• Advocacy and Policy
  • 04.18.24

AIR Joins National Coalition to Accelerate Adoption of Learning and Employment Records in Postsecondary Education

  • by AIR

AIR and other national organizations have come together to address a common challenge postsecondary institutions face in adapting learning and preparing learners for employment: slow adoption of digital credentials. Too many institutions are not yet poised to respond to the increasing demand for micro-credentials, badges, and other digital credentials that learners can use as clear evidence to prospective employers of their skills, knowledge, and abilities.

“AACRAO recognizes the urgent need to develop a more inclusive and effective credentialing ecosystem that empowers learners to shape their own education and career goals,” said AACRAO Executive Director Melanie Gottlieb. “The launch of the LER Accelerator coalition marks a pivotal moment in higher education, as we unite to tackle the critical challenge of accelerating the adoption of Learning and Employment Records (LERs)."

“AIR is committed to advancing efforts to ensure that completers are equipped with the essential competencies for success post-graduation while also promoting lifelong learning and continuous professional development,” said Christine Keller, Executive Director. “We take pride in leveraging our expertise in measurement and assessment to support this endeavor, contributing to a more inclusive, dynamic, and innovative higher education landscape.” 

The LER Accelerator coalition will increase awareness of the need for and use of digital credentials, reduce obstacles to adoption for institutions and employers, develop guidelines for implementation and application, and demonstrate successful models and examples. Funding from Walmart will enable the LER Accelerator coalition to address identified needs and challenges related to digital credential adoption in institutions, such as:

●     unclear market demand for skill and competency recognition,

●     perceived high administrative and technical barriers,

●     disparate enterprise data systems, and

●     current business models that do not support LER development.

The LER Accelerator coalition will also hone in on the policies, practices, and systems that are needed to enable tracking of learning outcomes, competencies and skills, and achievements of learners. On their own, no single institutional stakeholder group has the power to accelerate the pace of post-secondary transformation to scale these credentials. However, through collaborating as a coalition,  as much as 80% of the resources and information needed to move LERs forward are available if taken together across these stakeholders.

The LER Accelerator coalition consists of membership groups representing the following stakeholders:

●     Admissions Operations/Enrollment Management/Records & Registration  - AACRAO

●     Information Technology - EDUCAUSE

●     Academic/Curricular/Faculty issues - American Association of Colleges and Universities

●     Online and Professional Education - UPCEA

●     Career Centers and Employers - National Association of Colleges and Employers 

●     Institutional Research - AIR

●     Institutional Leadership - American Council on Education

●     Competency Based Education and Skills - Competency-Based Education Network

●     Technology Standards and Practices - 1EdTech, Digital Credentials Consortium

The LER Accelerator will focus on the following key areas:

  1. Raising awareness of LERs and innovative credentials among learners, educators (e.g., faculty, co-curricular professionals) employers, and institutions.
  2. Advocating for policy changes that will support the development and use of LERs.
  3. Integrating LERs into courses and curricula, including general education programs.
  4. Developing resources and guidelines for institutions.
  5. Measuring the impact of LERs on student learning, retention, graduation, and post-graduation career success outcomes.

The LER Accelerator encourages higher education faculty, staff,  leaders, and stakeholders at institutions to participate.