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ERIC Number: ED561777
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Pages: 23
Abstractor: ERIC
Scaling "Stackable Credentials": Implications for Implementation and Policy
Ganzglass, Evelyn
Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success
Postsecondary education and credentials are key to economic mobility for individuals and economic competitiveness for our nation. Although the economic return to credentials varies significantly by field of study, generally workers with higher levels of education have higher wages, work more hours, and suffer lower rates and shorter durations of unemployment. As routine jobs are giving way to work environments necessitating higher-order communication and analytical skills, employers are requiring existing workers to upgrade their skills to stay employed. They are also using educational and occupational credentials in the hiring process to find the most qualified workers and as a screen for adaptability and trainability. Driven by economic mobility and competitiveness concerns, policy leaders at all levels are setting goals for increasing postsecondary credential attainment. States are also actively engaged in or moving toward performance-based funding for higher education that rewards colleges for improving the rate at which students complete college and attain marketable credentials. Another driver of interest in stackable credentials is that policymakers are seeking ways to document the skills veterans learned during military service to help them reintegrate into the domestic workforce. The U.S. Department of Labor defines a stackable credential as one that is "part of a sequence of credentials that can be accumulated over time to build up an individual's qualifications and help them to move along a career pathway or up a career ladder to different and potentially higher-paying jobs." As discussed in this paper, states and colleges are achieving stackability in a variety of ways to optimize credential attainment and build multiple on and off ramps to postsecondary credentials for people as they prepare to enter the workforce, aim to upgrade their skills to keep a job, advance to a better job, or move from one field of work to another. The following are appended: (1) Credentials; (2) Figures; and (3) Acknowledgements.
Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success. Available from: CLASP. 1200 18th Street NW Suite 200, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-906-8000; Fax: 202-842-2885; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success
Identifiers - Location: Kentucky; Oregon; Virginia; Wisconsin
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A