Achieving the Dream Begins Study of Colleges’ Efforts to Develop Non-Credit to Credit Career Pathways

Linking high quality credentials to clearly defined career pathways and opportunities to move toward a degree can help individuals make steady progress in the workplace. The need to establish clear, well-defined transitions from non-credit to credit-bearing courses that lead to a degree has increasingly become a focus for colleges and the federal government.  Initiatives pursued by colleges in the Trade Adjustment Act Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant program often underscored the need for non-credit to credit transitions for students.  The federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and proposed changes to the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act also stress the need for career pathways tied to labor market demands. 

Achieving the Dream will begin to gain a better understanding of the way colleges with strong non-credit to credit career pathways have designed opportunities for students, engaged with employers to ensure credentials are valued and in demand, and challenged themselves to be flexible and innovative in their approaches in these education and training programs. The review will focus on clearly defined, articulated pathways that provide students multiple entry points at any time. In addition, the review will look at the portability of similar credentials and non-credit to credit transitions across multiple institutions.  

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