Final WIOA Indicator Definition per TEGL 10-16
Credential Attainment is the percentage of those participants enrolled in an education or training program (excluding those in OJT and customized training) who attained a recognized postsecondary credential or a secondary school diploma, or its recognized equivalent, during participation in or within one year after exit from the program.
A participant who has attained a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent is included in the percentage of participants who have attained a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent only if the participant also is employed or is enrolled in an education or training program leading to a recognized postsecondary credential within one year after exit from the program.
Calculation includes all participants who exited from a program and were in either a postsecondary education or training program (other than OJT and customized training) OR in a secondary education program at or above the 9th grade level without a secondary school diploma or its equivalent:
The number of participants who exited during the reporting period who obtained a recognized postsecondary credential during the program or within one year after exit OR those who were in a secondary education program and obtained a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent during the program or within one year after exit and were also employed, or in an education or training program leading to a recognized postsecondary credential within one year after exit DIVIDED by the number of participants enrolled in an education or training program (excluding those in OJT and customized training) who exited during the reporting period. This is described in Attachment 10, Figure 6.
Credential Attainment: This indicator measures attainment of two types of credentials: either a recognized postsecondary credential, or a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent.
A recognized postsecondary credential is defined as a credential consisting of an industry-recognized certificate or certification, a certificate of completion of an apprenticeship, a license recognized by the State involved or Federal government, or an associate or baccalaureate degree, as well as graduate degrees for purposes of the VR program as required by section 103(a)(5) of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended by title IV of WIOA. A recognized postsecondary credential is awarded in recognition of an individual’s attainment of measurable technical or industry/occupational skills necessary to obtain employment or advance within an industry/occupation. These technical or industry/occupational skills generally are based on standards developed or endorsed by employers or industry associations.
Certificates awarded by workforce development boards (WDBs) and work readiness certificates are not included in this definition because neither type of certificate is recognized industry-wide, nor documents the measurable technical or industry/occupational skills necessary to gain employment or advancement within an occupation. Likewise, such certificates must recognize technical or industry/occupational skills for the specific industry/occupation rather than general skills related to safety, hygiene, etc., even if such general skills certificates are broadly required to qualify for entry-level employment or advancement in employment.
A variety of different public and private entities issue recognized postsecondary credentials. Below is a list of the types of organizations and institutions that award recognized postsecondary credentials (not all credentials by these entities meet the definition of recognized postsecondary credential).
- A State educational agency or a State agency responsible for administering vocational and technical education within a State;
- An institution of higher education described in Section 102 of the Higher Education Act (20 USC 1002) that is qualified to participate in the student financial assistance programs authorized by title IV of that Act. This includes community colleges, proprietary schools, and all other institutions of higher education that are eligible to participate in Federal student financial aid programs;
- An institution of higher education that is formally controlled, or has been formally sanctioned or chartered, by the governing body of an Indian tribe or tribes.
- A professional, industry, or employer organization (e.g., National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence certification, National Institute for Metalworking Skills, Inc., Machining Level I credential) or product manufacturer or developer (e.g., recognized Microsoft Information Technology certificates, such as Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP), Certified Novell Engineer, a Sun Certified Java Programmer, etc.) using a valid and reliable assessment of an individual’s knowledge, skills and abilities;
- ETA’s Office of Apprenticeship or a State Apprenticeship Agency;
- A public regulatory agency, which awards a credential upon an individual’sfulfillment of educational, work experience, or skill requirements that are legallynecessary for an individual to use an occupational or professional title or to practicean occupation or profession (e.g., Federal Aviation Administration aviation mechaniclicense, or a State-licensed asbestos inspector);
- A program that has been approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs to offer education benefits to veterans and other eligible persons.
- Job Corps, which issues certificates for completing career training programs that arebased on industry skills standards and certification requirements.
Definition of a Secondary School Diploma: For purposes of the credential attainment performance indicator, a secondary school diploma (or alternate diploma) (commonly referred to as high school diploma) is one that is recognized by a State and that is included for accountability purposes under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). A secondary school equivalency certification signifies that a student has completed the requirements for a high school education. The types of recognized equivalents, for those not covered under ESEA, that would satisfy this performance indicator are those recognized by a State.
