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11.16 Credential Policy

11.16 Credential Policy

Effective date: August 7, 2017

The Credential Attainment Rate Indicator measures the attainment of two types of credentials:

  1. Recognized postsecondary credential
  2. Secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent

The definitions in this section only determine which "credentials" are allowable for inclusions to satisfy WIOA Performance reporting. The definitions do not validate the quality nor the utility of certificates for non-WIOA reporting purposes.

Table 11.16.1: Types of Recognized Credentials
The following are acceptable types of credentials that count toward the credential attainment indicator.
  • Secondary school diploma or recognized equivalent
  • Associate's degree
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Graduate degree for purposes of the vocational rehabilitation program
  • Occupational licensure, certification, and certificate (includes Registered Apprenticeship, Career and Technical Education educational certificates, and technical diplomas)
  • Other recognized certificates of industry/occupational skills completion sufficient to qualify for entry-level or advancement in employment.

What is a "Recognized Postsecondary Credential"?

A recognized postsecondary credential is awarded in recognition of an individual's attainment of measurable technical or industry/occupation skills necessary to obtain employment or advance within an industry/occupation. These technical skills or industry/occupational skills generally are based on standards developed or endorsed by employers or industry associations. Neither certificates awarded by workforce development boards (WDBs), nor work readiness certificates, are included in this definition because neither type of certificate documents the measurable technical or industry/occupational skills necessary to gain employment or advance within an occupation. Likewise, such certificates must recognize technological or industry/occupational skills for the specific industry/occupational rather than general skills related to safety, hygiene, etc., even if such general skills certificates are broadly required to qualify for entry-level employment or advancement in employment.

Who can award a recognized postsecondary credential?

A variety of different public and private entities issue recognized postsecondary credentials. Below is a list of the types of organizations and institutions that award recognized postsecondary credentials (not all credentials by these entities meet the definition of recognized postsecondary credential).

Definition of a Secondary School Diploma1

For purposes of the credential attainment performance indicator, a secondary school diploma (or alternate diploma) (commonly referred to as high school diploma) is one that is recognized by a state and that is included for accountability purposes under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). A secondary school equivalency certification signifies that a student has completed the requirements for a high school education. The types of recognized equivalents, for those not covered under ESEA, that would satisfy this performance indicator are those recognized by a state. Examples of secondary school diplomas, alternate diplomas, and recognized equivalents recognized by individual states include:

Credential Determinations

Wisconsin's Title I Workforce Development System may request confirmation if a certificate is valid for inclusion in WIOA Performance Indicators by contacting wisperforms@dwd.wisconsin.gov. Requests will be reviewed by Performance Advisory Committee with an answer provided to the requestor and documented in a repository.