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ERIC Number: EJ1092273
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1067-1803
Connect the Credentials: A New Effort Aims to Change the Nation's Fragmented Credentialing System
Pierce, Dennis
Community College Journal, v86 n3 p24-28 Dec 2015-Jan 2016
Over the past 30 years, the number of industry certificates awarded by colleges and universities has surged more than 800 percent, according to Lumina Foundation. At the same time, new forms of credentials--such as badges--also have emerged. And while there are more than 4,000 organizations granting certifications in the U.S., fewer than 10 percent of these are accredited or reviewed by a third party. This hodgepodge of disparate credentials is "chaotic," the foundation says, and it means students and employers often struggle to understand what various credentials mean, how they are related and whether they're high quality. To address this challenge, Lumina Foundation has launched an ambitious effort to develop a more interconnected, transparent system for certifying knowledge and skills within the United States--and it's hoping community colleges will be at the forefront of this work. In 2011, the foundation released the first draft of its Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP), a framework for describing what college graduates should know and be able to do. While this document was useful, it only covered degree programs. In June, Lumina unveiled a beta Credentials Framework for proposing a common language to describe various levels of knowledge and skills in order to help stakeholders compare the value and suitability of different types of credentials. The foundation also began a national dialogue on the issue through a new website,, and in early October it convened the first Connecting Credentials Summit. The event brought together representatives from business, labor and higher education to examine the problems created by the current credentialing system and discuss possible solutions. So far, nearly 90 organizations have joined the effort, including the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). In November, AACC received a grant from Lumina to identify a network of community colleges to review their credential practices in an effort to develop a national credential framework. This article addresses the challenges of the current system and reviews progress being made by individual colleges to overcome these challenges. Five keys to a better credentialing system are also offered from the Lumina Foundation.
American Association of Community Colleges. One Dupont Circle NW Suite 410, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-728-0200; Fax: 202-833-2467; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A