Lumina Non-Credit Credential Recognition Grant - Phase I

In Fall 2022, the New England Commission of Higher Education received a one-year grant from the Lumina Foundation to develop a quality assurance framework and process for non-credit, credential granting organizations. NECHE has created a taskforce comprised of educators from six of its member institutions. The Taskforce will work over the next year to advance the grant’s goals and deliverables.

If you have any questions about the NECHE Lumina Credential Recognition Grant, please contact Laura Gambino ( or Paula Harbecke (

Grant Funder:
Lumina Foundation

Grant Timeline:
11/1/2022 – 10/31/2023

Project Consultant:
Sean Gallagher,
Northeastern University

Project Directors:
Laura Gambino, NECHE
Paula Harbecke, NECHE

Project Goals:

  • Define a common nomenclature for non-credit programs and credentials, defining the scope of offerings that will be encompassed in this new recognition process;
  • Develop a draft addendum to the Standards for Accreditation that will serve as a framework for assuring the quality of an institution’s non-credit programs and credentials;
  • Develop a process for periodic evaluation of an institution’s non-credit offerings;
  • Create a set of case studies based on the six institutions participating in the task force;
  • Develop a framework that could be used for quality assurance and recognition of non-traditional providers.

Activities and Timeline:

  • Six institutions and team members identified to participate in Taskforce (Nov 30, 2022)
  • Kickoff Meeting with Teams (December/January 2023)
  • In-Person Meetings (Spring and Summer 2023)
  • Draft addendum to Standards for Accreditation and process for periodic evaluation developed for Commission review and possible adoption (June 2023)
  • Framework for non-traditional providers developed (October 2023)
  • Case Studies developed (October 2023)

Project Deliverables:

  • White Paper with Case Studies (November 2023)
  • Evaluation Report (November 2023)
  • Presentation at NECHE Annual Meeting (December 2023)
  • Addendum to NECHE Standards for Accreditation (September 2023)

Participating Institutions and Team Members:

  • Bunker Hill Community College
  • Central Connecticut State University
  • Great Bay Community College
  • Holyoke Community College
  • Northern Essex Community College
  • Rhode Island College


Quality Assurance Framework and Case Studies