State Counting Credentials Reports

Prospectus:

State Counting Credentials Reports

Industry needs skilled workers to fill in-demand jobs, and states must work with education and training providers to develop those skills more efficiently. To align state investments in education and training more closely with industry demand, states need a better understanding of what programs they are currently investing in and how well they are doing in meeting the needs of a fast-changing economy.

Credential Engine, in partnership with the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness, has produced a series of reports (“Counting U.S. Postsecondary and Secondary Credentials”) that have become the authoritative accounts of the rapidly changing credentialing landscape in the United States.

To help state leaders take stock of available credentials, lay the groundwork for a more transparent credential landscape, provide benchmarks with other states, and guide investments in education and training, Credential Engine and the Center on Regional Economic Competitiveness (CE/CREC, herein) offer to prepare customized, state-specific “Counting Credentials” reports. Creating an inventory of credentials is a first step toward answering critical questions about the availability of high-quality credentials that link students and job seekers to key industries, key occupations, and key technology areas.

For this initial offering of state-specific reports, we are requesting commitments by November 15, 2021.

Each report will provide updated, state-specific counts for five credential types offered by instate providers, as outlined in the national “Counting Credentials” report and to be updated in collaboration with state agencies and experts. These credential types include high school diplomas, apprenticeships, licenses, certificates, and degrees. CE/CREC will estimate attainment and earnings levels by credential for specific demographic groups at the state level. Occupation- and industry-specific counts of credentials will be provided as available.

Core Report Contents

For each state client, CE/CREC will provide a core report with state-level estimates for the five credentials listed in the following table. Data for credentials not listed (such as certifications, badges, boot camp course certificates) are not state-specific, or state-specific information is not easy to access. As described in the Optional Task sections below, we are available to carry out additional research to generate state-specific information on these other credentials.

Optional Task A:
Greater Detail on the State Credentialing System

CE/CREC expects that this work will raise questions about how state-based institutions and businesses utilize credentials to advance career pathways to in-demand jobs. We are available to conduct advanced exploratory work to assess how state agencies are addressing key questions about the value of various credentials and how we might collaboratively refine and generate detailed, state-level information across areas of interest.

Optional Task B:
Analysis of State Administrative Records

Access to information from state administrative data systems, such as the State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS), will help to refine the count in many of the credential categories described above. In addition, depending on SLDS capabilities, information from state systems could enhance our understanding of how entry-level credentials, workforce training, and higher education can reinforce or create new pathways to advancement and higher earnings. If state systems are advanced, we can conduct initial data modeling and analysis to answer key research questions.


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