<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=341153139571737&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

Register now for the 2023 CAEL Conference in Baltimore, MD!

Back to all

CAEL Releases Research Report on Short-term, High-value Credentials

CAEL has released, Speed, Value, and Economic Mobility – How Community Colleges Are Developing Short-term, High-Value Credentials, a new research report. For the report, Becky Klein-Collins, vice president of research and impact, and Lana Munip, senior research director, interviewed representatives of 10 community colleges that grant non-degree credentials characterized by Speed, Value, and Economic mobility — or SVEs, for short. In contrast with many other types of short term certificate programs, SVEs are high-quality non-degree credentials that can be completed in one year or less, lead to good-paying jobs in high-demand industries, and can stack into degree programs. These are the ideal kind of short-term program for adult learners and workers who want skills and credentials to access good jobs as a viable alternative to a four-year college degree. 

Examples of SVEs and how they lead to good jobs and the possibility for future learning and credentialing are many. Two are shown here: 

In these models, the institutions shared how they are using credit for prior learning (CPL) both as an on-ramp to SVE programs as well as a mechanism to bridge noncredit and credit programs. With respect to the on-ramp function, several colleges viewed CPL as a way to recognize knowledge gained from life experiences and work outside the classroom within the SVE program itself. As CAEL has found in previous research studies, CPL can be a powerful tool in bolstering students’ confidence as learners, saving them money and time, and boosting completion rates. Several of the colleges also described a credit crosswalk process where CPL was awarded for noncredit credentials, thus further enabling stackability.

Although the 10 colleges represent a diversity of regions, enrollments, and economic conditions, the report revealed common themes relating to the success of SVEs. They include:

  • The central role of regional economic drivers in program design.
  • A recognition of the importance of seamless stacking of learning and credentials.
  • A commitment to equity-centered practices in design and delivery.
  • Continued data collection needs, particularly in the area of employment outcomes.

The full report is available at cael.org.


Want to learn more? Let's talk!

If your institution or organization is seeking guidance, solutions, or support from CAEL, or if you have an idea for a future collaboration initiative with us, please reach out. We'd love to connect.

Contact Us