Key Initiative

Industry Credentials Initiative

[See also Industry Credentials & Education Performance Data System]

The National Student Clearinghouse offers a service to help education and industry connect the dots between industry-based credentials, and secondary and postsecondary enrollment through the Industry Credentials initiative. The  initiative brings the NSC student tracking and reporting services to a broad range of industry-based credentials. Industry credential organizations can then access the same student reporting features that have allowed high schools and colleges to transform their understanding of student success.

The Industry Credentials service creates a better understanding of student success throughout the education-workforce continuum, answering the following questions:

  • What courses effectively contribute to the credential?
  • How many learners received a 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 and education pathways provide the most value?
  • What is the credential’s impact on learners’ wages? This question will be available after the Census Bureau pilot.

Through the initiative, the NSC:

  • 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. See sample: flyer.
  • Complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other applicable laws
  • Uses industry-standard data validation best practices
  • Offers customer support throughout process

The impetus for the initiative is to:

  • Enable collaboration between credential providers and postsecondary institutions
  • Help students, credential providers, and institutions understand the educational pathways that lead to success, whether or not they lead to completing a college degree
  • Recognize industry credentials as a unique and valuable pathway into the labor market
  • Validate and verify industry credentials as a key point along a student’s education lifecycle
  • Respond to the nation’s call for evidence of education competency and new skills

To participate in the initiative, the Industry Credentials team contacts industrycredentials@studentclearinghouse.org to add their industry-based credentials. The data needed to participate in the Industry Credential service is documented in an implementation guide.

Links to Resources:

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