ACTE November/December2011 : Page 26

CREDENTIALING readiness CertifiCate: The Foundation for Stackable Credentials The Career By BARBARA BOLIN A PHOTO BY ISTOCK.COM t its first meeting in January 2004, the Career Readi-ness Certificate Consortium was comprised of high-level government representatives from Virginia and its neighboring states. All founding members agreed on the need for a por-table skill credential that certified readi -ness for job training, further education or work. There was also agreement that such a credential was needed as the founda-tion upon which other skill credentials could be built. At that time, the concept of stackable credentials was officially born, and only seven years later, this idea is accepted nationally and is rapidly being developed. The first goal of the new consortium was to establish the Career Readiness Certificate (CRC) as the founding creden -tial in the six states and one locality in the consortium (Tennessee, West Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and Washington, D.C.). The common language chosen for the creden-tial was ACT’s WorkKey—the assessment system that is popular with employers— and there was agreement on a three-level certificate (bronze, silver and gold) based on Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information, and Locating Information assessments. Kentucky had been using its employ-ability certificate, the KEC, since 2003, but Virginia quickly caught up with full deployment of the Virginia Career Readiness Certificate in October 2004. As news of the CRC initiative and the consortium spread, other states convened meetings with employers and educators on the CRC, and the size of the consor-tium quickly increased. By March 2006, there were 42 states in the consortium matrix, indicating a significant number of full deployments ( i.e. , state programs led 26 Techniques November/december 2011

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