Playbook: Making the Case (Credential As You Go)

Last Updated: 03/09/2024

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Credential As You Go is an initiative working with many partners toward a nationally recognized transferable incremental credentialing system that increases the number of high-quality, post-high school credentials that lead to further education and employment. Such a system captures and verifies learning that is currently uncounted, enabling individuals to be recognized for what they know and can do as they acquire it; and provides pathways for learners to continue their education, increasing their ability to gain higher credentials and better employment.

Credential As You Go’s initiative to develop a range of tools and resources, including playbooks, to support incremental credentialing was launched in 2022 with the support of the US Department of Education IES program and Walmart. The playbooks are “how-to” guides on topics, policies, and practices that support developing an incremental credentialing system.

Each playbook addresses a different component core to incremental credentialing. Each playbook contains a purpose statement; questions or checklists to guide developments; case studies/examples; and references. In addition, playbooks contain related resources such as the Credential As You Go Dictionary, video recordings from Credential As You Go webinars, the Learn & Work Ecosystem Library, and resources others have recommended for the topic.

The playbooks are living documents. As more incremental credentials are designed, tested, and implemented, the playbooks will be updated to reflect lessons learned, additional case studies, and new tools created by stakeholders.

Playbook on Making the Case

In 2023, Credential As You Go published the Playbook on Making the Case. It gives people in the learn-and-work ecosystem key information they can use to make the case for incremental credentialing. Case-making requires different information for various audiences, including the campus community, employers and industry partners, funders, learners, and policymakers. The playbook covers:

  • The case for incremental credentialing is driven by four factors: (1) the nation’s dated, degree-centric postsecondary system, (2) credential expansion, (3) the need to improve equity in education, and (4) rapidly changing workforce needs.
  • How to define incremental credentialing and incremental credentials.
  • The benefits of incremental credentialing to various constituencies.


Credential As You Go website

Credential As You Go Dictionary

Credential As You Go Webinars

Learn & Work Ecosystem Library

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