Digital Credentials

AACRAO is a long-standing champion in the advancement of the Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR) having collaboratively developed pilots, guidelines, and best practices that allow for the expansion of the idea of the traditional record. Through past Lumina Foundation grants, a current grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and a new grant from the Walmart Foundation, AACRAO continues to be a leader in the development and adoption of CLR in American higher education.

Additionally, AACRAO is working to promote awareness and advance knowledge around the Learning and Employment Record (LER), a system that contains verifiable information about a person’s achievements spanning an inclusive range of contexts to include the CLR, the higher education component of the LER, that provides verified credentials representing the skills and competencies achieved by the student during their academic career.

AACRAO will support higher education contributions of robust learning to the overall CLR/LER work by putting forth recommendations of academic record practices that protect the integrity and validity of these expressions of learner achievement, supporting the principles of interoperability and student-centered records, and continuing to seek collaboration and innovation partners.

Get Involved with Digital Credentials

Join the Community of Practice



The Standardized Components for a Competency-Based Educational Record

September 17, 2019

Free webinar |  | 2-3 PM ET

Alternative educational movements are gaining traction. Competency-based education (CBE) is one of those movements. It has gained significant traction in higher education as a means to clearly identify the learning that is designed to take place within and around an academic program. CBE, in its pure form, does not “fit” into a traditional framework of terms, courses, grades and credits. Technologies and records standards do not exist to accommodate this growing educational practice, although emerging technologies are focusing the learning experiences into new record formats. Even when crosswalks to traditional frameworks are created, the rich evidence of learning is lost.

When designing CBE programs, what information should we be expected to capture, assess, record and report?  What should we commonly expect to be contained in such a record when we receive one from another institution or from a student? The Standardized Components for a Competency-Based Educational Record report and this webinar report presents a framework for the construction of such records and their standard contents.

Watch Now


laura-parson16[2] small

Joellen Shendy

Product Strategy Director, Workday

M Sandlin picture

Michele Sandlin

Managing  Consultant, AACRAO


Vertical CLR Timeline

National Reach
AACRAO's efforts to advance CLR have helped institutions across the United States. The 2021 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation enables additional institutions to be supported and further contributes to the knowledge resources for CLR adoption and best practices.

CLR Map Vertical (1200 × 3500 px)


Why Registrars Need the CLR

An April 5, 2023 Territorium blog post: Why collegiate registrars should advocate for (and implement) CLRs in place of traditional transcripts.

Addressing Failures of Implementation

A January 30, 2023 Inside Higher Ed Beyond Transfer blog post: Addressing Failure of Implementation - Supporting and promoting innovation on campus.

Creating a National LER: How 1EdTech Can Help Get Us There

A recent white paper lays out recommendations to create a successful national LER ecosystem. Read the takeaways on how 1EdTech can help you get started with digital credentials.

Mapping the LER ecosystem to Drive Adoption and Collaboration in Service of Learners and Earners

Digital Credentials Consortium and NationSwell working with stakeholders to identify barriers and opportunities

The text "AACRAO Connect" with a wifi logo emanating from the "O" in "Connect".
Illustration of a laptop in digital space.

Navigating Digital Credentials

Sep 18, 2023

Join the conversation around digital credential implementation at higher education institutions.

Group of professionals attending a conference.

Navigating the Future: Incorporating New Digital Credentials into the Student Information System (SIS)

Sep 18, 2023

Understanding, planning for, and implementing digital credentials at your institution.

Illustration of a lightbulb representing thought and creativity.

Resources to Guide the Establishment of Interoperable LERs

May 15, 2023

See how AACRAO and others are experimenting and leading the way in the design, development, and implementation of CLR/LER.

Illustration of disparate data forms being organized and structured.

The CLR, “Experience You,” and an Opportunity for All

Mar 20, 2023

Understanding, building upon, and improving the student record to increase student success.

Illustration of streaking lights moving away from Earth into space.

Expanding the CLR/LER Ecosystem

Mar 6, 2023

See how AACRAO is pushing the conversation forward in the CLR/LER space.

