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Industry Credentials

Increasingly, industry credentials have become an important pathway through which learners can gain valuable workforce skills. As an education leader, the National Student Clearinghouse enables a better understanding of student success along all parts of the education-workforce continuum with our Industry Credentials service.

This landmark pilot initiative brings together — for the first time — academic and industry credentials. This allows institutions, states, and industry credential providers to understand the pathways between education and certification attainment. The National Student Clearinghouse is also working with the United States Census Bureau to look at aggregate labor market outcomes related to industry certification and education attainment. Stay tuned for more about that pilot in 2020.

Industry Credentials brings our industry-leading student tracking and reporting services to a broad range of industry-based credentials. This means that industry credential organizations can now access the same student reporting features that have allowed high schools and colleges to transform their understanding of student success.

Why Use Industry Credentials?

Industry Credentials helps education and industry connect the dots between industry-based credentials, and secondary and postsecondary enrollment. Currently, the collaboration of corporations to develop industry-specific credentials, such as manufacturing and cybersecurity, has turned tracking outcomes into a complex public-private data completion puzzle that cannot be captured by a state longitudinal data system and/or federal data collection.

The Industry Credentials service creates a better understanding of student success throughout the education-workforce continuum, answering the following questions:

  • What courses effectively contribute to the credential?
  • How many learners received a credential, and can that number be counted as a success for the postsecondary institution?
  • How do credential and education attainment contribute to learner success?
  • What are the most effective pathways for different types of learners?
  • What credential and education pathways provide the most value?
  • What is the credential’s impact on learners’ wages? This question will be available after the Census Bureau pilot.

What Industry Credentials Includes

  • Collects industry-based credentials data while respecting the privacy requirements of all parties
  • Provides student-level education data related to enrollment and degree and aggregate reports that provides details related to education attainment, programs of study, and demographic information. A sample is provided in the flyer.
  • Complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and other applicable laws
  • Uses industry-standard data validation best practices
  • Offers customer support throughout process

Why You Should Put Industry Credentials to Work for You

  • Enables collaboration between credential providers and postsecondary institutions
  • Helps students, credential providers, and institutions understand the educational pathways that lead to success, whether or not they lead to completing a college degree
  • Recognizes industry credentials as a unique and valuable pathway into the labor market
  • Validates and verifies industry credentials as a key point along a student’s education lifecycle
  • Responds to the nation’s call for evidence of education competency and new skills

How to Get Started

Email the Industry Credentials team at industrycredentials@demo.studentclearinghouse.org to add industry-based credentials as part of your learners’ education pathway. The data needed to participate in the Industry Credential service is documented in the implementation guide.

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