To ensure that students earn quality credentials, Lumina Foundation is creating a task force that will define and assure the quality of higher education programs.
The new Quality Credentials Task Force model was unveiled by the non-profit along with 22 education, policy, and workforce leaders in Unlocking the Nation’s Potential: A Model to Advance Quality and Equity in Education Beyond High School report.
Quality credentials are defined as educational programs like degrees, certificates that have a clear outcome and lead to gainful employment.
The task force sees the current education system lacking quality. The model focuses on different individual and societal outcomes like how students can advance their education and careers and contribute to the broader economy and civic community that is focused on the questions of quality. It recommends designing programs in such a way that matches these outcomes.
“We need a system that defines quality based on evidence that credentials prepare students with relevant skills for the job market and give them the knowledge, skills, and abilities to pursue additional learning and lead fulfilling lives as workers, citizens, and community members,” said Debra Humphreys, Lumina’s vice president of strategic engagement and the task force’s co-chair.
The report noted that the ethnic and racial minorities, especially black, Latino, and American Indian communities, are usually at disadvantage due to poor quality credentials which later translates into lower employment opportunities and calls to establish an order that emphasizes on access to equitable programs.
To create such programs, the task force recommended college and university leaders, state and federal policymakers, accreditors, and faculty members to commit to pursuing quality and equity, coordination with different sectors that make curricular and regulatory reforms.