Federal Funding & Credential Transparency

The U.S. Departments of Labor, Education, and Commerce have included language supportive of credential transparency in many of their competitive grant programs focused on education or workforce training. To date, these 30+ grants to hundreds of recipients have totaled over $1.2b in funding. Specifically, they encourage that information about all credentials and competencies developed through the use of these federal grant funds be made publicly accessible in linked open data formats that support full transparency and interoperability. Credential Engine has worked with several states and other grant recipients to support making credentials offered under these grants available as linked open data. 

Department of Labor Strengthening Community College Grant

DOL’s Strengthening Community College grants (totaling $135M to 49 awardees over three rounds) aim to address the skill development needs of employers in development of credentialed training programs to support workers in gaining skills.  If you’d like to make your credentials and skills transparent, Credential Engine’s technologies – including publishing competencies and pathways associated with credentials – serve as powerful tools to support both employers and learners with data to enhance training alignment to in-demand sectors in state and regional economies.  

If you are a recipient of one of the grants listed here, you can use the decision tree below to see if you are already making your credentials and skills transparent and, if not, how to ensure information about relevant credentials are made publicly available through linked open data formats.

This is intended to ensure that information about the credentials delivered through federally funded initiatives is transparent, accessible, and in a format that allows for comparability. Credential Engine’s technologies – which include the Credential Transparency Description Language (CTDL) and Credential Registry – format and make available credential and competency information as linked, open, interoperable data. For more information about credential transparency broadly, please see our fact sheet here.

For questions about using Credential Engine to address the credential transparency aspects of your grant, email “info@credentialengine.org.”

Federal Grantees Decision Tree & Resources:
  1. What information about credentials and skills can be made transparent under this grant?
    • Credentials include diplomas, badges, certificates, certifications, apprenticeships, licenses, degrees, and related offerings from education and training providers.
    • See here for the minimum data policy for the Credential Registry as a guide for what to publish.
  2. Do the covered credentials and competencies already published in the Credential Registry have the necessary information?
    1. Credential Engine works with individual institutions/providers, systems, and states to publish credential data to the Credential Registry.  It’s possible the credentials under your grant have already been published;
    2. Search the Registry using the Credential Finder.
      1. You can search by your Organization or by the name of the Credential.
      2. If the specific Credential is in the Credential Registry, it will most likely meet the minimum data policy. 
    3. If all credentials are published with sufficient detail, your credentials and skills are already in a linked open data format, making them transparent!
    4. If not all information about credentials and skills have been published:
      1. Your state may be actively publishing data.  Is my state a Credential Transparency Partner? (Resource: State Map)
        1. If yes, contact info@credentialengine.org to be connected to your state’s partnership lead.
        2. If no, publish information about your credentials:

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