Examples of secondary school diplomas, alternate diplomas, and recognized equivalents recognized by individual States include:
- Obtaining certification of attaining passing scores on a State-recognized high schoolequivalency test
- Earning a secondary school diploma or State-recognized equivalent through a creditbearing secondary education program sanctioned by State law, code, or regulation.
- Obtaining certification of passing a State recognized competency-based assessment.
- Completion of a specified number of college credits.
Types of Acceptable Credentials: The following are acceptable types of credentials that count toward the credential attainment indicator:
- Secondary School diploma or recognized equivalent
- Associate’s degree
- Bachelor’s degree
- Graduate degree for purposes of the VR program
- Occupational licensure
- Occupational certificate, including Registered Apprenticeship and Career and Technical Education educational certificates
- Occupational certification
- Other recognized certificates of industry/occupational skills completion sufficient to qualify for entry-level or advancement in employment.
Note: WIOA sec. 3(52) defines a recognized postsecondary credential as a credential consisting of an industry-recognized certificate or certification, a certificate of completion of an apprenticeship, a license recognized by the State involved or Federal Government, or an associate or baccalaureate degree. Graduate degrees are not included in the definition of a recognized postsecondary credential. Therefore, graduate degrees do not count towards credential attainment, except for the title IV VR programs, which are permitted to include graduate degrees as a type of recognized credential because of statutory and regulatory requirements specific to that program
Who is included in the Calculation of the Credential Attainment Indicator: Participants who exit and are in a postsecondary education or training program, or who are in a secondary education program (at or above the 9th grade level) without a secondary school diploma or equivalent, are included in the credential attainment indicator, subject to the “Special Rule” below. However, participants enrolled in work-based OJT or customized training are excluded from this indicator because such training does not typically lead to a credential.
Special Rule Relating to Secondary School Diplomas and Recognized Equivalents in the Calculation of the Credential Attainment Indicator:
As required in WIOA sec. 116(b)(2)(A)(iii), participants who obtain a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent must also meet an additional condition before they are counted as a successful outcome and included in the numerator of the credential attainment indicator. These participants must be employed, or enrolled in an education or training program leading to a recognized postsecondary credential within one year following exit.
For each core program, a description of who is considered to be enrolled in an “education or training program”, and thus included in the credential attainment indicator, follows:
- Title I Adult: All Adult program participants who received training that was not OJT or Customized Training are included in the credential attainment indicator.
- Title I Dislocated Worker: All Dislocated Worker program participants who received training that was not OJT or Customized Training are included in the credential attainment indicator.
- Title I Youth: All in-school Youth (ISY) are included in the credential attainment indicator since they are attending secondary or postsecondary school. Only out-of-school Youth (OSY) who participate in one of the following are included in the credential attainment indicator:
- the program element occupational skills training
- secondary education during participation in the title I Youth program
- postsecondary education during participation in the title I Youth program
- Title II-funded adult education during participation in the title I Youth program
- YouthBuild during participation in the title I Youth program
- Job Corps during participation in the title I Youth program
- Title II AEFLA: The following AEFLA program participants are included in this measure:
- For the secondary school credential: Participants without a secondary school diploma or recognized equivalent, who were enrolled in a secondary education program at or above the 9th grade level.
- For the postsecondary credential: Participants who were co-enrolled in a postsecondary education or training program.
- Title IV VR: The following VR program participants are included in this measure:
- All participants who have participated in an educational or training program leading to a postsecondary credential.
- All participants who are enrolled in secondary education and who have the attainment of a secondary school diploma or its equivalent identified on their Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE).
Exclusions from the Measure:
Participants who exited a program and who were enrolled in the following are excluded from the credential attainment indicator:
- OJT only;
- Customized training only; or
- The title III Employment Service program (Wagner-Peyser) only.
Also, participants who exit for any of the reasons listed in Attachment 2, Tables A through C are excluded from the credential attainment indicator.