Initiatives: Alternative Credentials

Alternative credentials offer students a way to validate the range of ideas, skills, knowledge and abilities they have mastered, deepening the level of information provided through student transcripts or resumes.  Well-designed alternative credentials represent the learning outcomes mastered, how students were assessed, and how they demonstrated their knowledge and skills.  Alternative credentials provide institutions with an opportunity to support students in articulating their skills and academic accomplishments.

Our Work in Alternative Credentials

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January 26, 2018

As a way to help bridge the gap between students’ accomplishments in college and their workplace readiness, The USM Kirwan Center for Academic Innovation is working with institutions within the System to develop digital badges that will help students choose experiences aimed at developing career-ready skills and better communicate what they know and are able to do once they enter the world of work.

June 19, 2017

Traditional transcripts provide basic information about the courses students took: course names, dates of the course, credit earned, and grades.  What traditional transcripts don’t provide is more in-depth information on the skills students learned and their competency in these skills.  In Fall 2016, the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) piloted a digital “extended transcript” to better reflect student’s progress and competency of defined learning outcomes.  UMUC is one of twelve institutions around the country to take part in a $1.27 million Lumina Foundation grant to participate in the Comprehensive Student Record Project, a partnership between the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) and NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, to develop different models to track students’ academic progress.