Non-Degree Credentials Research Network (NCRN)


The Non-Degree Credentials Research Network (NCRN) is a project funded through a grant from Lumina Foundation (2024-2025) and managed by researchers at the George Washington Institute of Public Policy (GWIPP) and the Rutgers University Education and Employment Research Center (EERC). The NCRN is a multi-disciplinary community of scholars, practitioners, and policymakers that focuses on the little-understood role of certificates, certifications and other non-degree credentials in the labor market.

Prior to January 2024, the NCRN was supported by a grant from Lumina Foundation from 2018-2023 at the George Washington University Institute of Public Policy - GWIPP.

Since its formation, the NCRN’s goals have been to:

  • Create a collaborative network of researchers with expertise on the distribution, production, consumption, use, and value of non-degree workforce credentials.
  • Assess the current state of knowledge about non-degree credentials, map existing research, and identify needs and opportunities for new research.
  • Produce an annual synthesis of what is learned about non-degree credentials, including recommendations for educational and workforce development practice and policy.
  • Communicate effectively the lessons learned about non-degree credentials to practitioners and policymakers, as well as the broader research community.

The NCRN offers a variety of resources to members and the public. Examples of resources in any specific year may include webinars, newsletters, research reports, literature reviews, in-person meetings, and opportunities to comment on federal legislation related to non-degree credentials.

Relationship to Ecosystem

The NCRN studies non-degree credentialing—including licenses, industry-awarded certifications, certificates, apprenticeships, and microcredentials—and provides relevant information to the learn-and-work ecosystem regarding what credentials are being offered and their value in the labor market.


Federal Data Collections Relevant to Non-degree Credential Research(spreadsheet)

Federal Agencies with Skilled Technical Workforce (STW) Development Programs

GW Institute of Public Policy. (2022, July 17). Non-degree Credentials Research Network (NCRN). George Washington University.

NCRN. (June 2019). What We Know About Non-Degree Credentials: A Literature Scan

Opportunities to Comment on Proposed federal Data Collections: A Primer on How to Respond

Report of the Non-Degree Credentials Research Network, Spring 2021

Spring Conference Report, March 27 & 28, 2023


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