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Higher Ed Organizations Push Forward on Credential Transparency

Led by the American Council on Education (ACE), the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) and Educause, 15 national higher education organizations have signed a joint statement in support of credential data transparency. The signatories are "encouraging their members to describe their credential offerings with a common language and house the data in an open, cloud-based registry in order to empower students, workers, employers and policymakers to make more informed decisions about credentials and their value," according to a news announcement.

The idea of credential transparency is to "provide clear, comparable, persistent information about credentials, including their cost, competencies, relationship to other credentials, quality assurance processes, and value in transfer and in the labor market based on shared standards or frameworks," the joint statement explained. "A healthy ecosystem of transparent credentials facilitates the documentation, recognition, transferability, and portability of learning across education, work, and community settings for all types of credentials and providers."

Part of the statement includes a commitment to contribute to nonprofit Credential Engine's Credential Registry using the open source Credential Transparency Description Language, a common language for describing credential requirements, delivery, costs, financial assistance, duration, jurisdiction, competencies, learning opportunities, assessments, quality assurance, review processes and other key credential information. The goal: to "leverage open data technology to better collect, connect and compare credential data across institutions, businesses and organizations."

The full list of signatories is:

"As we look to bolster public confidence in our higher education system and improve student outcomes, colleges and universities should embrace credential transparency principles," commented ACE President Ted Mitchell, in a statement. "These principles will be integral in ensuring that quality learning is connected and counted."

The joint statement is available on the ACE site.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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