Success Stories: Connecticut

Silhouette of State of Connecticut

Why We’re Committed

In 2021, the Connecticut legislature passed legislation to provide residents with a database of credentials offered in the state. The Connecticut Office of Higher Education (OHE) and the Connecticut Office of Workforce Strategy (OWS) are working with the New England Board of Higher Education and Credential Engine to create this database. When complete, it will give students, job seekers, education and training partners, employers, and policymakers clearer and more accessible information about all credentials available in the state. Through this legislative mandate and more, Connecticut’s leaders have demonstrated commitment to prioritizing and investing in credential transparency — which helps residents take advantage of any educational or training initiative they choose. Credential transparency also helps employers in the state and region find workers whose skills and competencies match their needs. In July 2021, OHE and OWS collaborated with Credential Engine to publish credential data from the state’s community colleges to the Registry as a first step. By using the Credential Transparency Description Language (CTDL), the state adds clarity to the meaning, content, quality, and value of credentials while integrating it with labor market insights and attainment in a meaningful way. Using consistent metadata for key features of credentials through the CTDL, the Registry enables job seekers, students, workers, and employers to search for and compare credentials. The end result will be a system that brings efficiency and transparency to the credential landscape.

Collaborating Agencies

  • New England Board of Higher Education (Lead)
  • Connecticut Office of Workforce Strategy
  • Connecticut Office of Higher Education
  • Governor's Workforce Council

Making Credential Transparency a Legislative Priority in Connecticut

The purpose of the state-mandated database is to allow stakeholders across the state to better explain the skills and competencies that are earned through a credential — both in uniform terms and plain language using the CTDL. In addition, the legislation requires OHE not only to collect more information about credentials available in the state but to collect that information from more sources, including:

Information about all credentials available in the state must be added to the database and published to the Registry by 2024. This will further align Connecticut with a regional effort launched in May 2018 by the New England Board of Higher Education, in partnership with Credential Engine, that uses the CTDL to increase visibility and comparability of credential programs throughout the region. 

Recognizing the Value of Linking Connecticut’s Education and Workforce Systems

Connecticut is leveraging the Registry and CTDL to advance the desire of state leaders to define high-value credential pathways, link higher education and workforce development system data, and create applications for end-users, such as students and families, counselors, advisors, and policymakers.

The state’s education and economic development partners anticipate a wide range of uses for the data in the Registry. For example, it will allow prospective students and current job seekers to better search for and understand their education and training options in the region and the competencies acquired through these credentials, which will help them make better-informed decisions. In the future, the Registry can be connected to career exploration tools used by students, academic advisors, and career counselors to identify career pathways and relevant credentials.

The inclusion of Connecticut’s credentials into the Registry allows employers to assess credentials and their competencies. That will allow them to expand their view of credentials to a wider range of providers and make more informed hiring decisions. By reviewing credential offerings within an institution and across systems at secondary and post-secondary education and training levels, institution leaders throughout the state also can make more informed choices about course offerings, competencies, and delivery models. Finally, the Registry data will inform the public policy decisions of state agencies around workforce development, career pathways, and strategies to meet credential attainment goals.

The entire effort demonstrates the state’s desire to unite and coordinate resources to promote economic growth throughout Connecticut and the larger New England region.