A new digital credentials project from ACE’s College Credit Recommendation Service (CREDIT®) is about to make it easier for employers to put an academic value on their own training programs, thanks to a $1.5 million grant from the Lumina Foundation.
ACE and Credly, a digital credential platform, are working together on the new initiative to enable a more systematic recognition of learning and skills development using portable, digital credentials. The project supports the creation of a machine-readable official “transcript” of on-the-job skills that can be easily shared with colleges and universities for academic credit, or with current and future employers as a verified résumé of one’s knowledge, skills, and abilities.
The effort responds to growing employer demand for better evidence of skills and competencies among both job-seekers and current employees.
By enabling learners to earn and transfer credit from both on-the-job and classroom learning, the initiative will allow them to create and share a more complete representation of what they know and can do. Employers, in turn, can use more granular insights into job-seeker or employee capabilities to maximize investments in employee education and training, reducing costly churn.
"ACE recognized the powerful interplay between learning that happens on the job and the transformative potential of more formal learning experiences when it launched CREDIT® more than 40 years ago," said Ted Mitchell, president of ACE. "This investment in digital credentials is about creating a new language for the labor market. We're fostering collaborations between employers and institutions that reflect the reality of today's adult learners, and our shared responsibility in creating more seamless pathways from employment to education, and economic opportunity."
ACE CREDIT organizations include major corporations, associations, apprenticeship programs, and government agencies, which offer a wide array of courses in numerous fields, from restaurant management to radiology.
"We know that only a fraction of learning occurs in a traditional education setting," said Jonathan Finkelstein, founder and CEO of Credly. "On-the-job learning, like school-based learning, needs to be translated into a data-rich format that can be read by both college admissions systems and the recruiting and talent management systems that large employer organizations rely upon. This is also about employers creating cultures of achievement and recognition to attract and retain mobile employees and about providing learners with portable tools to track and share what they know and what they can do."
Danette Howard, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at Lumina Foundation said, "We know that 70 percent of students are working, gaining valuable competencies that can lead them to a credential. By making it easier for learners to have a record of their verified competencies, adult learners will have a clearer pathway to a postsecondary credential, one that will take less time and cost less money."