What We Do

We build awareness, understanding, and support for policies that improve Washington’s education system, starting with early learning and leading through achievement of a credential after high school, such as a degree, apprenticeship, or industry-aligned certificate or license. Our research-based efforts point the way to evidence-based policies that will position Washington as a national leader in public education. We work to ensure every student is ready to take advantage of the job opportunities available in our state.

Our Goal

By 2030, 70% of Washington’s students will earn a credential after high school, such as a degree, apprenticeship, or certificate, by age 26.

Today, an estimated 40 percent of Washington students get a credential after high school. Raising that number to 70% is an ambitious goal. It will require collaboration with education and business leaders, parents, educators, policymakers, and advocates. Through our partnerships, communications efforts, and thought leadership, we serve as a hub for information and resources about why credentials matter for our students’ futures, and how we can all do our part to help them achieve the career of their dreams. Learn more about our efforts at credentialessential.com.

Our Role

We use strategic communications and storytelling, partnership, and thought leadership to drive community conversations and connect educators and families with accessible, action-oriented information and resources:

Communicator
We produce and share research and digital content that make the case for a public education system that prepares Washington students to pursue the career pathway of their choice. Our Credential is Essential research and communications campaign efforts are driving conversations about the value of postsecondary credentials in our state’s economy and the educational pathways to success.

Partner
We engage with coalitions and maintain strong relationships to support and advance education policies that enable more Washington students to get ready for jobs in their home state.

Thought Leader
In partnership with the Washington Roundtable, we serve as the business community’s voice about education policy. We conduct research and engage with national experts to understand, advocate for, and support implementation of best practices and evidence-based policies that will drive better outcomes for all students, particularly those who are struggling or who have been systemically underserved.