The Indiana Achievement Wallet is a complex project
designed to help working learners translate and transfer their skills and experiences to potential employers and postsecondary education providers.
The goal is to create a learner-owned record that reduces friction for learners as they transition between school, college, and jobs,
says Rick Torres
, president and CEO of the National Student Clearinghouse.
“How do you parlay that experience into something that colleges can justifiably convert to credit?” he says. “The point is to demonstrate that there’s a will and a capability.”
A wide range of players is working on the wallet concept, which grew out of the Trump administration’s American Workforce Advisory Board
. They include IBM, Western Governors University, Skillful
, and Goodwill. Ivy Tech Community College and several health-care companies are at the table for the initial pilot
, which is focused on allied health roles.
A better understanding of skills-based taxonomies is needed to translate learner achievement, Torres says, as is a scalable technological ecosystem.
“The disruptive aspect of all of this is about opening the door to opportunity that was invisible before,” says Torres.
The project is one of several that are part of the Open Skills Network, an even broader coalition with similar goals.
The OSN seeks to replicate the concept of the internet as a public infrastructure with the creation of an open, interoperable foundation for skills translation, says Wayne Skipper
, the founder and CEO of Concentric Sky, a software development firm.
“For policy makers, backing open standards is an easy way to demonstrate measurable improvements in outcomes for workers, institutions, and employers,” Skipper says. “We hope that other states will be inspired by the Indiana Achievement Wallet project and will begin to explore the application of open technology standards in their own ecosystems.”
A learning and employment record
(LER) like those created through the Indiana Achievement Wallet is only as good as the information that goes into it, experts say. The project is still young, but Skipper says it has promise.
The Kicker: “Bringing these kinds of stakeholders together to define skills, verify mastery, and identify new opportunity will be valuable regardless of whether or not the initial pilot is as successful as we hope,” Skipper says.