Must Haves

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

Foundation

  • Financial Incentives. Financial incentives for institutions to award and recognize competency-based learning (e.g., via appropriations, funding formulas, and competitive or block grants).
  • Awareness of ALC Policies. Outreach to institutions, students, and employers on the benefits of recognizing all learning and the policies that require it to be credentialed.
  • Technical Assistance. Technical assistance for institutions to build capacity to increase the number and type of credits they award for out-of-college learning, improve assessment practices, and track outcomes.
  • Cross-Sector Collaboration. Policies or established practices for cross-sector and cross-agency collaboration and information-sharing regarding ALC policy.
  • Recognition of Non-Traditional Learning Sites. Expand recognition of learning in sites such as correctional facilities.

Equity

  • Require Black, Latinx, and Native American policymakers, institutional leaders, and students be involved in creating policy or regulation.
  • Ensure that institutions that serve large numbers of target populations receive adequate funding and support.
  • Require that institutions receiving state-offered grant opportunities to expand ALC work identify target populations and how they will serve them.
  • Address equity gaps uncovered in annual reports by revising policies and practices that contribute to inequity.
  • Mandate analysis of how any proposed policies or decisions may affect different racial, ethnic, and other relevant demographic groups.

Accountability

  • Require annual reports that examine the degree to which all institutions adhere to ALC policies and identify those that do not.

Quality

  • Require annual reports that track the relationship between education data and employment/wage data, and by institution.

State Exemplars

Florida and Washington present two different approaches to providing support to institutions through innovative finance policies, coalitions of nontraditional stakeholders, and increased awareness of the importance of recognizing all learning.

Florida: Incentive that Awards Funding for Non-credit Credentials and Statewide Guidance for Awarding Credit

Florida: Incentive that Awards Funding for Non-credit Credentials and Statewide Guidance for Awarding Credit

Florida developed an incentive-based appropriation to reward institutions in the Florida College System teaching content connected to industry credentials. The Florida Career and Professional Education (CAPE) Act determines the list of eligible credentials. Through a separate policy Florida also provides guidance on awarding academic credit for industry certifications.

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Washington: A Statewide System of Career-Connected Learning and Technical Assistance to Credit All Learning

Washington: A Statewide System of Career-Connected Learning and Technical Assistance to Credit All Learning

Washington has put in place several pieces of policy to create a supportive environment for ALC. The Workforce Education Investment legislation incentivizes stakeholders to create a statewide system of career-connected learning experiences such as apprenticeships, mentorships, and job shadows. Academic Credit for Prior Learning provides resources and technical supports for institutions to award credits for out-of-college learning.

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Resources

Career and Professional Education Act (CAPE) Industry Certification Funding List

A means by which Florida incentivizes institutions to teach content necessary as a prerequisite for industry certifications.

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CAPE Postsecondary Industry Certification Funding List Statute

A means by which Florida incentivizes institutions to teach content necessary as a prerequisite for industry certifications.

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Florida HB 7071

Policy that reinforced the requirement in the CAPE Act and the Executive Order for the Commissioner of Education to systematically review career and technical education programs to guarantee quality.

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Gold Standard Career Pathways Articulation Agreements

"Gold Standard" articulation agreements developed by the Florida State Board of Education which outline the minimum recommendation to award credit for over 140 industry credentials.

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Washington RCW 28B.77.230

Legislation that mandates that higher education institutions in Washington increase the number and types of academic credits accepted through prior learning.

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Washington College and Career Compass

A Washington initiative that will connect to over 100,000 adults who don’t have a postsecondary credential and connect them to financial aid and ACPL resources.

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Washington HB 2158 (2019)

Policy that establishes a surcharge on businesses in fields that depend on a postsecondary-trained workforce to be invested then distributed to workforce investment efforts.

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