Advance CTE: Credentials of Value - State Strategies for Identifying and Endorsing Industry-Recognized Credentials

One of the core components of a high-quality Career Technical Education (CTE) program is that it culminates in a credential of value. With more than 4,000 credentialing organizations in the U.S., states are dealing with the challenge of identifying what works best for their local and regional economy.

This policy brief from Advance CTE is designed to help states get started in evaluating these credential options. It is the latest release under the New Skills for Youth initiative, a partnership of the Council of Chief State School Officers, Advance CTE and the Education Strategy Group.  The brief highlights promising practices from Florida, Kansas and Louisiana, which have each made progress in developing a system for students and employers to evaluate credentials.

This brief describes how each state tackles the challenge in a different way, building a system that suits their local economy and context, and highlights a few common strategies. Those strategies include:

  • Business and industry is brought in early;
  • The credential review process involves a concerted, cross-institutional effort;
  • Credentials are differentiated based on rigor and industry demand; and
  • Systems are designed to be adaptive. 

With two-thirds of all new jobs projected to require some postsecondary education and training by 2020, there is a growing need for states to play a larger role in identifying and endorsing credentials of value.