Why Students, Employers and Schools Need to Move Faster To Make Stackable Credentials Available to All

While there’s no disputing the value of a college degree when it comes to earning potential, nearly three-quarters of grads end up working in a field that’s unrelated to what they studied in school.

Liberty Street Economics made that forecast after studying Census Data from 2010.1 Academics have spent the years since discussing ways to connect the dots between learning and professional achievement, leading many — including us here at Parchment — to advocate for what are known as stackable credentials.

Forming a Career Path, One Credential at a Time

Simply defined, stackable credentials are a series of earned milestones. Complete the “stack” and collect the associated credentials and you’ll have verifiable expertise that has a value. The more credentials you have, the more valuable you should be to an employer.

And you don’t need to have a college degree to benefit from this concept. High school grads and professionals with some community college can also benefit from the pathways formed by stackable credentials.

Say you’re a nurse with an associate’s degree who works at a local doctor’s office. Adding a patient care technician certificate could lead to switching to long-term care, and earning more for your services. Stackable credentials codify and certify achievement, and, as such, it behooves the major players in each industry to design the “stacks” that teach the skills they’re seeking.

The combinations are virtually endless, and they’re not always vertical. Think of IT managers. Competency can be measured by certifications in different types and brands of systems — from Microsoft to Cisco to Oracle and more. That horizontal progression isn’t available to financial analysts, who advance vertically by passing different levels of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam.

Credentials can be stacked for the purpose of broadening a portfolio or for leveling up in a particular skill. Or, sometimes, for both. For example, a nurse looking to get hands-on experience in a hospital emergency room could need at least a bachelor’s degree, as well as a certification in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) to administer an IV or emergency pharmacology to revive patients suffering heart trauma.2

nurseWorking Together to Make Stacking Real

Today, students stack credentials on their own because there’s been no other alternative. Schools and employers can work together to change that, though the nonprofit Lumina Foundation has already put in place one of the key pieces. Through an initiative called Connecting Credentials, Lumina is bringing together some 80 distinct institutions to help set common standards for certifications so that learning and achievement becomes easier to quantify, helping employers find candidates who’ve proven they have the skills that hiring managers need most.

Bringing consistency to credentials is important, but it’s also just a first step. Four-year, two-year and vocational education institutions also need to pitch in by helping to better define pathways for students. Think of the undergrad student who wants to make films. What credentials should they stack, and in what order? Helping define not just a curriculum for that student but also a relevant stack is crucial if they’re to graduate with meaningful job prospects to go with a big tuition bill. In that area, in particular, learners have never needed our help more. Each second, U.S. student loan debt rises an estimated $2,276.

Watch the clock here. Then wipe your brow, take a drink of water and remember: with stackable credentials we can do more to make education valuable. But we need to act now.

SOURCING:

  1.    http://libertystreeteconomics.newyorkfed.org/2013/05/do-big-cities-help-college-graduates-find-better-jobs.html#.V3LyxZMrJE5
  2.    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_cardiac_life_support

Sign up to Test New Website, Earn Free Starbucks!

Parchment is redesigning our website!

We’d love to get  YOUR help while we are in the designing phases. We are looking for high schools and colleges that send or receive academic credentials to participate. It’s important to note that you DO NOT need to be part of the Parchment member network to help. In fact, we’d love to hear from those of you that have not yet experienced Parchment.

Participating in the usability test will require no more than 30 minutes of your time and can be done from any place, as long as you have an internet connection and telephone. In exchange for your time, we will happily thank you with a $25 Starbucks gift card.

To determine if you qualify, please email feedback@parchment.com and include your name and title, the name of your institution and identify if you have an existing relationship with Parchment. Our team will review all emails and reply directly should you qualify.

Thank you for helping shaping the Parchment experience.

K12 Admin Training: Sign Up!

Toolkit-2015-K12AdminTraining

 

One of the biggest requests we get from our members is MORE TRAINING!  Everyone wants to learn more about how to process transcripts faster, better, stronger. Well, we are certainly down with that!

Brush up on your best practices by registering for one of these upcoming trainings for K12 Administrators.  We offer them every week so pick a time that works for you.

There’s a lot to learn about the ins and outs of Parchment 7 … and we’re here to help. Sign up for training today!

Parchment 7 is Here!

Parchment-7_logo-ReleaseFireworks

We Are So Excited!

Your suggestions inspired us to create the most advanced academic credential management system: Parchment 7. Thousands of your enhancements will help you process incoming transcript orders faster and better than ever before!  Thank you for helping build the best!

See the 7 Best things about Parchment 7:

Get more information about the features included in Parchment 7 with these resources:

Log in today to see what we’ve all been waiting for: The future of credential management!

Sign In

Search

Let us help you find what you are looking for.