National Coalition to Accelerate Adoption of Learning & Employment Records (LERs) in Postsecondary Education

Last Updated: 04/19/2024

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Overview

The national Learning and Employment Records (LER) Accelerator initiative was launched in 2024 with support from Walmart. The initiative will boost the adoption of LERs in postsecondary education by focusing on (1) overcoming implementation delays, (2) raising awareness, and (3) fostering collaboration among educational associations who represent the important campus stakeholders responsible for this work.

Work focuses in the following key areas:

  1. Raising awareness of LERs and innovative credentials among learners, educators (e.g., faculty, co-curricular professionals) employers, and institutions.
  2. Advocating for policy changes that will support the development and use of LERs.
  3. Integrating LERs into courses and curricula, including general education programs.
  4. Developing resources and guidelines for institutions.
  5. Measuring the impact of LERs on student learning, retention, graduation, and post-graduation career success outcomes.

Background

A coalition of national associations that represent stakeholders on college campuses have come together to address a common challenge postsecondary institutions face in adapting learning and preparing learners for employment: slow adoption of digital credentials. Many institutions are not yet poised to respond to the increasing demand for micro-credentials, badges, and other digital credentials that learners can use as clear evidence to prospective employers of their skills, knowledge, and abilities. The adoption and acceleration of LERs are viewed as a way to modernize the dated U.S.,  recognizing that research still finds that employers trust credentials of any type from colleges and universities the most. Areas needing most attention include unclear market demand for skill and competency recognition, perceived high administrative and technical barriers, disparate enterprise data systems, and current business models that do not support LER development.

Partners (additional stakeholders will be added)

  • Admissions Operations/Enrollment Management/Records & Registration - AACRAO
  • Information Technology - Educause
  • Academic/Curricular/Faculty issues - AAC&U
  • Online and Professional Education - UPCEA
  • Career Centers and Employers - NACE
  • Institutional Research - AIR
  • Institutional Leadership - ACE
  • Competency Based Education and Skills - C-BEN
  • Technology Standards and Practices - 1EdTechDigital Credentials Consortium

This work is being led by AACRAO. Since 2015, AACRAO has been a leader in advancing innovation in learner records, supporting over 50 CLR/LER projects across the U.S.  The LER includes the Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR), representing the skills and competencies achieved by students during their academic career

Funders

Past Lumina Foundation grants, current grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and 2024 grant from the Walmart Foundation

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