Must Haves

The following must have policy elements ensure efforts are comprehensive and center equity, accountability, and quality.

Download Must Haves Checklist

Foundation

  • Create clear and easy to understand pathways that communicate to students how competencies/credits mastered/earned in different settings (military, on the job, correctional facilities, CBO’s, etc.) build towards specific degree credentials.
  • Ensure that pathways are widely accessible to the general public.
  • Disseminate stackability information to workers via Workforce Investment Boards and major employers.

Equity

  • Require Black, Latinx, and Native American policymakers, institutional leaders, and students be involved in creating policy or regulation.
  • Ensure affordable opportunities for students to complete non-credit training that stack to a degree or credential.
  • Address equity gaps uncovered in annual reports by focusing on the policies and practices that contribute to inequity and shift policy as necessary.
  • Mandate systematic examinations of how any proposed policies or decisions may affect different racial, ethnic, and other relevant demographic groups.

Accountability

  • Publish annual reports that examine student progression through credential pathways.

Quality

  • Create state-generated list of stackable credentials that lead to in-demand occupations and family-sustaining wages.
  • Publish annual reports that examine student progression through credential pathways and track the relationship between education data, licensure pass rates, and employment/wage data.
  • Establish statewide standards for faculty expertise on review panels.

Affordability

  • Ensure that students do not need to re-take courses or pay to “learn” competencies they have already mastered.
  • Create policies to ensure that non-credit training is applied to degrees and credentials at little to no cost for students.

Additional Facilitating Policy Reform

  • Adult learner re-engagement policies.
  • Creation of searchable statewide website.
  • Licensing reform.
  • Apprenticeship degree programs that stack to bachelor’s degrees.

State Exemplars

Kentucky and Ohio represent two different approaches to creating clear pathways that “stack” a person’s past learning to help them achieve their goals faster.

Kentucky: Stackable Course Modules and Multiple Entry and Exit Points

Kentucky: Stackable Course Modules and Multiple Entry and Exit Points

Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) created a stackable credential policy that includes: 1) fractional-credit “modularized courses” that can be stacked into full-term courses; 2) certificates and diplomas that can stack into associate degrees in high-need workforce occupations, and associate degrees that stack or transfer into bachelor’s degrees; and 3) a career pathway initiative that provides multiple entry and exit points.

Read More
Ohio: Stackability Built to Complement Statewide Transfer and Articulation

Ohio: Stackability Built to Complement Statewide Transfer and Articulation

Ohio created a statewide system of stackable credentials through several pieces of legislation which: 1) established the stackable credential system; 2) established the One Year Option allowing graduates from Ohio Technical Centers 900 or greater hour programs to earn a block of technical credit toward an Associate of Technical Studies. The goal of this initiative is to create a statewide agreement for awarding technical credit; and 3) called for efforts to facilitate the seamless transfer of career and technical credits.

Read More

Resources

Kentucky Statute 164.580 (2005)

Enabling legislation that establishes the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and authorizes it to create KCTCS academic regulations.

Read More

KCTCS 2019-2020 Catalog

KCTCS's academic policy is communicated in its 2019-2020 catalog.

Read More

Ohio HB 699 R.C. 3333.34

Legislation that established the stackable credential system in Ohio.

Read More

Ohio HB 59 Section 363.120

Legislation that established the One-Year Option which allows graduates from Ohio Technical Center programs to earn a block of technical credit toward an Associate of Technical Studies.

Read More

Ohio HB 66 R.C. 3333.162

Legislation which called for efforts to facilitate the seamless transfer of career and technical credits.

Read More