Key Initiative

Industry Credentials & Education Performance Data System

The National Student Clearinghouse launched the Industry Credentials and Education Performance Data System in February 2020. The new service brings together for the first time academic and industry credentials into a common data system. This allows educational institutions, states, and industry credential providers to understand the pathways between education and certification attainment.

The National Student Clearinghouse is also working with the United States Census Bureau to look at aggregate labor market outcomes related to industry certification and education attainment.

The initiative was launched at a time of growing recognition of the importance of industry credentials among the wide array of credentials available in the U.S. The many collaborations of corporations to develop industry-specific credentials, such as manufacturing and cybersecurity, has turned tracking the outcomes of these credentials into a complex public-private data completion puzzle that cannot be captured by state longitudinal data systems and/or federal data collection.

The Industry Credentials service will be able to answer an array of questions important to credential providers and employers once data populates the system. These include:

  • What academic courses effectively contributed to the industry credential?
  • How many learners received an industry credential, and can that number be counted as a success for the postsecondary institution?
  • How do credential and education attainment contribute to learner success?
  • What are the most effective pathways for different types of learners?
  • What credential(s)  and education pathways provide the most value?
  • What is the credential’s impact on learners’ wages?

The Industry Credentials initiative:

  • Collects industry-based credentials data while respecting the privacy requirements of all parties
  • Provides student-level education data related to enrollment and degree and aggregate reports that provides details related to education attainment, programs of study, and demographic information.
  • Complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other applicable laws
  • Uses industry-standard data validation best practices
  • Offers customer support from the Clearinghouse throughout the process
  • Responds to the nation’s call for evidence of education competency and new skills

Entities which hold Industry Credentials data can submit their data, following an  implementation guide.

(Industry Credentials Implementation Guide) issued in February 2020.

Link to Resources: Industry Credentials – National Student Clearinghouse

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