Mapping Your Future: Implementing stackable credentials to benefit students



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Implementing stackable credentials to benefit students

By Catherine Mueller

June 24, 2021

More and more students are wanting to design their own educational pathway and stackable credentials offers a way to do that.

For students who want to pursue education while managing work and family demands, stackable credentials offer flexibility. In addition, stackable credentials allow students to stay up to date with the latest skills needed by employers.

To help postsecondary institutions implement programs offering stackable credentials, the Department of Education's Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE) recently released a new publication for colleges seeking to expand their offerings of "stackable credentials," or certificates aligned to industry certifications within associate degree programs.

According to the announcement from OCTAE, "the practice has emerged as a practical way of helping students progress along the education continuum while earning credentials with labor market value."

The publication guides schools with specific suggestions for enhancing employer engagement, designing programs with stackable credentials, supporting student completion, and sustaining programs responsive to employer needs.