Know Your Value! A Unified, Student-Centric Framework for Measuring the Value of Credentials

Concurrent Session 2

Brief Abstract

The critical connection between post-secondary education and workforce readiness is in the spotlight more than ever before.  Yet, only 26% of working adults believe college prepared them with the necessary skills for career success. Join us as we discuss a framework for creating incremental value in learner-centric credentials.

Extended Abstract

The work landscape is shifting rapidly, and higher education has a critical call to action to address workforce readiness and alignment. Over 58% of education consumers cite career-related motivations as their main reason for pursuing an education. Yet only 26% of working adults believe that college prepared them with the skills to be successful in their careers. We must do better to address the dynamic, ever-changing labor market where learners need access to credentialing options that match their career goals and allow for just-in-time skill development. Further, to ensure value to employers, credentials must be verified in meaningful and authentic ways.

We will discuss our journey for implementing a unified framework for creating and valuing leaner-centric credentials and a credential value index to make better decisions about our credentials and degrees on behalf of every learner. We will share use cases, data, and how we have operationalized the use for more consistency in our approach to traditional and micro-credentials. This is an essential topic for higher education organizations as a way to help value credentials in a way that frees them from antiquated constructs and time-based measures to more relevant, learner-centric value measures. The role of systems and data structures necessary for this new approach is relevant to the testing community as it will require an important focus on structured workforce data, including data sources and management strategies. Additionally, frameworks can serve as a helpful tool for any organization to create a structured approach that incorporates incremental value to stackable credentials. Join us as we discuss our journey in implementing a new framework for creating value for learners as they pursue learner-centric credentials. 


We will provide 25% of our allotted time for group conversation to brainstorm together how each of these tools might be used at their organizations and any critiques of the tools that should be considered. We will also use 5% of our allotted time for flipped Q&A. 


Learning Objectives:

  • Explore why skill-denominated credentials are critical to the future of the learning and work ecosystem.  
  • Describe the importance of a rigorous assessment program in credentialing strategies. 
  • Discuss the proposal for alternative ways to value credentials that move to more student-centric approaches.