FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Quintina Barnett Gallion
AACRAO Releases Implementation Guidance on Alternative Credentials
Laying the foundation to ensure that alternative learning opportunities are more consistently regarded and valued by learners, consumers, and society.
Washington, D.C. – Today, the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) released a report detailing the what, why, who, how, where, and when of Alternative Credential usage for higher education institutions. Micro-credentials and digital badges, along with certificates, represent an area of significant rapid growth in higher education. They present new strategies for recruitment and retention, corporate and community partnerships, new revenue streams, and
most importantly, they offer broader opportunities for learners to obtain new skills and knowledge.
Micro-credentials also provide a legitimate way for this learning to be verified and validated by institutions themselves. While higher education cannot control or curb what happens in the private sector, finding thoughtful, strategic and unified ways to co-exist in this space needs to be realized. Creating a common understanding and adoption of meanings and standards associated with higher education badges and certificates will help lay the foundation for a more successful expansion and adoption of these newer credentials.
The pandemic has accelerated an already heightened interest in badging, microcredentials and other expressions of learning both within and outside the traditional degree. This report is just the beginning of AACRAO's contribution to the space, serving as a foundational piece that will guide institutions as they navigate new and emergent credential trends that seek to recognize and integrate learning in ways that ensure their trust in the marketplace, says Melanie Gottlieb, Executive Director, AACRAO.
With more than three million credentials awarded annually by US institutions, higher education remains an important partner in the creation of equitable social and economic mobility for all learners.
The release of this report is the first in a series of efforts from AACRAO to better ensure that alternative learning opportunities are more consistently regarded and valued by learners, consumers, and society.
AACRAO is a non-profit, voluntary, professional association of more than 11,000 higher education professionals representing approximately 2,600 institutions in more than 40 countries. Its commitment to the professional development
of its members includes best practice guidance on admissions strategies to meet institutional diversity objectives, delivery of academic programs in innovative ways to meet the needs of a changing student body, and exemplary approaches to student
retention and completion.