Workcred’s Alliances Support a New Era of Credentialing Workcred’s Alliances Support a New Era of Credentialing

Workcred’s Alliances Support a New Era of Credentialing

Roy A. Swift, Ph.D. COL

Collaboration is one of the best ways we can improve educational and career outcomes for all. As we turn the page to summer and reflect on the last few months, I am pleased to share how Workcred has taken a proactive approach with new alliances that help align credentials with workforce needs and provide new career pathways. Right now, we continue to build strong networks that help us access information (and data) to inform and empower our decisions for a better future. After all, isn’t that the ultimate goal?

Here’s a look at our latest efforts.

Establishing a Research-to-Action Fund

We are proud to share that we recently launched a Research-to-Action Fund to help reveal the value of certifications to promote labor market outcomes. The fund will initially support research to identify the information and tools required to drive participation to link administrative records by certification issuers at scale. Through this initiative, we strive to connect data on industry-recognized certifications with educational attainment and aggregate earnings data to better understand career and credential pathways into the workforce.

From our years of research, we know that data can unlock valuable insights about certifications and the impacts they have on the individuals who hold them. This project supports our goal to significantly improve the data available to individuals and employers about how certifications support career entry and advancement.

The work is supported by initial funding from Professional Testing Inc. and PSI Services—two leading test and measurement companies—in addition to the National Restaurant Association Solutions, LLC—a prominent, national foodservice trade association that provides certification services.

Gearing Up for the Implementation of Microcredentials in Undergraduate Experiences

Workcred is excited to shed light on how microcredentials can foster the transformation of higher education with new research. As part of our collaboration with The University of Texas (UT) System, Workcred released a report – Integrating Microcredentials into Undergraduate Experiences – to serve as a framework to guide the development and implementation of microcredentials and how they can be combined with undergraduate experiences. The report culminated from a workshop conducted with participating UT System institutions last fall.

We’re already in the second phase of work with the UT System, to facilitate a series of workshops that will result in a set of governance documents that support the microcredential framework for the UT System developed during phase I.

Supporting Learners to Earn Postsecondary Credentials with Labor Market Value

Low income and first-generation learners are a major part of the current and future workforce, which is why we’re happy to announce a two-year grant from the Powell Foundation to collaborate with Houston Community College (HCC) to serve these individuals. Through this partnership, we’ll examine state and institution policies to better support learners to enter and complete credentialing pathways aligned with regional workforce needs.

We’ve set our sights on outcomes that include an improved alignment of pathways and policies at HCC to better support low income and first-generation learners. Our collaborative work will include a case study of a career pathway at HCC that highlights how policy changes will make it more accessible, inclusive, and aligned with regional workforce needs. We’re also committed to developing recommendations for how stakeholders can alter their policies or guidelines to better support learners to complete these pathways.

Expanding Our Reach: Developing Direct Health Care Certifications in Michigan

Workcred is also launching efforts with the Corporation for a Skilled Workforce (CSW) and IMPART Alliance at Michigan State University to develop a system of direct health care certifications. These certifications can provide workers and employers that offer essential services through behavioral health, community mental health, and long-term care systems with crucial information to improve employment, productivity, and industry recognition in the state of Michigan.

We’re set to work in three phases: During phase one, Workcred will join CSW in gathering stakeholder input, exploring the best possibilities for housing the certifications, and prioritizing the certification development. Phase two will involve the development of the first certification, and the final phase will include the development of the certification organization. The goal of this partnership is to directly use certifications to help workers and employers alike.

Just Around the Corner…

Just weeks away, Workcred and Credential as You Go will sponsor a virtual summit on July 12, to highlight the theme "Embedding Certifications in Academic Programs." The summit will feature a panel of national experts defining industry certifications, and highlight the benefits of embedding them in academic programs. A second panel session will include educational, training, and certification providers who will share their experiences in aligning industry certifications with academic programs, including who was involved, resources required, and lessons learned. Register for the event and join the discussion.

This fall on November 1-3, Workcred will participate in the joint UPCEA-AACRAO Convergence: Credential Innovation in Higher Education to examine new and emerging trends and models for alternative credentials, and engage in credential innovation in the higher education space. We aim to take away valuable lessons and hope to see you there.

Cheers to more successful outcomes,

Roy A. Swift

Workcred is an affiliate of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

Workcred, located at 1899 L St., NW, 11th Floor
Washington, DC 20036 (US)
Tel: 202.293.8020 Fax: 202.293.9287

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