I was a panel participant at a conference last Thursday in Washington, DC. The conference was sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute and was called Stretching the Higher Education Dollar. The five panels that were convened included: The Case for Reform, Opportunities and Obstacles at Existing Institutions, Unbundling College Degrees in Theory and Practice, College in Pieces: Cost Effective Approaches to Student Services and Credentialing, and Implications for State and Federal Policy.
I have read three articles in the last three days about alternatives to earning a college degree, primarily through certification of one kind or another.
The first article, from The Chronicle of Higher Education, discusses the concept of “badges” that are awarded by various websites, training companies, individuals, etc. The concept is that the badge is relatively easy to earn (to keep the learner motivated and engaged) and indicates that they have achieved a certain skill level or learning competency.