Texas community colleges create “stackable credentials”

September 25, 2013

Several Texas community colleges have partnered with the oil and gas industry to create transferable, “stackable credentials” that allow graduates working in the industry to re-enter college seamlessly when they need more training, or when they relocate and want to study part-time at a different college. The initiative began 3 years ago, when the petrochemical companies began to demand more workers, and colleges saw the need to keep up. The model links a series of certificates that each build on the previous, and that count towards degrees. Some community colleges have even teamed up with 4-year institutions to create bachelor’s options for students in energy programs. Other states have caught wind of the “stackable credentials” idea and have also adopted the model. North Carolina’s community colleges have created a green-jobs pathway across 58 institutions. The federal government has also funded the creation of stackable career pathways as part of $2 billion in workforce development grants. Inside Higher Ed