Leaders in Professional, Continuing and Online Education

UPCEA Convening on The Future of Credentials


Post-Event Executive Summary

A Convening of Leaders at a Formative Moment in the Field’s Evolution

On November 16, 2017, UPCEA (the University Professional and Continuing Education Association) hosted a special invitation-only convening of leaders in higher education at One Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C. focused on “The Future of Credentials.” The nearly 50 attendees represented a variety of stakeholders from across the credentialing ecosystem, including college and university leaders; executives from educational technology firms, foundations, and employers; and non-profit organizations as well as government. These leaders contributed special expertise and perspective that spanned both the current practice and future potential of innovative and alternative credentials. The day’s discussions included panels, presentations, and small roundtable working group sessions.

The goals of the event were to:

  • Create a working understanding of the current status of alternative credentials among interested parties, including those from higher education and from business
  • Identify key issues to be addressed regarding alternative credentials in order to expand their use and acceptance
  • Determine if there is a particular role for UPCEA with regard to alternative credentials and if so, what the next steps should be

As a result of the event, this Executive Summary briefly summarizes the key themes and takeaways – establishing trends and the state of the field and current practice, as well as opportunities for future action.