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ERIC Number: ED538037
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr
Pages: 46
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Giving Credit where Credit Is Due: Creating a Competency-Based Qualifications Framework for Postsecondary Education and Training
Ganzglass, Evelyn; Bird, Keith; Prince, Heath
Center for Law and Social Policy, Inc. (CLASP)
The national goal of increasing postsecondary credentials, to improve both equity and economic competitiveness, requires a fresh look at how to recognize learning in noncredit workforce education and training. The credit hour has long been the standard academic currency in postsecondary education. Despite its weakness as a measure of learning, in most institutions it is the building block that students collect and accumulate in order to earn their degrees. It also is the metric governments use to allocate funds to educational institutions. However, there is no standard way of valuing "noncredit" learning and assessing and documenting its equivalence to credit courses and programs. This is despite a growing recognition of alternative ways for students to learn, including competency-based learning. As a result, noncredit learning leads to no credential at all, rather than to an industry-recognized or postsecondary credential. This report seeks to contribute to the conversation about how to move the postsecondary and employment and training fields toward a qualifications framework for awarding educational credit for occupational education and training based on demonstrated competencies. It begins with a brief overview of sub-baccalaureate education, looking specifically at disconnects in the current system--disconnects between credit and noncredit programs, as well as disconnects between education and training provided by educational institutions and that provided by employers, the military, community-based organizations, and a host of others. The report then examines federal, state, and institutional efforts to better assure the quality of credentials and to bridge noncredit and credit-bearing instruction. Next, the report looks at a consensus-building process developed among European countries for creating more consistent expectations regarding postsecondary learning outcomes, as well as at efforts underway to apply this process to the U.S. postsecondary education system. This process suggests an approach to creating a qualifications framework that would enable postsecondary institutions to reliably and consistently award educational credit for noncredit workforce education and training, regardless of where and how the training occurred. Appended are: (1) Current State of Postsecondary Workforce Education and Training; (2) Glossary; and (3) Advanced Manufacturing Competency Model. (Contains 28 resources and 69 endnotes.) [This report was written in collaboration with Corporation for a Skilled Workforce.]
Center for Law and Social Policy. 1015 15th Street NW Suite 400, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-906-8000; Fax: 202-842-2885; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
Identifiers - Location: Arizona; Indiana; Kentucky; Ohio; Oregon; Washington; Wisconsin