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About GEMEnA

NOTE: The Interagency Working Group on Expanded Measures of Enrollment and Attainment (GEMEnA) is no longer active. This site provides historical documentation of GEMEnA’s work.

From 2009 to 2017, the Interagency Working Group on Expanded Measures of Enrollment and Attainment (GEMEnA) worked to develop and validate national measures of the participation in and credentialing of education and training for work, and to build government-wide consensus for the adoption of these measures in key federal data collections. More specifically, GEMEnA engaged in a rigorous process of survey item development to validate core items on 1) the attainment of non-degree credentials, including industry-recognized certifications, occupational licenses, and educational certificates, and 2) enrollment in education and training that prepares people for work.

GEMEnA developed a core set of survey items to measure the prevalence and key characteristics of certifications and licenses, which a number of federal agencies have added to their data collections. NCES fielded an in-depth survey of US adults, the Adult Training and Education Survey (ATES), to provide detailed data on credentials in 2016. Although ATES has been discontinued, many ATES items were adopted (or adapted) as part of the new National Training, Education, and Workforce Survey (NTEWS), sponsored by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, within the National Science Foundation (NSF), and co-sponsored by NCES. The NTEWS is part of a broader NSF effort to understand the skilled technical workforce.

The Definitions tab provides GEMEnA's working definitions of certifications, licenses, and certificates. The Surveys link lists the federal data collections that use GEMEnA-developed items.

The Milestones link provides a timeline of GEMEnA's work.

GEMEnA consisted of staff from these federal offices:

  • Bureau of the Census, U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor
  • Council of Economic Advisers
  • National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education
  • National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, National Science Foundation
  • Office of Statistical and Science Policy, Office of Management and Budget
  • Office of the Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Education

To ensure the relevance of GEMEnA's work for answering critical policy and research questions, GEMEnA met regularly with a panel of experts and collaborated with a wide range of partners and stakeholders.