MHEC and Credential Engine received a grant from the Ascendium Foundation to work with all 12 Midwest states to help move them along a path toward credential transparency. Credential Transparency refers to making public – in formats humans can read and machines can act upon – essential information about credentials, such as their competencies, quality, costs, pathways, transfer value and connections to jobs. It is based on the premise that the easier it is to access and use comparable information about credentials, the easier it is for people to find the most cost-effective way to learn the right skills and find the best jobs.
Much of this work will be accomplished by building a regional community of practice known as The Midwest Credential Transparency Alliance (MCTA). Each MHEC state will have a team of representatives from higher education agencies/systems, K-12 agencies, workforce development agencies, and governor's offices who will collaborate to break down data silos and support the creation of a rich, interoperable, linked work and learn data ecosystem. Such a system will allow states to publish their credentials to the Credential Registry, which will provide a free, open access tool for students, educators, and employers to search for and learn about all of the credentials offered throughout the Midwest. Linked, interoperable state credential data systems will sustain over time by supporting important state goals such as state attainment agendas, career and education pathways initiatives, the development of comprehensive learner/worker records, and more.
MCTA’s intention is not to duplicate efforts, but instead to help align and extend value to work Midwest states are already doing or are planning to do. MCTA is working together to identify current data workflows and sources, as well as discover opportunities to use more transparent, open-source credential information to help meet state goals.