The framework outlines the elements associated with integrating industry certifications into bachelor’s degrees, leading to the development of a successful certification-degree pathway. The framework can be used by certification bodies and universities to test different strategies and practices to better align certification and degree programs. The framework is designed to be accessible to and used by all students — especially those historically underserved. Each pathway would incorporate the individual elements identified in the framework:

Certification-Degree Pathways Framework

University deans, provosts, and presidents
Certification body executive director and director of certification
Students – new, returning, and enrolled
Certification body executive director and director of certification
Align competencies with regional workforce needs
Compare competencies between degrees and certifications and identify gaps
Course capstone
Program capstone
Align curriculum with competencies for certifications that require a bachelor’s degree as a pre-requisite
After the completion of a series of courses
Find funding to cover the cost of the certification exam
Promote the program to students
Identify employers who will value and will hire students who have earned the certification and the degree
Support students to pursue the new pathway
Learning and employment records
Digital portfolios