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UPCEA Taps Credly to Launch Digital Badges that Recognize Excellence in Online Learning

WASHINGTON, D.C. (MARCH 14, 2018) -- The University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) announced today the launch of the Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership Review program to recognize colleges and universities that demonstrate consistent excellence throughout their online programs. Through the program, UPCEA’s National Council for Online Education will evaluate online education programs using a rigorous seven-part review process and, in partnership with Credly’s pioneering digital credential platform, issue qualifying colleges and universities with digital badges to mark their achievement.

"In order to keep pace with rapid changes in technology and resulting in-demand skills, learners need access to education. To meet this need, it is more important than ever that institutions provide quality online education programs,” said Julie Uranis, Vice President for Online and Strategic Initiatives, UPCEA and Managing Director, National Council for Online Leadership. “With the launch of our Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership Review program, UPCEA is committing to working closely with institutions to identify and recognize high-quality online offerings, and partnering with Credly extends that commitment in the way we publicly acknowledge institutions that demonstrate excellence through the review process.”

The Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership Review evaluates seven key aspects of online education programs, including internal advocacy, entrepreneurial initiative, and faculty support. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, the world's largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace, is the first institution to successfully complete this review process and receive a digital badge in recognition of its high quality online education models and techniques.

“The UPCEA Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership Review was an incredibly valuable, comprehensive, and robust process that all institutions aspiring to take their online education units to the next level should seriously consider undertaking. From the self-assessment submission to the personalized committee interviews, the information gleaned was invaluable,” said Jason Ruckert, Vice Chancellor of Online Education, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Worldwide Campus. “We’re very proud to be the first to successfully complete the review process, receive our badge, and have the hard work of our faculty and administrators be recognized.”

Credly Founder and CEO Jonathan Finkelstein commented: “Credly is dedicated to opening more opportunities to more individuals based on their achievements. We’re proud to power the digital credentials for UPCEA and the Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership Review program, and to be part of celebrating the success of organizations like Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University that offer online learning programs that are essential to creating opportunities in the communities they serve.”

About Credly

Credly is a leading digital credential service provider, helping the world recognize lifelong achievement with the most popular platforms for verifying, sharing, and managing digital credentials and badges. The enterprise-class system allows organizations to officially verify skills and competencies; distribute portable and secure digital credentials and open badges; and gain actionable data and insights. Thousands of education institutions, industry associations, employers and workforce development programs use Credly to make achievements visible.


UPCEA is the leading association for professional, continuing, and online education. Founded in 1915, UPCEA now serves most of the leading public and private colleges and universities in North America. For 100 years, the association has served its members with innovative conferences and specialty seminars, research and benchmarking information, professional networking opportunities and timely publications. UPCEA launched the National Council for Online Education in 2017. Learn more at

About Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation, aerospace, engineering and related degree programs. The university is also a major research center, seeking solutions to real-world problems in partnership with the aerospace industry, other universities and government agencies. A nonprofit, independent institution, Embry-Riddle offers more than 80 baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its colleges of Arts & Sciences, Aviation, Business, Engineering and Security & Intelligence. The university educates students at residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Fla., and Prescott, Ariz., through the Worldwide Campus with more than 125 locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and through online programs. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter (@EmbryRiddle) and, and find expert videos at