Funding Community Colleges and Embracing Micro-Credentials Is an Equity Mandate
In an op-ed titled “Funding Community Colleges and Embracing Micro-credentials is an Equity Mandate” in RealClearEducation, coauthors Kathleen deLaski, Founder and CEO, Education Design Lab, and Rufus Glasper, President and CEO, League for Innovation in the Community College, assert that micro-credentials are needed now more than ever before due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Community colleges serve nontraditional and underrepresented students who often struggle to attend college while also holding down a job, raising a family, and overcoming barriers such as food insecurity, homelessness, and lack of transportation and child care. The pandemic has exacerbated these challenges, but, according to deLaski and Glasper, “colleges can ease the burden of making good on the promise of higher education by creating shorter, more relevant, and visible paths to career success.” Micro-pathways provide faster and less expensive ways for students to build their skills. In addition, these credentials help employers to meet workplace demands.