Making sense of the increasingly crowded market of non-degree credentials can be a challenge. A wide range of credentials, from industry certifications to badges and micro-credentials, are offered by educational institutions, private training providers, industry associations, and unions, among others.

Within the credential marketplace, there is no single set of standards for individuals, policymakers, employers, and educational institutions to evaluate the quality of non-degree credentials. A system is needed to measure quality and ensure these credentials do not offer false promises, particularly to individuals from marginalized groups who may be drawn to non-degree credentials for their potential to lead to employment and rewarding career pathways.

This paper, supported by the Lumina Foundation, outlines a broad definition of non-degree credential quality, which focuses on four key elements: credential design, demonstrated competencies, market processes, and outcomes of value. The framework provides recommendations for key stakeholders to promote the measurement of quality in non-degree credentials.

This project is supported by Lumina Foundation.


Image of Non-degree Credential Quality Report Cover


Image of Non-Degree Credential Quality Executive Summary Cover