Embedding Credit For Prior Learning in Career Pathways

As state leaders work toward attainment goals, address crucial workforce shortages and seek to build inclusive economies that offer family-sustaining wages, CPL policy and practice should be investigated as a high-reward strategy. In December 2021, Advance CTE and Education Strategy Group (ESG) convened the Credit for Prior Learning Shared Solutions Workgroup in service to the New Skills ready network sites. The workgroup members represent state postsecondary education agencies and governance boards, two- and four-year systems and institutions and national partner organizations. The workgroup was tasked with:

  • Identifying the main barriers or challenges to building a robust and fully equitable system of CPL policies and practices;
  • Exploring best practices related to statewide and local guidance on the implementation of CPL to advance more accessible and equitable postsecondary programming, career pathway completion and credential attainment;
  • Identifying existing resources or models to engage learners in utilizing CPL policy within their career pathway; and
  • Informing and contributing to tools and resources to support state and local leaders in the development and implementation of policies and practices that lead to effective, scaled use of CPL.

To meet its charge, the workgroup engaged with the existing body of research and tools on credit for prior learning to guide their approach to designing this Policy Benchmark Tool. The tool advances that any policy — be it regulatory, legislative or programmatic — related to the effective development and implementation of CPL should include and/or address the following core elements. While a CPL policy may include other elements, if a state, system or institution does not address the following list, its policy will not be able to ensure that CPL is effective and equitable.

  1. Credit for Prior Learning is an Established Statewide Priority
  2. Credit for Prior Learning Values All Learners and High-Quality Postsecondary-Level Learning
  3. Credit for Prior Learning Processes are Transparent, Seamless and Learner-Centered
  4. Credit for Prior Learning is Powered by High-Quality Data
  5. Credit for Prior Learning Enhances Institutional Effectiveness

 The accompanying executive summary can be accessed here. This resource was developed through JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s New Skills ready network, a partnership of Advance CTE and Education Strategy Group.