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Enhancing Student Employment Outcomes through Degree-Certification Pathways: Workcred Joins APLU Annual Conference


At the recent annual Association of Public Land-grant Universities (APLU) conference in San Diego, Workcred's associate executive director Karen Elzey moderated a joint session on Enhancing Student Employment Outcomes through Degree-Certification Pathways. The session highlighted how, with support from the Lumina Foundation, Workcred, APLU/The Coalition of Urban Serving Universities (USU), and the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) have joined forces to explore how universities can embed, align, and integrate independent certifications with four-year degree programs to bolster student success and employability outcomes.

"The education and preparation of students for jobs, careers, and a lifetime is one of the greatest economic and societal contributions of public universities," said Shalin Jyotishi, assistant director, economic development and community engagement, APLU. "By co-developing pathway models with leaders from universities and certification bodies, we're charting a path forward to ensure the long-term success of our next generation," she noted during the session.

Elzey moderated a session that used the Certified Financial Planning Board (CFP Board) as a case study to explore partnerships between universities and certification bodies, as well as the value to employers. Other speakers included Gretchen Syverud, the director of strategy integration at Lumina Foundation, Andrea Rodriguez of APLU/USU, Provost Latha Ramchand of the University of Missouri, Mary Kay Svedberg, Ph.D., director of education at CFP Board, and Susan Brandies, the chief financial planning officer of Pure Financial. The session provided an overview of different approaches to integrate certifications within four-year degrees, and how to overcome challenges. The speakers also examined how other institutions can replicate a successful collaboration.

"As we prepare for the future of work, it is incumbent that universities partner intentionally with other stakeholders," said Andrea Rodriguez, assistant director, USU/APLU Office of Urban Initiatives. "This partnership and work are not only critical to the labor market landscape, but also to institutional leaders working diligently to prepare students with the skills required for the current and future workforce."

The APLU Annual Meeting is one of North America's largest convenings of public university presidents, provosts, vice-presidents, and other senior leaders. In recognition of the 100-year anniversary of Veteran's Day, the 2019 theme of the conference was In Service, recognizing how public universities can better serve their students, communities, and the country.

Workcred, launched five years ago, serves to strengthen workforce quality by improving the credentialing system, ensuring its ongoing relevance, and preparing employers, workers, educators, and governments to use it effectively. An American National Standards Institute (ANSI) affiliate, Workcred's vision is a labor market that relies on the relevance, quality, and value of workforce credentials for opportunities, growth, and development.

About Lumina Foundation

Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. The foundation envisions a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation's need for talent through a broad range of credentials. Lumina's goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy.

Read more about the APLU Conference or find out more about Workcred's recent news coverage.

Access the related article: Workcred, APLU, and UPCEA Awarded Lumina Grant to Connect Degrees and Certifications


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


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Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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