August 2023

Message From Director Lisa Sax Mahoney

Lisa Sax Mahoney Head Shot.jpg

As students prepare to embark on the fall semester, it is the perfect time to implement improvements to ensure a smooth start and to reflect on plans for the new academic year. We encourage all NCCRS member organizations to review websites and marketing materials to ensure language about using NCCRS credit recommendations is accurate, clear, and up to date.

This coming year, NCCRS will be working more closely with individual colleges and universities, particularly those launching and expanding prior learning assessment and micro-credential initiatives. Support of credit for prior learning is on the rise and we have witnessed a steady stream of requests from institutions for information about NCCRS. As these progressive, student-centric institutions develop transfer policies, we anticipate expanded opportunities for learners to benefit from NCCRS credit recommendations. At the same time, we also expect our college directory may shrink in size as we endeavor to refer students specifically to institutions that provide advisement and support services to transfer students, and those accessing credit for prior learning.

NCCRS will also devote time to celebrate its official 50th year in operation. In1973, former New York State education commissioner Ewald Nyquist, a staunch supporter of social justice, was integral in commissioning a research study and a pilot to assess noncollegiate learning stemming from formal, structured workplace training. Results of the study and the pilot led to formation of the National Program on Noncollegiate Sponsored Instruction (NPONSI) at the start of 1974. In 2012, NPONSI was renamed and became National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS).

As we celebrate this milestone and our mission to increase access to higher education, we are mindful of the importance of the work of NCCRS organizations. And we are appreciative of the institutions of higher education that continue to indelibly change the lives of many by accepting credit recommendations.

Caban, Kinsella Appointed NYPD Commissioner, Deputy

New York City Mayor Eric Adams (left) recently announced the appointment of Edward A. Caban (right) as the 46th commissioner, and Tania Kinsella (center) the 45th first deputy commissioner of the New York City Police Department (NYPD). Caban is the first Hispanic to serve as commissioner, and Kinsella is the first woman of color to serve as first deputy commissioner in the 178-year history of the NYPD. The NYPD has been a valued NCCRS member organization since 1974.

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NYPD, FDNY Members Receive Presidential Medals of Valor

Fallen New York City Police Department (NYPD) detectives Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora, and officer Sumit Sulan, along with Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) lieutenants Justin Hespeler (left) and Jason Hickey, and firefighter Patrick Thornton were among nine people recently awarded Presidential Medals of Valor by President Joe Biden (center). The medal is the highest honor in the country bestowed on public safety officers. NYPD and FDNY are among the longest standing NCCRS member organizations, affiliated with our organization since 1974 and 1982, respectively.

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NOCTI/NBS Welcomes New CEO

NCCRS extends congratulations and best wishes to Dr. Kathleen McNally who was recently appointed the new CEO of NOCTI and Nocti Business Solutions (NBS). Dr. McNally, who has more than 35 years of experience in career and technical education, and workforce development, succeeds Dr. John Foster. NOCTI and NBS, affiliated with NCCRS since 2012, is a leading provider of high-quality technical competency assessment products and services for secondary and post-secondary educational institutions.

NCCRS Forms Working Relationship with UoPeople

NCCRS recently established a new working relationship with a revolutionary institution of higher education. The University of the People (UoPeople) is the first non-profit, tuition-free, American, accredited, online university. Based in Pasadena, California, UoPeople was founded in 2009 and accredited in 2014. The University offers certificates, associate, and baccalaureate degree programs in Business AdministrationComputer Science, and Health Science, as well as master's degree programs in Business Administration, Information Technology, and Education.

"We are honored and excited to be working with such a progressive leader in online education," said Lisa Sax Mahoney, NCCRS director. "University of the People has a reputation for academic excellence and a mission that aligns closely with ours as we both endeavor to widen individuals' educational and career pathways."

"By accepting college credit recommendations from NCCRS, University of the People is creating greater access for learners who may be taking a non-traditional path towards degree completion. Through the combination of UoPeople's tuition-free degree programs, and the flexibility to apply credits earned from alternative sources, learners can reach their career and educational goals without the fear of accruing student loan debt," said UoPeople President Shai Reshef.

NCCRS Evaluator Profile

Leo DeBobes: "Semi-Retired"

Environmental Health and Safety Professional

Leo DeBobes, MA (OS&H), CSP, CHCM, CPH, CHEP, CHSP, CPEA, CPSO, CSC, CIT, chuckles when he states he's semi-retired. A longtime NCCRS evaluator, Leo is presently working as an independent safety professional and expert witness, clinical assistant professor and environmental health and safety concentration advisor in Stony Brook University's School of Health Professions, and assistant professor at Suffolk County Community College. "Prior to 'retiring,' I was an environmental health and safety professional, in addition to being in emergency management," explained Leo.

"I've been an NCCRS evaluator for 21 years and counting. I was actually supposed to do my first NCCRS evaluation on September 12, 2001, for the FDNY at its Fire Academy on Randall's Island, but, of course, life changed the day before on 9/11. Among the many people I knew who were lost that day were some of the same people who were going to share their programs for review, as well as a fellow faculty member and former students in the Fire Protection Technology program," shared Leo.

Leo, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from New York Institute of Technology, a Master of Arts degree in Occupational Safety and Health from New York University, and a Certificate in Climate Change and Human Health from Yale's School of Public Health, first became a faculty member in SCCC's Fire Protection Technology program in 1993. "Later I became a faculty member at SBU when the university launched an EH&S concentration in the graduate MALS program within the School of Professional Development, and then became a faculty member and concentration advisor in the EH&S concentration within the BSHS undergraduate program," explained Leo.

"I've been blessed with many achievements in the field, including my writing and major presentations, but high up there would include receiving the National Safety Professional of the Year award from the American Society of Safety Professionals," stated Leo.

"I've really enjoyed the work I do as an NCCRS evaluator in fire and EMS academy programs. My colleagues on the review teams, both NCCRS staff and fellow subject matter evaluators, have been top-notch and the folks at the various institutions being evaluated have been exceptional," said Leo. "I really enjoy seeing my own former students take advantage of the benefits of NCCRS by advancing their own educations. I'm constantly telling people about how NCCRS can really help in developing a good academic profile."  

Congratulations to NCCRS Member

Organizations for Recent Successful Evaluations

Congratulations to NCCRS Member Organizations Celebrating Membership Milestones This Quarter

CAEL Releases Reports on Short-term, High-value Credentials, 2022 Impact

The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) has released a new research report, Speed, Value, and Economic Mobility – How Community Colleges Are Developing Short-term, High-value Credentials that Lead to Good Jobs and Careers. For the report, CAEL interviewed representatives of 10 community colleges that grant non-degree credentials characterized by speed, value, and economic mobility — or SVEs. In contrast with many other types of short-term certificate programs, SVEs are high-quality, non-degree credentials that can be completed in one year or less, lead to good-paying jobs in high-demand industries, and stack into degree programs. Click the button below for more information and to download the report. 

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CAEL has also published an impact report, Making a Difference for Adult Learners. The report details CAEL's 2022 work in action, showing examples of how the organization's work has positively impacted the communities they serve. Click the button below to access the report flip book.

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States Have Put Almost $4B Into Short-term Credentials

As federal policymakers continue to debate whether to fund short-term credentials, states have pushed ahead—to the tune of $3.81 billion. Twenty eight states have invested in short-term credentials with a focus on their ability to boost employment and local economies, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis. An article in Work Shift states the majority of those billions have gone toward tuition support for students, or for institutions to develop and expand programs.

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89 Washington Avenue, 510W EB

Albany, NY 12234


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