Individual holding a megaphone on a yellow background.

The Transformation of the Academic Record: Amplifying the CLR/LER

Feb 6, 2023

CLR/LER is growing, see the work and learn how you can get involved.

Scrabble tiles portraying silhouettes of professionals.

HR Professionals Eyeing the CLR

Jan 9, 2023

See how the comprehensive learner record can be used as a tool for your recruitment and hiring initiatives.

University marching band drum team on parade.

The Drumbeat Grows Louder: CLR/LER is the Future of Academic Record Practices

Nov 28, 2022

Catch up on all the CLR/LER updates happening in the higher education community, view resources, and get involved.

Students walking up stairs towards a campus.

Updates from the Credential Futures Coalition

Oct 31, 2022

See how the Credential Futures Coalition is working to develop a scalable, resilient, and sustainable ecosystem to support learner-worker mobility.

Illustration of comprehensive learning.

Growing & Supporting CLR/LER

Sep 19, 2022

See how AACRAO is partnering with two higher ed institutions to finalize their CLR initiatives.

Individual sorting files in folders.

Championing the Registrar in CLR/LER

Aug 22, 2022

Explore CLR and see the work AACRAO and other organizations are doing to ensure this initiative is successful.

Group of professionals collaborating on a project.

Leading the CLR Conversation

Jul 25, 2022

The latest efforts from AACRAO and the higher education community working to advance the CLR.

Adult learners in a classroom working on laptops.

Capture - Record - Communicate. Advancing CLR.

May 31, 2022

Learn about the changes and efforts being made to implement and advance CLR at institutions.

illustrated businesswomen pushes a red book into line with a set of blue books which are coming out of a laptop screen

CLR Implementation Guide Released

Dec 27, 2021

AACRAO releases implementation guide for IMS Global Comprehensive Learner Record Standard.

red-headed female figure looking up with a telescope while standing on an upward staircase

Identify and Promote Pathways to Quality Credentials

Nov 29, 2021

Learn about the Midwest Credential Transparency Alliance and the work being done to develop and promote pathways to high-quality credentials.

Group of people sitting on folding chairs arranged in a circle while they all hold note pads.

New C&U - Researchers Seek Student Input on Design of Comprehensive Learner Records

Aug 23, 2021

Latest C&U issue covers topics in comprehensive learner records, job satisfaction, international credential evaulation, and more.

book open with pages fanned out sitting on top of 2 other books

Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR) Phase II Report Is Out Now

Jun 28, 2021

Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR) Phase II Report is out now and available for download.

illustrated figures help one another climb a staircase made out of books

Comprehensive Learner Record to the Rescue! Transforming Student Learning to Skills

Jun 1, 2021

The Comprehensive Learner Record doesn't just verify student learning - it can prepare them for the workforce too.

White background displaying the text "utilizing student data to inform classroom pedagogy" with a circular headshot of Alexander Taylor and Rodney Parks off to the side

Utilizing Student Data to Inform Classroom Pedagogy

Apr 3, 2021

Annual Meeting presenters discuss the importance of using data to facilitate and expand the faculty-student relationship.

Hand picking out a manilla folder from a filing cabinet.

AACRAO Consulting Partnership - Parchment Award CLR Services

Mar 22, 2021

AACRAO Consulting is partnering with Parchment CLR Services to enable higher education institutions to develop and deploy CLR.

Illustration of a laptop and smartphone with lines connecting the two devices to a web of symbols and portraits.

Parchment Award CLR Services - Enabling Higher Education Institutions

Mar 8, 2021

Implementing, designing, and issuing Comprehensive Learn Records (CLR) with Parchment.

tablet facing upright on a table with a holographic graduation cap coming from the screen

AACRAO hosts final showcase on Comprehensive Learner Records

Jan 11, 2021

Join the free virtual event: January 26 and 27.

digital illustration of three laptops with locks on them with blue arrows to a cloud

Survey: What role could a comprehensive learner record play in college admissions?

