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  • September 22, 2021 CNG Virtual Meeting

September 22, 2021 CNG Virtual Meeting

  • 22 Sep 2021
  • 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Online: Link will be emailed separately


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CNG Virtual Meeting - September 22, 2021 - 9am-12pm CDT

Connecting Certification and Education Data
to Understand Career and Credential Pathways
Sponsored by



As the number of credentials and credential types increases, credentialing bodies face the challenge of ensuring that their credentials remain relevant. To do so, they need to better define the return on investment for their certifications and certificates. Despite the prevalence of certifications in the workforce, there is no complete, centralized source of data on the outcomes or impact of certifications. While there have been isolated efforts to collect this data by states, as well as self-reported data from certification bodies, outcomes data are fragmented and incomplete. Without access to multiple data sources, it can be very difficult to define the return on investment.

With funding from Lumina Foundation, the National Student Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse) is in the process of creating a powerful resource of data from multiple sources. The Clearinghouse’s Industry Credentials Initiative is creating a public-private data infrastructure that links together academic and industry credential information for the first time, including related aggregate labor market outcomes. The value of linking these data sets is to better understand successful career and credential pathways, and helps in identifying quality credentials.

Join CNG for a panel discussion of NSC’s Industry Credentials Initiative and explore opportunities for your organization to participate in the initiative. Discussion will include information about the network that Workcred has created for certification bodies to learn about the value of voluntarily sharing data and to explore participation in the initiative (Demonstrate Value through Linking Data). The conversation will focus on:
  • Overarching goals of the initiative
  • The practical issues associated with credentialing bodies voluntarily sharing their data with the Clearinghouse
  • The benefits and risks to a certification body around sharing data
  • Data privacy
  • Implications for accreditation
  • The type of information that would be valuable to certification bodies based on the opportunity to combine certification data with other data sets.
You will also have the opportunity to speak with panelists about the topics of most concern to your organization.

The panel will be moderated by Karen Elzey of Workcred. The panelists include Vanessa Brown of the National Student Clearinghouse, which is developing the data infrastructure; Christy Uden of the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, a certification body participating in the Industry Credentials Initiative; and Holly Zanville of George Washington University (formerly of Lumina Foundation, which is funding this initiative). Ms. Elzey and Ms. Zanville will discuss the overarching goals of the initiative. Ms. Uden and Ms. Brown will focus on the practical elements of the Industry Credentials Initiative and the value to certification bodies.


Christy Uden, Chief Executive Officer, Board of Certified Safety Professionals

Christy Uden, CAE, IOM, is Chief Executive Officer of the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP). Uden has served BCSP for over 15 years. Over the course of her tenure, she held the position of Quality Assurance Manager responsible for maintaining ANAB (ANSI) accreditation of BCSP certification programs and management of all BCSP governing policies and procedures. As the Program Development Director (2014-2017, she led the vendor selection and implementation of BCSPs' first online credentialing management system. She established two new departments, Program Development and Business Informatics, to improve data inputs and utilization of data analytics to identify growth areas for new programs and products to meet industry needs. Uden graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Master of Science (MS) in Health Communication, and Eastern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications. Additionally, she achieved the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Institute for Organization Management (IOM) and the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Certified Association Executive (CAE) certification. She represents BCSP on the Credentialing Body Advisory Council of Workcred.

Holly Zanville Ph.D., Research Professor and Co-Director of the Program on Skills, Credentials & Workforce Policy, George Washington University

Holly Zanville is a Research Professor and Co-Director of the Program on Skills, Credentials & Workforce Policy at George Washington University; and co-lead of the Credential as You Go national incremental credentialing initiative. Previously she served as a strategy director at Lumina Foundation, overseeing portfolios on the future of learning and work, adult learners, student success, and research. She has held leadership positions at state higher education systems/boards in Oregon and Washington, and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE); held academic positions at community college and nontraditional university programs in multiple states; and served as freelance consultant on K-20 strategic planning, community college networks, and distance education. She received her B.A. in English and Biology from Lindenwood University, M.A. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and PhD in Educational Administration from the University of Minnesota.   

Vanessa Brown, Deputy Chief Data Officer, National Student Clearinghouse

Vanessa Brown is currently the Deputy Chief Data Officer at the National Student Clearinghouse. She is focused on driving the Lumina Foundation funded Industry Credentials initiative and business plan with the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Census Bureau. Vanessa manages the Clearinghouse’s partnership with Workcred, an affiliate of ANSI, to drive adoption of certifying bodies to join the Industry Credentials initiative. As Deputy Chief Data Officer, she is responsible for guiding the transformation and modernization of the Clearinghouse’s services to a data driven organization that builds on our mission of serving the education and workforce communities by providing trusted data and insights. Vanessa’s areas of focus are data analysis, data governance, and data literacy.

Vanessa has over 30 years of experience in launching new software application products and delivering enterprise projects on time and on budget. She established the first Project Management Office and project management methodology for the Clearinghouse, in addition to, completing the first two phases of the Industry Credentials project in 2017 and 2018, launching the first release of the redesigned StudentTracker® for Colleges and Universities service in July 2016, delivering the reverse transfer course/grade data exchange project in 2015, and implementing eTranscripts with a strategic partner, Ellucian, and a redesigned user interface for transcript ordering, in 2014. Prior to the National Student Clearinghouse, Vanessa ran her own consulting business, BSV Consulting, Inc., working with small and medium sized business on their strategy and growth plans. She also previously served as the Director, Business Development, at Freddie Mac, where she launched numerous products for the organization.

Vanessa holds an M.B.A. from George Washington University and a B.B.A. from James Madison University with a major in Management Information System and a minor in Economics.

Session Moderator:

Karen Elzey, Associate Executive Director, Workcred

As associate executive director, Karen Elzey advances Workcred’s mission to strengthen workforce quality by improving the credentialing system, ensuring its ongoing relevance, and preparing employers, workers, educators, and governments to use it effectively.
Ms. Elzey has over 20 years of experience in areas of workforce development. Most recently, she was the vice president of the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF), where she was involved with incorporating 21st-century competencies—critical thinking, problem solving, analytical reasoning, communication, and working in multi-cultural teams—into the undergraduate experience to prepare students with the knowledge and experience to succeed in high-performing workplaces. She also led several of BHEF’s projects, including the integration of data analytics into specific academic disciplines, the development of cybersecurity undergraduate programs, and the creation of new media engineering programs.

Ms. Elzey previously served as vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for a Competitive Workforce, where she worked on K-12 education reform and job training policies. She was the founding director of Skills for America’s Future, an employer-led policy initiative that was initially part of the Economic Opportunities Program at the Aspen Institute. The initiative helped identify solutions that allow education and training providers to work together for employers and prepare individuals for employment to help ensure American businesses are more productive, innovative, and competitive. Her previous experience also includes coordinating public-private partnerships between K-12 school districts and employers for a local economic development agency in Indiana, and teaching English as a second language in Poland.

Ms. Elzey earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and completed Georgetown University's executive leadership program at the McDonough School of Business.

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