The Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) will participate in the High Value Credentials for New England (HVCNE) initiative, a project launched in May 2018 by the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) and Credential Engine with support from the Lumina Foundation.
CCSNH will join the University of Maine and Maine Community College systems as early participants.
Credential Engine is dedicated to ensuring transparency and providing a common language to describe credentials, a cloud-based “Registry” to collect and connect data, and a platform to support applications that reveal credential information.
HVCNE is the first regional effort to use the Registry to increase transparency about postsecondary credentials for individuals, employers, institutions and policymakers in New England.
The Registry is designed to help create career pathways, provide comparative data to prospective students and credential competency information for employers to use in the hiring process. Indiana, New Jersey, Michigan, Kansas, and Ohio have also launched similar initiatives to publish credentials to the Registry.
CCSNH will work with DXtera Institute, a nonprofit, member-based consortium of higher education professionals, that will provide technical assistance to extract credential program information from learning management systems, map program information according to Credential Transparency Description Language (CTDL) and publish credentials to the Registry.
“Innovative partners like the Community College System of New Hampshire, the New England Board of Higher Education and Credential Engine are essential to advancing our mission to increase efficient access to data and increase student success,” said Dale Allen, president and co-founder of DXtera Institute. “DXtera’s members are humbled and eager to collaborate with our colleagues across New England to improve the exchange of information between systems for the development of the credential registry and help deliver high value credentials to the region.”
Through its participation in HVCNE, the CCSNH aims to strengthen the competitiveness of New Hampshire’s workforce by shedding light on in-demand higher education, employer-provided and industry-sponsored training and credentials.
“Helping our residents and employers understand the economic value of particular credentials is an important part of our overall strategy to upskill New Hampshire’s workforce and help people choose pathways to good-paying jobs and careers,” said CCSNH chancellor Ross Gittell. “CCSNH is focused on helping students of all ages reach their goals and advance economically. We are pleased to be part of this initiative and thank NEBHE for its leadership and support.”
“High Value Credentials for New England will shed useful light on opportunities for residents of the region,” said NEBHE President and CEO Michael K. Thomas. “The NEBHE initiative will sustain our human capital advantage and identify new credentials and credential pathways, as well as partnerships and collaboration between the higher education and business communities.”
The Commission on Higher Education & Employability, a joint venture of NEBHE and Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, recommended that New England states collaborate to support the build-out of the Registry. The Commission found that the proliferation of multiple types and sources of credentials is creating a complex environment for individuals, institutions and employers to evaluate their value.
NEBHE will work with state higher education agencies and institutions, as well as private colleges and third-party providers to populate the Registry with credentials and data pertinent to individuals’ education and career choices, states’ attainment goals and employers’ hiring decisions.
The Community College System of N.H. comprises seven colleges, offering associate degree and certificate programs, professional training, transfer pathways to four-year degrees, and dual-credit partnerships with N.H. high schools. The system’s colleges are Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth and Rochester; Lakes Region Community College in Laconia; Manchester Community College; Nashua Community College; NHTI-Concord’s Community College; River Valley Community College in Claremont, Lebanon and Keene; and White Mountains Community College in Berlin, Littleton and North Conway. The system’s seven community colleges are committed to working with businesses throughout the state to train and retain employees to develop a robust workforce across all sectors and embraces the “65 by 25 Initiative,” which calls for 65% of N.H. citizens to have some form of postsecondary education by 2025 to meet future workforce demands.
Candace Williams is director for strategic initiatives, New England Board of Higher Education.