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New Registry Will Demystify Badges, Credentials and Degrees

George Washington University, Southern Illinois University and Workcred, a nonprofit affiliate of the American National Standards Institute, are teaming up to build a "credential registry" that would increase the transparency and value of industry credentials and degrees. The registry "will allow users to easily compare the quality and value of workforce credentials, such as college degrees and industry certifications, using a Web-based system with information provided directly by the institutions issuing the credentials," according to a press release. The work recently received a $2.25 million grant from the Lumina Foundation.

To help demystify the sheer number and variety of credentials available today — college degrees, educational certificates, industry certifications, occupational licenses and badges — the credential registry project aims to create a coherent credentialing marketplace with information on what the credentials mean, what stands behind them and how they relate, that all users can understand and use effectively. Since its introduction in 2013, the project has involved more than 50 major stakeholders and includes an executive advisory committee from the American Council on Education, the American Association of Community Colleges, Business Roundtable, the Committee for Economic Development of The Conference Board, the Manufacturing Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

In addition to the credential registry, the project will involve the development and testing of several applications:

  • An app to allow registry users to access the Web sites of participating credential issuers, build customized directories of credentials based on their own criteria and publish the results;
  • An app that allows employers to communicate their competency and credentialing requirements;
  • An app that supports the review and analysis of "competency-based" resumes, transcripts and portfolios based on transfer policies and recommendations; and
  • An app that allows colleges, certification organizations and other stakeholders to develop more transparent and assessable competency statements based on employer requirements and competency frameworks.

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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