VP announces apprenticeship consortium

April 10, 2014

Earlier this week, Vice President Joe Biden announced the launch of a new Registered Apprenticeship College Consortium (RACC), intended to encourage articulation agreements between colleges and registered apprenticeship programs to allow graduates of registered apprenticeship programs to receive college credit for their apprenticeship training. The RACC is a joint effort by the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of Education (DoEd).  

The purpose of the consortium is to facilitate partnerships between RACC member institutions to produce a more unified pathway from registered apprenticeship programs into two- and four-year postsecondary institutions. RACC membership institutions include postsecondary institutions, registered apprenticeship sponsors, and other organizations – including associations and organizations representing postsecondary institutions or registered apprenticeship sponsors. 

DOL and DoEd, along with other partners representing higher education and registered apprenticeship programs have identified some broad goals for the consortium, including: 

  • Enabling apprentices to earn college credit for their registered apprenticeship experience and accelerate attainment of an associate’s or bachelor’s degree; 
  • Increasing college graduation rates through a new pipeline of degree seekers;
  • Enhancing the competitiveness of businesses by enlarging the pool of highly-trained workers;
  • Growing the pool of highly-trained workers to enhance the competitiveness of American employers; and 
  • Strengthening relationships among registered apprenticeship programs and post-secondary institutions nationwide. 

Participating RACC registered apprenticeship members must be evaluated by a third-party to assess how much college credit may be assigned to their programs, and member colleges must be degree granting, regionally accredited institutions. Registered apprenticeship graduates whose programs are RACC members will be eligible to earn up to 60 college credits based on their apprenticeship experience.