How institutions are leaving money on the table with their alternative credential offerings (University Business)

January 24, 2024

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.

Read the full article.


Get Involved with UPCEA

Professional development isn't just about attending sessions. Get involved with UPCEA to meet members from other institutions, share the great work your institution is doing, and hone your own skills. From submitting a session proposal for a conference or an article for a publication to serving as a volunteer on a conference planning committee, there are as many ways to engage with us!


Awards of Excellence

Since 1953, UPCEA has recognized its members' outstanding contributions to the Association and the field, as well as their achievements in innovative programming, marketing and promotion, community development and services, research and publications, and many other areas.