"Some interesting reports have recently hit my inbox. One of them, from the National Skills Coalition, deals with the big issue of how to define quality in nondegree credentials — things like certificates, industry certifications, and occupational licenses offered sometimes by colleges but mostly by employers, private training companies, unions, and other sorts of organizations. Yet, as the report notes, not all nondegree credentials are equal: “Some connect individuals to good careers, while others have little or no economic payoff.”
The coalition’s report recommends criteria that states could use to assess the quality of these credentials. And it couldn’t be more timely. A report slated for publication on Wednesday by Credential Engine, a digital repository, counts more than 730,000 credentials in the United States alone, including those at the K-12 level. It also notes that nonacademic providers now offer nearly as many credentials as traditional higher ed does."