Gates Foundation backs next-gen alternative credit system

ACE’s innovative initiative to increase attainment levels gets almost $2 million in backing

ACE-gates-alternativeACE has just announced a groundbreaking effort to form a next-generation alternative credit system that aims to boost the ability of nontraditional learners to gain a college degree–one of the most pressing issues in higher education today.

ACE, which has decades of experience issuing credit recommendations for military and corporate training and experiences, will create a pool of about 100 low-cost or no-cost, lower division courses and general education online courses across 20 to 30 subject areas.

In turn, 40 colleges and universities will agree to accept transfer credit for these courses, allow students to enroll with up to two years of credit toward a four-year degree, and track their success rates.

Many of the courses in this alternative credit pool will be drawn from existing courses that already had received ACE credit recommendations, while others will be newly created classes that have been assessed as credit worthy. Some will be taught by traditional accredited colleges and universities, while others will come from non-accredited education providers.

ACE also will expand its credit recommendation work by developing guidelines for digital credentials, certificate programs and competency-based education programs.

(Next page: Gates Foundation backing; projections for the future)