Think, Know, Prove–Credentials of Economic Value

Think, Know, Prove is a regular Saturday feature, where a topic with both mystery and importance is posted for community discussion. The title is a shortened version of the Investigative Mantra: What do we think, what do we know, what can we prove? and everything from wild speculation to resource referencing fact is welcome here.

Walking out of the State of the College Address two weeks and a day ago, I was approached by our fabulous English faculty member, Sarah Liston with a request: “Can you put up a post about what the phrase “credential of economic value” means?

Anita Kelley had uttered the phrase during her presentation on Program Portfolio Review Task Force, and it immediately drew some quizzical looks and a little muttering from the crowd around me, leading me to believe, when she asked, that it would make a great TKP forum.

So, this is it. Just what is a “credential of economic value,” anyway? How would you define that term? Do you think that it is a necessary condition for an educational program to have value? Is it a sufficient condition to call a learning path valuable? Is the money that students make from the educational credential a correlate of the value of the education, or a serendipitous but not correlated effect of the value of the education, or is it (the money) the cause and definition of the value of any academic credential?

Feel free to answer any, all or none of the above.

When it comes to “credentials of economic value,” what do you Think? What do you Know? What can you Prove?