Learning More About Micro-Credentials
Even prior to COVID-19, the discussion about the value of degrees versus credentials was well underway, and the conversation has not let up during the disruption of education due to the pandemic. As Levine and Van Pelt note in their article Meet Certificates and "Microcredentials" — They Could Be the Future of Higher Education, interest in credentials and micro-credentials over degrees is rising among adults considering postsecondary education and training for a number of reasons, mainly due to the cost of a college education and whether students are sufficiently prepared for the workforce after earning a college degree. To that end, many adult education agencies offer pathway programs that result in credentials, and programs that offer micro-credentials would seem to be an area for further study and growth by adult educators.
One of our partners, Digital Promise, has created a dedicated ecosystem with many micro-credential options for educators. Completing a micro-credential program results in the awarding of a badge that is verifiable for authenticity, portable between open badging systems, and controllable by the badge earner in how and with whom to share the badge. The Digital Promise site is a great model in which to understand how micro-credentials are organized and what micro-credential programs entail in terms of the content covered and what work is required to earn the badge.
Interest in micro-credentials only seems to be increasing. Here are some additional thoughts and resources to consider regarding the future of micro-credentials:
- More Employers Are Awarding Credentials. Is A Parallel Higher Education System Emerging?
- Developing a student-centered workforce through micro-credentials
- Micro-credentials for Social Mobility in Rural Postsecondary Communities: A Landscape Report
- The ICOM Academy at the San Diego College of Continuing Education