The number of nondegree credentials, including short-term certificates and noncredit programs, has risen in recent years. Many of these overlap with workforce training programs, a trend that has led to questions about the public and private returns of such credentials, the role of public financing, and the availability of relevant data to study outcomes for those who pursue nondegree credentials. The conference gave researchers, policymakers, and industry experts a chance to explore these topics and more.

Discussions included the connection between higher education and the workforce, as well as some factors that have led to the growth of short-term certificates and other nondegree credentials. In addition, our experts explored enrollment patterns and returns on different types of credentials, including length and field of study, type of provider, and student background. Sources of funding and measures of accountability for these emergent programs were also reviewed, as well as the data we have and the data we may still need to answer these questions.

Keynote remarks at the conference were delivered by Jordan Matsudaira, chief economist and deputy undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Education, and Cecilia Rouse, chair of the Council of Economic Advisers. The full agenda, including speaker biographies, is available here.

Please check back for additional conference details; we will be publishing a link to a summary of the proceedings. Stay tuned.

Conference Organizers

Rajeev Darolia
University of Kentucky

Dubravka Ritter
Consumer Finance Institute
Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia