Pathways to Credentials - CTE Technical Assistance (US Department of Education)


The Pathways to Credentials Technical Assistance Cohort, supported by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE), recognized that the stackable credentials approach can help students progress along the education continuum and obtain a postsecondary credential with labor market value. From May 2020 through July 2021, the initiative aimed to build the capacity of community and technical colleges to embed stackable, industry-recognized credentials within technical associate degree programs. The initiative provided customized technical assistance to help colleges advance efforts in stackable credential design, including components such as employer engagement, industry certification alignment, and non-credit/credit integration.

The cohort included:

  • Community College of Aurora/Colorado Northwestern Community College (Colorado)
  • University of District of Columbia Community College (Washington, DC)
  • Lake-Sumter State College (Florida)
  • Leeward Community College (Hawaii)
  • Malcolm X College (Illinois)
  • Southern University – Shreveport (Louisiana)
  • Ocean County College (New Jersey)
  • Onondaga Community College (New York)
  • Community College of Allegheny County (Pennsylvania)
  • North Central Texas College (Texas)

College teams worked with a technical assistance coach, other subject matter experts, and sector-focused sub-groups on action plans specific to the workforce needs of their communities while benefiting from the cohort's peer learning opportunities.

In addition to providing technical assistance, Pathways to Credentials published Introduction to Stackable Credentials. This report and related tutorials supported community and technical colleges across the U.S. with resources, tools, and promising practices (practical steps for enhancing employer engagement, designing programs with stackable credentials, supporting student completion, and sustaining programs responsive to employer needs). The publication built on the 2018 Stackable Credentials Toolkit.


Center for Occupational Research and Development, Social Policy Research Associates


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