Workcred has received a three-year grant from the ECMC Foundation, as part of a partnership with the League for Innovation in the Community College (League) and the National Student Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse), to offer community colleges an affordable, scalable approach to align degrees with industry needs. The partnership—and its focus on Certification+Degree (C+D) Pathways—will support the development of alternative pathways within the workforce through embedding industry-recognized certifications into community college coursework. Ultimately, the grant project will provide learners with opportunities to master occupationally relevant skills that lead to living wage jobs while they’re on a pathway to an associate’s degree.
Workcred and its partners will support five community colleges to develop and implement C+D Pathways in IT, logistics, and/or health science programs, and establish a process for low-cost replication. The collaborative will partner with community colleges located in at least three different states. In addition, the project team will develop a data-informed approach to guide C+D Pathway implementation and improvement.
To accomplish the project objective, Workcred, the League, and the Clearinghouse will also partner with a higher education accreditation body, the Higher Learning Commission, to consider how C+D Pathways will be considered within the context of the accreditation process.
The project also supports ECMC’s Career Readiness aim to develop scalable approaches to increase learner retention and degree completion across a diverse learner population. The ECMC is a national foundation working to improve postsecondary outcomes for students from underserved backgrounds.