How institutions are leaving money on the table with their alternative credential offerings (University Business)
Alternative non-degree credentials are slowly becoming higher education’s hottest learning modality. Enrollment is strong and employer buy-in is promising. However, two reports from UPCEA demonstrate that despite institutions’ increased infrastructure to provide these academic programs, challenges persist—and they’re leaving money on the table as a result.
In a December 2023 report that studied nearly 100 UPCEA members representing institutions focused on online and continuing education, 94% said their institution offers alternative credentials, and 66% said senior leadership has become fundamental to their institutions’ strategic plans. These schools’ most common alternative credentials were non-credit certificates, professional certificates and digital badges.
Stackable credentials are becoming a hybrid choice that can be used toward credit and non-credit-bearing programs. Learners can “stack” their credentials toward specific, lengthier programs. The most common types of alternative credentials to be both credit and non-credit-bearing are professional certificates and badges. Large institutions, which have over 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students, were the most likely to provide stackable credentials.