Industry-Based Credentials Are Part of the Education Pathway

Jun 30, 2016 | In the News

By Roberta Hyland, Chief of Staff, National Student Clearinghouse

Across the United States, one can hear a frequent topic of discussion — the need for a skilled workforce and the role that industry-based credentials can play in socioeconomic mobility. A simple internet search will yield a multitude of stories and studies. The evidence is clear — it’s time for education and industry to work closer together on the interconnected nature of industry-based credentials, and secondary and postsecondary enrollment.

Because industry-based credentials can be an important part of someone’s education pathway, cooperation among all those involved in the process is critical. Currently, the collaboration of corporations to develop industry-specific credentials, such as manufacturing and cybersecurity, has turned tracking outcomes into a complex public-private data completion puzzle that cannot be captured by a state longitudinal data system and/or federal data collection.

Learners, employers, local communities, and the overall economy benefit from a healthy education ecosystem that supports a variety of education pathways for first-time students, adult and non-traditional students, as well as lifelong learners.

As former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a recent Fast Company article, “The pace at which people need to acquire new knowledge is only going to grow. I’ve talked all the time about cradle to career, this idea of folks being lifelong learners. The idea that learning stops at 22, that’s a death sentence today.”

The Clearinghouse understands the credential needs of today’s learners, institutions, and industry. As the national source for accurate information on the effectiveness of educational pathways in America today, the Clearinghouse is working on a solution to create a better understanding of student success throughout the education-workforce continuum.

NSC Value

Our solution will enable the collection of industry-based credentials in a way that respects the privacy requirements of all parties while helping students, credential providers, and institutions understand the student pathways that lead to success. It also responds to the nation’s call for evidence of education competency and new skills.

The Clearinghouse solution for industry-based credentials answers the following questions and more:

  • What courses effectively contribute to the credential?
  • How many learners received a credential and can be counted as a success for the postsecondary institution?
  • How do credentials and other education awards relate to each other?
  • What are the most effective pathways for different types of learners?
  • What education pathways provide the most value?
  • What is the wage impact?

“The Clearinghouse is working to enable a better understanding of student success throughout the education-workforce continuum.”

Roberta Hyland
Clearinghouse Chief of Staff