Noncredit Research Collaborative

State-Level Noncredit Data Definitions

Abstract

The rising interest in short-term training leading directly to employment has raised the profile of noncredit education among both policymakers and the public. Yet, despite this interest, data on noncredit educational offerings have not been systematically collected. The lack of data has limited the ability to examine important questions about noncredit education, such as its value to individuals, employers, and the economy at large. Policymakers need access to research that explains how noncredit is working (or not) in their area if they are to create sound policies to support or make changes to this increasingly popular form of education. To begin to address this issue, several states have begun building a noncredit data infrastructure.

Through an ongoing effort to better understand the state-level noncredit data infrastructure, we have engaged in a project with partners from Iowa, Louisiana, and Virginia to achieve the following:

  1. Develop an inventory of, and develop consistent operational definitions for, state-level noncredit data elements to better understand the noncredit data infrastructure;
  2. Collect and examine noncredit course/program-level data to explore noncredit offerings and their associations with enrollment rates, outcomes, instructional characteristics, and financial arrangements; and
  3. Uncover the drivers of noncredit offerings and produce relevant policy implications.