Nov 28, 2020

Enrollment and admissions directors, how useful are verified, machine readable digital credentials?

illustration of people sitting around table with colorful word bubbles

New CLR Roundtable series kicks off

Jul 9, 2020

An open monthly forum for institutional leaders to discuss and get advice on implementing a comprehensive learner record.

screenshot of a tweet expressing excitement and support for AACRAO's Comprehensive Learner Record standard

AACRAO recommends IMS Global Learning Consortium digital standard

May 18, 2020

Standardization and interoperability to support students.

map plotting waypoints up mountain to peak

The other reason students want Comprehensive Learner Records

Nov 18, 2019

Webinar: Discover student-centric approaches to CLRs, like creating a clearer path to degree.

Comprehensive Learner Record2

A competency-based educational record: What is standard?

Sep 10, 2019

CBE may not result in grades as we traditionally recognize them, but rather outcomes. How do we record that?

Female smiles at someone out of frame

Join the national conversation: The Learner Record Index

Mar 18, 2019

A conversation on why a national LRI is critical for supporting higher education today and in the future.

Male speaker standing as he clicks through a presentation while a panel of other individuals are seated next to him.

4 questions about data integration on campus

Jul 20, 2018

Challenges and solutions to creating better records from multiple data sources.

tree of digital resources

Credential Engine improves credential transparency, literacy, and decision-making

May 18, 2018

Institutions can create a free account to publish all types of credentials in a common language on a cloud-based Registry, allowing institutions to better understand what sets them apart. Learn how.

On the left is a green silhouette of a head across from a yellow silhouette of a head on the right with a pulley and gears connecting the minds of the two heads.

Applications are open for the Comprehensive Learner Records (CLR) project

Feb 27, 2018

AACRAO and NASPA invite colleges, universities, and systems interested in developing and implementing CLRs to apply.

Female of color using her laptop while light pours in through her window.

What it means to be an "Engaged Scholar in Critical Thinking"

Nov 29, 2016

A pilot student record badge that certifies critical thinking in a community context.

SmartScript: A model competency-based transcript

Nov 23, 2016

UW-Extension and UW Colleges develop comprehensive transcript pilot for CBE degree programs.

Black male student with backpack and books.

Tracking students' emotional development

Nov 1, 2016

How Dillard University's extended transcript is raising the emotional sophistication of the entire campus.

A student looks on as an instructor demonstrates how to use a drill press.

Documenting and validating learning outside the classroom

Sep 20, 2016

IUPUI Student Records and Student Affairs partnering to formally recognize out-of-classroom learning

Figure working on their laptop while sitting at a wooden desk.

A comprehensive record for competency-based education

Aug 23, 2016

Brandman University's pilot project.

Four young adults cheering as they look at a tablet together.

The 'gamification' of education

Aug 9, 2016

LaGuardia Community College's digital badging project helps keep students committed to college.

Two side-by-side people leaning against a railing by the water while looking at a cityscape.

One community college's exemplary co-curricular transcript

Jul 26, 2016

A strategy to increase engagement and participation beyond the classroom at the Borough of Manhattan Community College.

Two illustrated figures of color sitting down for what appears to be an interview.

One institution's stellar comprehensive student record

Jul 18, 2016

The tools, infrastructure, training, funding, and steps necessary to implement a holistic learning document.

Female student smiling as she studies in a room with floor to ceiling windows.

Assessing and documenting beyond-the-classroom learning

Jun 27, 2016

USC's model cocurricular transcript will help the institution assess the success of experiential learning programs.

Female of asian origin smiling as she leans on a stack of books.

A record of lifelong learning

May 31, 2016

UMUC's comprehensive transcript aims for portability, dynamism and longevity.

Graduating student wearing their cap and gown while holding a cut out red heart.

A student record a student can love

Apr 19, 2016

Stanford's pilot comprehensive student record is not for academics.

Two professionals working together on what appears to be an engineering task.

Growing student records beyond the traditional transcript

Mar 7, 2016

Elon University's visual representation of cocurricular experiences.

Contact Us

Interested in learning more about the CLR? Complete the form below to contact us.