Why Western Governors U thinks microcredentials are the path to degrees

Projections that the pool of traditional students will shrink, wariness of continued tuition increases and limited growth in state support for higher education are prompting institutions to shake things up. In many cases, that means making themselves available throughout learners’ lives as their education needs change. Doing so requires strengthening connections with local employers. Already, colleges and businesses are coming together to map the skills needed on the job to those offered in a certificate or degree, and some are even developing shared credentials. Western Governors University, which targets working adults with degrees in fields with clear connections to the job market including business, health and nursing, information technology and teaching, is known for its relationship with the workforce. To talk more about how it is approaching nondegree credentials, unbundling degrees and other components of lifelong learning, as well as what it learned from a recent audit by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Inspector General (OIG), Education Dive spoke with Western Governors President Scott Pulsipher at our office in Washington, D.C., last week.

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