Microcredentials provide the flexibility to address changing learner needs. They can stack to other credentials and provide evidence of learners' knowledge and skills across platforms.
At CU Denver, we are in the early stages of planning and building infrastructure for a robust microcredentials portfolio, one that ensures consistency in rigor and quality. This exploratory work is an inclusive endeavor, one where we are seeking input and iterating based on the feedback of faculty and staff, while paying close attention to the evolving national landscape for microcredentials.
CU Denver is already providing learning activities that could be defined as microcredentials and could lead to students earning badges. Coupled with market intelligence, we also have the potential to develop new microcredential programs to address skill gaps and align with the needs of a wide range of disciplines and industries.
There is no universally accepted definition of a microcredential. The many definitions put forth by professional organizations, industry providers, and institutions of higher education commonly include two characteristics: microcredentials have a smaller scope and they serve as a record of learning, competency, or skill. Most definitions indicate that the quality of a microcredential should be defined and that it has the potential to stack to a formal degree or to qualify for academic credit. Less frequently appearing characteristics include a requirement that microcredentials be market- aligned, and that they should be able to stand alone.
Microcredential programs also take a variety of forms across the academic landscape. They can be smaller than a course, a course that includes an additional component, or a cluster of related courses. Sizes of microcredential programs vary based on the traditions of the institution, the needs of students, and the needs of employers.
At CU Denver, we are already providing learning activities that could be defined as microcredentials and could lead to students earning badges. We also have many opportunities to create new microcredential programs that align with the needs of a wide range of disciplines and industries. Coupled with market intelligence, we can now identify new opportunities to create programs to address skill gaps that can lead to a microcredential.
Below, you'll find a preliminary table of phases and tasks for our microcredentials work at CU Denver. If you have any questions, we would love to connect with you to learn more!
|Phase 0 |
Understanding Current State
|Phase 1 |
Planning and Infrastructure
|Phase 2 |
|Phase 3 |
Fall 2022-Spring 2023
Spring 2023-Spring 2024
Spring 2024 ongoing
Jeremy Lingle, the Director of Microcredentials in the TIPS Division, is approximately halfway through the process of sharing and gathering feedback about the proposed definition for microcredentials for CU Denver. So far, we have held three open campus conversations and met with five campus groups. Additional conversations will continue in the new year. We look forward to meeting with such groups as the LETTS Committee, Academic Advisors, Staff Council, and others.
The feedback that we have received about the definition, and about microcredentials more broadly, will be summarized and shared in early Spring 2023. If you would like to make sure that your group is on the list for upcoming meetings, or if you would like to schedule a meeting for your group, please contact Jeremy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An introductory video about the proposed definition is available below.