The American Council on Education is building a network of colleges to work on transferring credit for students' prior learning experience.
The new network is supported with a $450,000 grant from the ECMC Foundation over two years, according to a news release.
It will provide students with options for portable digital credentials. Institutions that join the network will guarantee to accept the council's credit recommendations. Students with badges for prior learning credit will be able to connect with network colleges on Acclaim, a digital credentialing platform from Credly.
The project aims to help nontraditional, or post-traditional, learners, which include students over the age of 25, as well as those who are working full-time, financially independent or connected with the military. Nearly 60 percent of the undergraduate college population fits in one or more of these categories, according to the release.
These students often bring credits from several institutions or their life experiences. The council's program will focus on awarding credit for these prior experiences, including apprenticeships and corporate training.
“Students who forge a path towards an educational credential outside of the mainstream are dedicated, hardworking, and motivated, and colleges and universities must be willing to meet them halfway,” said Ted Mitchell, president of the council, in the release. “Through this project, ACE is moving ahead with the first step toward the revitalization of its credit for prior learning network and re-imagining how to best serve underserved learners.”