SUNY Empire State College IES Research Subaward

Evaluand LLC has been contracted to SUNY Empire State College and the Research Foundation for SUNY to manage research efforts for their Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Transformative Research in the Education Sciences grant project. SUNY Empire's 3-year, $3 million project has been funded to develop a new incremental credentialing system for U.S. postsecondary education to improve academic and labor-market outcomes for students.

Evaluand Principal Kirk Knestis PhD is managing a comprehensive research agenda to support two aims, including (1) assessing the feasibility of state system- and institution-level policies, procedures, and practices for innovative credentialing models; and (2) testing the promise of efficacy of incremental credentials to improve enrollment, persistence, progress, completion, and other measures of academic success for postsecondary learners. The quantitative analysis examining outcomes is being designed and executed by William E. Pate of Ad Hoc Analytics in Maryland.

The Credential as You Go (CAYG) Incremental Credential Framework will serve as a blueprint for colleges, universities, and higher-education systems to create a variety of new credentials, replacing traditional degrees with short-term certificates, badges, and micro-credentials to give students a return in employment and earning power more quickly and efficiently than has been possible under traditional credentialing systems.

SUNY Empire's new project builds on results of previous planning grant funded through Lumina Foundation, and is being managed by Principal Investigator Nan Travers PhD, Director of SUNY Empire’s Center for Leadership in Credentialing Learning. Others leading the work are co-investigators Larry Good (Corporation for a Skilled Workforce) and Holly Zanville (George Washington University Program on Skills, Credentials & Workforce Policy). The project team will design and pilot 90 new incremental credentials through partnerships with state higher education agencies including the State University of New York (SUNY), University of North Carolina system, North Carolina Community Colleges, Colorado Community College system, and Colorado Department of Higher Education.

Evaluand and Ad Hoc Analytics will manage collection and analysis of qualitative data to study feasibility of the CAYG model and use higher-education system data to assess the impact student access to, persistence in, and completion of postsecondary credentials, as well as produce a framework for institutions interested in implementing incremental credentials, policy change recommendations to facilitate incremental credentialing systems at postsecondary institutions, and a national marketing campaign to share strategies for postsecondary credentialing.


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