this work. 

Please contact us at info@credentialengine.org if you have any questions or would like to get involved in this work.


About Credential Engine: Credential Engine is a non-profit whose mission is to map the credential landscape with clear and consistent information, fueling the creation of resources that empower people to find the pathways that are best for them. Credential Engine provides a suite of web-based services that creates for the first time a centralized Credential Registry to house up-to-date information about all credentials, the Credential Transparency Description Language (CTDL) a common description language to enable credential comparability, and a platform to support customized applications to search and retrieve information about credentials. Learn more about Credential Engine at: credentialengine.org

Download the Press Release here.

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