Credential Transparency Helps Hoosiers Map Career Paths

As a leading state in the movement to publish credentials, Indiana is demonstrating what is possible when comprehensive credential information is publicly and easily accessible to guide learners of all ages toward productive careers.

“Our top focus is on the individual learner,” said Ken Sauer, PhD, Senior Associate Commissioner and Chief Academic Officer for the Indiana Commission for Higher Education. “Our work focuses on benefits to learners of all ages, from middle schoolers to employees who have been displaced late in their careers.”

Indiana has published every certificate and degree program offered by public institutions on Credential Engine’s national credential repository and made the information accessible through several user-friendly web tools targeted to Indiana audiences. For example, the state’s Next Level Jobs initiative is designed to get Hoosiers trained in high-demand fields. Funded in part by $42 million from the 2020 CARES Act, the initiative offers information on careers and training grants in high-value fields. All programs eligible for Next Level Jobs funding are noted in the Indiana Credential Registry.

Recognizing the value of trusted career training information, the Indiana team is now adding credentials offered by independent institutions, as well as information about industry and professional certifications, licenses, and specialized program accreditation. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education is working with colleges and universities to further automate processes to ensure current information in the Indiana Credential Registry.

“As our work continues, our participation with other states through MHEC and the Midwest Credential Transparency Alliance has been very helpful,” said Sauer, who serves as a Midwest Higher Education Compact commissioner representing Indiana. “It’s been useful to be able to share and learn new approaches to common challenges.”

Indiana is active in the Alliance’s cyber security careers work group, which is collaboratively mapping career pathways to help individuals navigate how to advance in the growing critical field of cyber security by stacking credentials.

As individuals return to work in a post-pandemic economy, the robust Indiana Credential Registry is providing Hoosiers with clear and comprehensive information on career pathways. The Indiana Career Explorer tool, re-launched earlier this year and populated with data from the Credential Registry, is being used by Indiana’s WorkOne Centers statewide and had 22,000 new job seekers registered within its first two weeks.

“The seamless integration of career and education information – including more than 3,000 certificates, degrees and eligible training programs – is helping Hoosiers make informed decisions leading to the best outcomes for the money,” said Beth Meguschar, who leads the Workforce, Education and Training Unit at the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.

“As the registry grows, we will continue to build out our capacity to present Hoosiers with relevant employment and training information to help them meet their goals.”

To learn more about how your state is participating in MHEC’s credential transparency initiative, contact Sara Appel, Associate Director for Policy Initiatives, or (612) 677-2778.