SIU helps create first national database and system for degrees, certifications and other professional credentials

People can earn any of thousands of different credentials but there’s never been a way to really assess what they all mean. Thanks to a new project developed by an SIU-led team there’s now a vehicle to evaluate all those degrees, certificates, licenses, badges, apprenticeships, industry certifications, micro-credentials and other credentials.

Credential Engine is a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., that has developed a new service under the direction of Jeanne Kitchens, director of SIU’s Center for Workforce Development.

Helping students, employers, educators and more compare credentials from a variety of sources
Credential Registry incorporates a cloud-based repository and features newly established common language to describe the key features of credentials, credentialing organizations, quality assurance groups and more. This allows users to easily and accurately compare similar credentials offered by different organizations.

Once organizations upload current information about their credentials, the user-friendly website allows people to access and compare the information, much like they would when looking for hotels or flights.

Students and their parents can map out the credentials they need for their chosen career pathways and compare places they can earn these credentials based on competencies and costs. Employers can better evaluate prospective employees and educational and training facilities can adjust their programming as they evaluate the data.

Registry plans to include 100,000 credentials by 2020
Credential Registry already has more than 1,500 credentials registered from more than 170 organizations.

The goal is to have 50,000 credentials included by the end of 2018 and 100,000 by December 2019. Samson said that preliminary estimates indicate there are at least 300,000 credentials available in the United States today.

“By capturing this information and presenting the data in a common and comparable format, Credential Engine aims to bring transparency and credential literacy to the marketplace for the first time,” Kitchens said.