The America Council on Education (ACE) launched a pilot providing nontraditional learners a more flexible pathway to a degree. To be part of the pilot, 25 colleges and universities institutions agreed to accept all or most transfer credit from a pool of about 100 low- or no-cost lower-division general education online courses.
The program, made possible by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is focused on the more than 31 million adults who finished some college-level coursework but not enough to earn a degree or credential. Each institution will provide ACE with data regarding the credits accepted, along with progress and success rates of the students in the project.
ACE is also working on ways to develop new guidelines for issuing college credit for digital micro-credentials, competency-based programs, and nondegree certificate programs.
“This project will yield multiple and long-lasting benefits to the participating institutions, the wider higher education community, and, potentially, millions of nontraditional learners,” said Deborah Seymour, ACE assistant vice president for education attainment and innovation. “It will help lead to great acceptance of alternative forms of credit in a way that ensures quality and encourages more people to complete their postsecondary education.”