In a featured interview with Holly Zanville, strategy director for the future of learning and work at Lumina Foundation, Karen Elzey, associate executive director of Workcred, discussed the growing interest in embedding industry-recognized certifications into college and university degree programs. The interview was published on May 25, 2020, by the online newspaper publication, The EvoLLLution, which covers topics related to non-traditional higher education.
The article, Embedding Certifications into Bachelor's Degrees Could Improve Transitions into the Labor Market, highlights Workcred's latest effort to improve students' transition from college to the labor market, with a Lumina-supported project. As part of that effort, earlier this year, Workcred, an affiliate of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), partnered with Corporation for a Skilled Workforce (CSW) and George Washington University (GWU) to work on a two-year, comprehensive study of industry and occupational certifications. The study is intended to provide policymakers, practitioners, employers, and funders with a clearer picture of the dimensions, patterns, and trends among certifications, as well as how they currently or could interrelate with other parts of the credentialing ecosystem. [Read more about the Lumina-funded study.]
In the Q&A article, Elzey explained how over the past year, Workcred has convened representatives from universities and certification bodies to explore embedding industry and professional certifications into bachelor degree programs that encompass disciplines in healthcare, cybersecurity, and manufacturing sectors. She noted that these convenings provided a unique opportunity to gain knowledge of how universities and certification bodies can work together for greater outcomes.
"The response among universities and certification bodies has been extremely positive, with 41 universities sending teams and 27 certification bodies sending representatives," Elzey noted. "We've had great representation from regions across the country, with contributions from institutions such as Florida International University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Morgan State University, Ohio University, San Jose State University, University of Missouri, and University of Washington."
Elzey also explained that participating certification bodies covered a range of occupations, and include such groups as the American Society for Clinical Pathology Board of Certification; the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering; Board of Certified Safety Professionals; CompTIA; and Project Management Institute.
The article also covers some of the biggest challenges related to sharing data owned by certification bodies, including data privacy protection regulations that restrict how personal data can be stored, processed, and shared, and offers how these challenges can be addressed and overcome.
Read Embedding Certifications into Bachelor's Degrees Could Improve Transitions into the Labor Market, to find out more about Workcred's mission.