Key Initiative

Texas Credentials for the Future Initiative

The University of Texas System  launched the Texas Credentials for the Future initiative in March 2021. The University of Texas institutions are developing credentials beyond traditional degree programs — expanding educational offerings to include more employer-initiated and validated microcredential programs that can quickly arm learners with the skills, knowledge, and competencies most valued by employers. With funding support from Strada Education Network’s Beyond Completion Challenge Grant, University of Texas System academic institutions have pilot projects underway to incorporate industry microcredentials into undergraduate degree experiences.  Pairing a bachelor’s degree with an industry-recognized credential is expected to give students a competitive edge in the labor market while enhancing their overall undergraduate experience.

Pilot projects are underway at UT Arlington (certifications in the areas of health & fitness for exercise science majors; Health informatics certificate for public health majors; Adobe Certified Professional credential for studio arts majors); UT Austin (Amazon Web Services Cloud Practitioner certification for English, history and design majors); UT Dallas (Holocaust and genocide microcredential for history majors); UT El Paso (Google Career Certificates in data analytics for psychology and sociology majors); UT Permian Basin (Google Career Certificates for sociology and marketing majors); UT Rio Grande Valley (Google Career Certificates for biology and English majors); UT San Antonio (Google Certificate in Project Management for (TBD) majors); and UT Tyler (Google Career Certificates in project management for criminal justice and psychology majors).

In January 2023,  the UT System was awarded a Phase 2 grant through Strada Education Network’s Beyond Completion Challenge. The challenge grant is part of an effort to support higher education institutions substantially expanding promising efforts to improve long-term outcomes for many more students, especially those who historically have faced the greatest barriers in education and the workforce. The Texas Credentials for the Future initiative will expand over the three-year grant cycle, to infuse career readiness into the undergraduate curriculum and co-curriculum by including relevant industry microcredentials and skills badges at no additional cost to learners. The program will continue to focus on majors often associated with low earnings while expanding efforts to include other majors in which significant post-graduation earnings disparities exist. The initiative will reach up to 30,000 students across the system’s eight academic institutions.


Stakeholder Group(s)
Employers Philanthropy Universities

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