Students’ academic paths are more varied than ever. Someone might earn a bachelor’s degree in English or history from a selective college, and then go on to General Assembly’s boot camp to get a coding degree or certificate.
The widening range of labor-market credentials available have pushed researchers to propose a credential registry, similar to a database of academic programs, that will offer a deeper look at different certifications. Researchers at George Washington University’s Institute for Public Policy, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale’s Center for Workforce Development, and Workcred, a nonprofit associated with the American National Standards Institute, were awarded a $2.25-million grant from the Lumina Foundation to develop the system.
The system could help employers and students learn about new and different types of academic programs, and about what they might gain from them, said Stephen Crawford, a research professor at George Washington and a lead researcher on the project.
For now, the team is entering a pilot phase in which it will gather information from 75 to 100 institutions and programs and begin to develop a registry. Then it will decide whether to expand to include thousands of institutions and programs.
“People nowadays don’t stay in one world or another,” Mr. Crawford said. “We need a way to be able to compare credentials, not only from institution to institution, but across categories like colleges and certifications.”