Noncredit Research Collaborative

Community College students sitting on campus | Noncredit research collaborative

About

We provide key research and insights on noncredit research in higher education for policymakers and researchers.

As interest mounts in short-term flexible options to prepare people for the workforce, it is increasingly essential to have a better understanding of noncredit education and its impact on learners and the economy. However, policymakers and practitioners are working in a void of information about postsecondary noncredit education where consistent data are lacking. Yet, at the same time, data and research are beginning to emerge, opening the possibility of informed, data-driven decision-making. 

The Noncredit Research Collaborative brings together leading researchers focused on noncredit education in postsecondary institutions. We work with states and colleges across the country to conduct rigorous research building core evidence about noncredit programs, including the value of noncredit education for learners and the economy, approaches used by institutions to deliver training, and funding strategies used to support these programs. Through this work, we help states build data infrastructure and analytic capacity that can inform policy and practice on noncredit education. The Collaborative and its resources serve as a hub to disseminate research and information on noncredit education in postsecondary institutions, ensuring that noncredit education is maximally leveraged to the benefit of students’ education and economic opportunities.

What We Do

The Noncredit Research Collaborative lays the groundwork for a common definitional language that can be used for future data collection efforts on noncredit programs and non-degree credentials. We produce research, briefs, and other materials for policymakers, researchers, and the general public to know about current research and insights into noncredit courses on college campuses.

Through this work, we seek to help states build data infrastructure and analytic capacity that can inform policy and practice on noncredit education, as well as share research findings with other states and stakeholders. The Collaborative and its resources will serve as the central hub to disseminate research and information on noncredit education in postsecondary institutions. We aim to ensure that research on noncredit education is maximally leveraged to the benefit of students’ education and economic opportunities.

Core Research Topics

We categorize our research and publications into the following topics:

  • Enrollment
  • Outcomes
  • Finance
  • Policy
  • Demographics
  • Program Quality
  • Student Voices/Perspectives
  • State Data Infrastructure

The Noncredit Research Collaborative project is supported by the Lumina Foundation. Lumina is dedicated to enhancing the public's knowledge and implementation of noncredit programs to benefit students with educational opportunities.