New Initiative Seeks to Align Noncredit and Credit Programs

Senators Promote Partnerships to Boost Affordability

The Association of Community College Trustees and Education Strategy Group, an education consulting firm, will launch a two-year initiative to help community colleges develop better pathways between noncredit and credit programs. The project, called the Noncredit and Credit Alignment Lab, is funded by a $1.2 million grant from ECMC Foundation, a Los Angeles-based foundation focused on student outcomes.

Leaders in a cohort of 10 community colleges will assess their institutions’ current efforts to align programs and develop new or improved pathways with support from peers and experts, according to a news release Thursday.

The goal is to help students in noncredit programs more seamlessly earn additional credentials and to ensure community colleges don’t lose out on a pool of engaged students.

“To position themselves as drivers of economic recovery and mobility, community colleges need to scale programs in fields where well-paying jobs are growing, and they need to make it easier for learners to gain the skills and credentials needed for success,” Matt Gandal, president and CEO of Education Strategy Group, said in the release. “Breaking down the historic barriers that have separated non-credit and credit-bearing programs is a critical step.”

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