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Paper Calls for New Higher Education Credentialing System

July 15, 2015


A new, less confusing postsecondary education credentialing system would provide tangible benefits for students, workers and employers, says the latest Quick Hit brief released by ACE’s Center for Education Attainment and Innovation.

The paper, “Rethinking Credentialing,” posits that while the diversity of American higher education options and credentials is a strength that creates many opportunities, it also “presents major challenges for the students, employers, workers and policy makers using it.”

The problem is that “weak connections among parts of this multilayered credentialing system make it difficult for learners with different levels of abilities and needs to understand career pathway options and the most direct routes to learning in order to meet their goals, adding time and expense to their journeys,” states the paper, the fifth in a series of Quick Hit briefs on current and emerging topics in higher education attainment and innovation.

The paper envisions a voluntary system that features attributes such as basing all postsecondary credentials, including degrees, on competencies, and allows users doing career planning or making job transitions to combine micro-credentials easily into customized bundles that fit their needs.

Click here to read the full paper.

Future briefs in the eight-part series will examine topics such as recognizing online degree programs across state lines and credit mobility.

The Quick Hit series is funded by Lumina Foundation. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ACE.​

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