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How Stackable Certificate Works


Stackable Certificates, part of the Knowledge Network concept, are based on competencies and experiences as opposed to “seat time.” Students may enter and exit the pre-college stackable certificates as their individual abilities and circumstances warrant. To earn a certificate, students must achieve all competencies required for the certificate. Each milestone achieved by students adds to their career advancement and earning potential.


Assessment Tool/Placement:

Assessment will be a key component of the certificates program. Ideally, the assessment will help determine the placement level of a student within the stackable certificates, determine the student’s support services needs, and determine the student’s strengths and weaknesses. The standardized instruments that will be used for the stackable certificates will be 1TABE,2WorkKeys,3COMPASS, and 4ASE. Carolina.


Certificates and Performance Standards:


Pre-college stackable certificate: A uniform system of certificates earned before an adult is enrolled in an institution of higher education that can:


·        Provide a clear and accessible path for adults seeking to advance their education

·        Transfer to college credit

·        Articulate in a way that ensures the most effective interconnection of competencies offered in specialized training programs

·        Respond to the expectations of both the workplace and higher education

·        Be available from an array of providers, including adult career centers, institutions of higher education, and employers




1  The Test for Adult Basic Education (TABE) is a diagnostic test used to determine a person's skill levels and aptitudes. Many companies use in hiring, promotions, or for selecting employees for training programs for skilled positions. The TABE test is also used by public service agencies who are guiding people into adult education programs, such as getting a GED, or going to trade school, etc. It tests skills and aptitudes in reading, math, and English, as you'll apply them in the workforce or classroom.

2 TheWorkKeys Assessment System is a comprehensive system for measuring, communicating and improving the common skills required for success in the workplace. It allows these skills to be quantitatively assessed in both individual persons and in actual jobs.

3  COMPASS is a comprehensive computerized adaptive testing system that helps place students into appropriate college credit courses or developmental courses. Placement and diagnostic exams are offered in mathematics, reading, and writing.

4 Adult Secondary Education (ASE) is a competency-based adult high school diploma program that provides an opportunity for students to earn a high school diploma, prepare for the GED certificate, and enhance academic skills needed for vocational training.



The content of the College-Ready Certificates will provide the higher math, English, and writing skills required to participate successfully in college. Technical Colleges will enroll students in levels of Developmental Education programs if it is determined through assessment that basic skills remediation is not needed.


The competencies on the College-Ready Level 4 Stackable Certificate are COMPASS and Adult Secondary Education (ASE) Reading, Math, and Writing benchmarks for Low Intermediate Basic Education. Completion of this level equates to a 10.9 grade level equivalency. The competencies on the College-Ready Level 5 Stackable Certificate are COMPASS, ASE Reading, Math, and Writing benchmarks for High Intermediate Basic Education.  Completion of Level 5 equates to a 12.9 grade level equivalency.


Recording the Stackable Certificate via database

Certificates will be recorded in a database.

We expect to create a website with access to adult individual information (Workkeys certificates, TABE, Compass, employment certificates, etc) via database.