This initiative supported by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) aimed to build the capacity of community and technical colleges to embed stackable, industry-recognized credentials within technical associate degree programs. The Pathways to Credentials initiative provided customized technical assistance to help colleges advance their efforts in stackable credential design, including components such as employer engagement, industry certification alignment, and non-credit/credit integration. The technical assistance cohort included the following institutions:
Led by the Center for Occupational Research and Development and partner organization, Social Policy Research Associates, Pathways to Credentials provided technical assistance services to participating colleges from May 2020 through July 2021. College teams worked with a TA 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 recent years, the stackable credentials approach has emerged as a notable practice to help students progress along the education continuum and obtain a postsecondary credential with labor market value. In addition to providing technical assistance, Pathways to Credentials published, Introduction to Stackable Credentials, and related tutorials to support community and technical colleges across the U.S.