Success Stories: Minnesota

Silhouette of State of Minnesota

Why We’re Committed

The Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE), the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), and Minnesota State Colleges and Universities have joined with Credential Engine to give residents clear, consistent, comprehensive, and easy-to-access information about high-quality credentials in the state. The collaboration is providing Minnesotans with a one-stop-shop for information on education and training programs that will lead to in-demand jobs, while helping employers find programs that prepare their workforce for the jobs of the future. Communicating information about credentials in a common language also helps better inform leaders to address equity gaps in credential completion, training program participation, employment rates, wages earned, and access to high-demand jobs. Leaders in Minnesota recognized that publishing to the Credential Registry would expand and standardize information across agencies; allow a more comprehensive search by credential; ensure greater and more accurate information on web search engines; and create higher visibility for Minnesota educational offerings for people seeking to build their skills and careers.

Collaborating Agencies

  • Minnesota Office of Higher Education (Lead)
  • Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (Lead)
  • Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (Lead)

Linking Systems to Empower All Minnesotans to Make Informed Decisions

In 2012, Minnesota launched a database to document the pathways of high school graduates into traditional higher education programs or the workforce. In the latest report, state leaders discovered that 10% of high school graduates from the year 2019 didn’t appear in either college or employment records. The gap not only hampered the state’s ability to demonstrate how education, training, and employment are interdependent, but also made it more difficult to improve the efficiency of education and training systems and improve success rates.

Working with Credential Engine, OHE, and Minnesota State, DEED populated the Registry with information from the state’s existing databases. The partners’ initial goal was to leverage the Registry to make programs more searchable through common public search engines, utilizing Minnesota’s Eligible Training Providers List (ETPL), which includes information about the state’s postsecondary programs as well. By including ETPL-based information in the Registry — and by communicating that information in the common language of the Credential Transparency Description Language (CTDL) — the state can now offer transparent information about non-traditional education and workforce training programs and better and more consistently connect that information to data about related credentials.

Making it Easier to Find Education and Training That Leads to Better Jobs

People seeking to identify education and training options in Minnesota often move from multiple websites as they research options, contact providers, and plan their pathways. Leaders in Minnesota wanted to integrate with the Registry because it would expand and standardize the information available and utilize that data to inform education and workforce goals within the state. That, in turn, ensures more complete and accurate information on web search engines.

In May 2020, DEED successfully published over 3,800 credentials from the state’s ETPL to the Registry via API integration. Publishing via API will allow any updates that are made to the ETPL to also be pushed to the Registry in real time.

Credential Transparency is Key to Aligning Minnesota’s Education and Workforce Systems

Leaders in Minnesota have ensured that the Credential Registry and CTDL are key parts of  a statewide strategy to increase public knowledge of training, skills-building, and education opportunities; to show employment potential of credentials; and to compare opportunities in Minnesota to those in other states. The Registry and the CTDL add value to this strategy by:

  • Identifying and defining credentials of value that are critical to the Minnesotans who are transitioning from at-risk jobs to sustained high-demand, high wage employment.
  • Providing entrance criteria, education pathways, and stackable credentialing opportunities, which help ensure that Minnesotans enroll in a program best suited to their needs.
  • Furthering efforts by Minnesota’s education and training providers to increase completion rates for targeted groups by including non-traditional education and training programs in the common-language Registry.
  • Outlining the skills and competencies signaled by credentials earned in Minnesota.
  • Guiding funding for state education and workforce training to ensure affordability, to minimize student debt, and to maximize program success

The Registry and the CTDL demonstrate the state’s effort to draw together and better coordinate resources to ensure economic growth and eliminate disparities.