Snead State Selected for ‘Right Signals’


Snead State Community College is one of 20 community colleges from across the country that will work together to identify and develop a model for recognizable credentialing to serve students, colleges and employers nationally.

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) this week announced the colleges that will participate in the ambitious Right Signals initiative, which is funded by Lumina Foundation. In addition to Snead State, the participating colleges include:

•    College of Lake County (Illinois)
•    Columbus State Community College (Ohio)
•    Community College of Baltimore County (Maryland)
•    Eastern Iowa Community College
•    Gateway Community and Technical College (Kentucky)
•    Gateway Technical College (Wisconsin)
•    Kirkwood Community College (Iowa)
•    LaGuardia Community College (New York)
•    Lone Star College (Texas)
•    Madison Area Technical College (Wisconsin)
•    Metropolitan Community College (Missouri)
•    Miami Dade College (Florida)
•    Mid Michigan Community College
•    Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
•    North Central State College (Ohio)
•    Polk State College (Florida)
•    Rio Salado College (Arizona)
•    South Seattle College (Washington)
•    South Central College (Minnesota)

The credentialing marketplace is diverse, offering educational degrees and certificates, professional and industry certifications, apprenticeship certificates, digital badges and other micro-credentials, and licenses to practice. In different ways, each of these items attests to what people know and are able to do. But the wide variety of credentials can also be confusing for stakeholders, including employers, schools and students. The challenge is to develop credentialing models that meet employer requirements and are easy to follow for students.

“It is critical that these skills and credentials are universally recognizable to students, colleges and employers,” said Holly Zanville, strategy director at Lumina Foundation. 

As students continue to tap different paths toward acquiring knowledge and skills for their jobs and careers, the goal of the Right Signals initiative is find the most promising approaches to share with stakeholders.

“This work has the potential to provide a national system of recognizable credentials across all sectors and users making it possible to quickly identify completed courses of study, learned skills, skill mastery, continuing education credits and other types of credentials,” said AACC President Walter Bumphus.

“It is exciting for Snead State to be included in this significant national effort. I believe the results of this work will have an immediate and positive impact on our Career and Technical Education Programs of study,” said Snead State President Dr. Robert Exley.

AACC this month will hold an orientation meeting for the selected colleges, which will begin their work in April. The work will conclude in September 2017. AACC plans to disseminate findings from the initiative in 2018.

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