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ERIC Number: EJ1160821
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0009-1383
The Not-So-Little Engine That Can
Gaston, Paul L.
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v49 n5 p57-65 2017
For decades, academia has been hampered by what appears to be preference for opacity and obfuscation. In an article published in this magazine three years ago, "The Vocabularies of Higher Education" (Gaston, 2014), the author lamented the welter of terms and acronyms that has accumulated over many decades, particularly within the current century. Gaston finds the proliferation of credentials "other than degrees" and the breadth of descriptors for them particularly problematic. For example, he asks: "Just what is a certificate?" Must it be granted by an academic institution to have value? Is "certification" what the recipient of a "certificate" enjoys, or is that a different kind of credential altogether? What about a "diploma" granted by an unaccredited for-profit vocational college? Or a "digital badge" pointing to the acquisition of specific skills? Help appears to be on the way as this article describes a project that promises to address these problems with a wide-ranging, inclusive, artfully organized, and technologically savvy registry called Credential Engine. Students will be able to use the engine to locate, learn about, and compare educational offerings. Counselors will have a convenient and reliable means of guiding their clients to appropriate opportunities. Employers will gain a data base that will support rigorous but equitable evaluation of applicants. The public will at last have a window onto education that dispels confusion and restores understanding.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A