Denver – September 10, 2019 – The National Alliance for Communications, Technology, Education and Learning (NACTEL) — a newly rebranded partnership between AT&T, Verizon, CenturyLink and Frontier Communications; labor unions Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL); and Pace University — today announced the launch of an initiative to offer employer-verified digital badges for adult learners who showcase gained competencies through the successful completion of courses on telecommunications topics like cybersecurity, data and network security, mobile networking, broadband technology and 5G deployment strategies.

“NACTEL micro-credential badges provide opportunities for individuals to gain and renew the skills and knowledge needed in today’s rapidly evolving communications technology industry,” said Hannah Coit, NACTEL board member and Director, Talent Acquisition for AT&T. “NACTEL’s micro-credential badges provide a way to personalize learning pathways for adult learners, as these badges can be applied towards associate and bachelor’s degrees needed in the communications industry.”

NACTEL, which was formerly known as the National Coalition for Telecommunications Education and Learning, partners with Pace University to offer approximately 100  jumpstart courses, certificates and degrees designed to fill demand for emerging skills in the communications industry. Through micro-credentialing, adult learners who complete a series of courses on a particular topic, like data analytics or information technology, will earn badges from the digital credentialing platform Credly. The badges, verified by Pace University and employers, accumulate as students ladder up to a NACTEL Bachelor of Science degree in telecommunications or business technology leadership.

The new initiative provides working adult learners with even greater flexibility as they access NACTEL learning pathways, which include stackable digital badges, certificates and degrees. Employees with experience in the field are encouraged to complete prior learning assessments and to submit transcripts and other materials that can help them earn credit for past experiences in the classroom or on the job.

“This work is about creating powerful educational benefits that employers can offer to support employee retention and engagement while making strategic investments in training and upskilling to address the industry’s looming skills gaps,” said Christine Carpenter, executive director of NACTEL. “Through the application of digital badges, students can now transform their achievements in the classroom into industry-recognized credentials that unlock career opportunities.”

The shift to 5G technologies has fueled pressure for industry professionals to complete continuing education to stay competitive in the job market. Through this partnership, the industry’s largest employers and labor unions are coming together to invest in the development of telecommunications talent.

NACTEL is administered by CAEL, a nonprofit organization with decades of experience facilitating effective cooperation among employers, higher education institutions, public sector agencies and labor unions to help working adults translate work experience into industry-recognized credentials.

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About the National Alliance for Communications, Technology, Education and Learning (NACTEL): The National Alliance for Communications, Technology, Education and Learning (NACTEL) is a collaboration of industry employers and unions, working with higher education to create and sponsor online education programs that meet the needs of current and future telecommunications professionals. Founded in 1999, NACTEL has been the premier source of online education to address critical employment needs in the evolving telecommunications industry.

About the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL): Established in 1974, The Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) is a Strada Education Network affiliate and national nonprofit 501(c)(3) membership organization dedicated to partnering with educators, employers, and workforce and economic developers. Together we reimagine how education and employment fit together, and we create lifelong pathways that integrate learning and work. Our aim is to support the engaged participation of adults in thriving talent pipelines and robust economic development in the 21st century economy. Visit to learn more.