Thirty-six million adults in this country had some college and no degree, and another 81 million had no postsecondary experience at all. Of the total number of adults with no college degree, almost 1/3 have attempted college but have no credential to show what they have accomplished. Without credentials, the system treats individuals as if they have no knowledge and skills, even if they have acquired equivalent learning through work and life experiences or previous college coursework.
Yet, individuals have knowledge and skills that go undocumented, hindering employment efforts. Undocumented learning becomes even more detrimental for students leaving their educational programs.
The differentials of who does/does not have college degrees are blatant: 72% with degrees are white, while 10% are African American and 9% are Latinx. Within-group comparisons show even greater differences between those with/without degrees. Just over half (51%) of white learners have acquired a degree while 33% have no postsecondary education. In contrast, only 27% of Latinx learners have a degree, while 60% have no postsecondary education. For African American learners, 37% are degreed while 45% have no postsecondary education. African American students with some college and no degree have the largest gap in degree attainment (19%) and carry the highest student debt load.
A nationally recognized incremental credentialing system would capture uncounted learning, validating it to enable individuals to be recognized for what they know and can do.
 National Student Clearinghouse. (2019, October 30). Some college, no degree: A 2019 snapshot for the nation and 50 states. https://nscresearchcenter.org/some-college-no-degree-2019/
[2-4] Travers, N., Baker, G., Cohn, B., Pillsworth, P., & Frank, A. (2020, December 8). Overview of incremental credentialing: Credential as you go [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbXIIBwba40&feature=youtu.be
 Hanson, M. (2020, September 24). Student debt load by race. EducationData.org. https://educationdata.org/student-loan-debt-by-race
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