Alternative credentials in higher education have a champion (EdScoop)

August 25, 2021

A leading higher education association is setting its sights on alternative credentials, on Tuesday launching two new groups to simplify the process for institutions looking to implement more short-term programs.

The University for Professional and Continuing Education Association announced a council, composed of campus leadership drawn from its more than 400 member institutions, to lead research and discussion on logistics and strategy for offering alternative credentials. Alternative credentials, such as micro-credentials and certificates offered by bootcamps and massive online open courses, are often offered online and are skill-based.

Julie Uranis, the association’s vice president for online and strategic initiatives, told EdScoop institutions can struggle with the IT component of introducing credentials that aren’t based in credit hours, as student information systems are often built for traditional degrees.

“When we start thinking about the space a little bit more, we learn that there are barriers to access that are a product of policies and systems that that just need to be reconsidered or reworked,” she said.

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