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Four Ways to Increase the Value of Short-Term Credentials: A Guide for Community Colleges

Veronica Buckwalter

A growing number of people are pursuing alternative educational credentials in order to acquire specialized job skills and knowledge. Many credentials were created to close the skill gap between what workers know and can do and what industries need. But ironically, employers often do not understand the value of these credentials, and as a result, do not factor them into hiring and promotion decisions.

In order to illuminate the challenges from multiple perspectives, JFF conducted in-depth interviews with a broad range of stakeholders, including community college faculty and administrators, employers, workforce development professionals and representatives from research organizations, government agencies and credentialing bodies. This report sets out to explore the causes of this disconnect and offer community colleges some solutions that would better align their credentials with labor market need and create greater awareness of the value of these programs.