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UC Irvine Dean and Vice Provost Makes the Case for the Future of Alternative Digital Credentials

1199 Days ago

Traditional University Degrees Moves to Student Credentials that are relevant for Employers

IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 05, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The University of California, Irvine Division of Continuing Education today recognizes the publication of a report on the “The Present and Future of Alternative Digital Credentials (ADCs).”

The report was issued by the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) under the direction of an ICDE working group led by Gary W. Matkin, Ph.D. and UCI’s Dean of Continuing Education and Vice Provost of Career Pathways. The ICDE working group was composed of a global panel of higher education experts. The report provides guidance for how universities can establish their own capacity for issuing alternative credentialing, adding value to traditional higher education transcripts.

As described by Matkin and the working group, the trend toward alternative digital credentials (ADCs) will significantly transform the relationship between institutions and their students—and ultimately between higher education and society. The provision of fully digital, information-rich records of students’ workplace-relevant skills and career-ready competencies will supplement traditional university transcripts.

“ADCs fill an important gap between learning and work-relevant skill verification. The adoption of an ADC system will allow universities to achieve greater alignment with the demands of both students and local economies, making universities more accountable for what they produce,” said Matkin. “Young adults are demanding shorter, relevant education that they can put to immediate use. Industry hiring practices will increasingly depend on digital searches for job candidates and ADCs will make those competencies easier to discover.”

The demonstration of acquired skills and knowledge will be more important than ever as employers seek to recruit recent and talented graduates. Traditional transcripts have become less useful to employers who are looking for specific skills. While degree completion will remain important to employers, alternative forms of verification of a student’s learning and competency will help create a better evaluation of applied learning and workplace qualification.

The University of California, Irvine Division of Continuing Education (DCE) provides lifelong learning opportunities to thousands of students worldwide each year – fulfilling the school’s 60-year curriculum platform to connect degree programs to the world of work and achievement after graduation. The Division offers a broad range of certificate programs, specialized studies, and sequential courses to local, regional and global markets through online, on-campus and on-site delivery. A leader in the open education movement, the Division offers free Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) and content through the UCI Open initiative. For more information about UCI Division of Continuing Education, visit ce.uci.edu.

Gary W. Matkin, Dean of Continuing Education and Vice Provost of Career Pathways directs the activities of the UC Irvine Division of Continuing Education (DCE). The division has a self-supporting annual budget of $40 million and offers over 3,100 continuing education courses per year—serving approximately 40,000 students.

In October 2017, Matkin was appointed Vice Provost of the Division of Career Pathways (DCP). As Vice Provost, Matkin is responsible for coordinating career services across the UCI campus. These services are available to over 36,000 UCI undergraduate and graduates to help them identify and prepare for meaningful careers, become workplace ready, and secure their first jobs.  

In addition, Matkin leads, along with an executive committee, the ICDE Working Group on the Present and Future of Alternative Digital Credentials (ADCs). Matkin’s work is driving the University’s initiative to provide ADCs to its student body. Under Matkin’s leadership, ADCs will significantly impact UCI student’s career planning and choices after education.

Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 28,000 students and offers 192 degree programs. Located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities, it’s Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $4.8 billion annually to the local economy.

CONTACT: Kathy Seaton Tam
kstam@uci.edu, (949) 302-2473

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