Moving from a Degree-Centric Postsecondary System to an Incremental Credentialing System: What Happens to Learners’ Financing Options?

Participant Profile

CREDENTIAL AS YOU GO PARTICIPANT

Metropolitan State University of Denver

WEBSITE

TYPE

Public University, Undergraduate and Graduate Institution

LOCATION

Denver, Colorado (Auraria Campus)

COHORT

2022

Implementation stage & efforts to date

There are both credit-based and non-credit based micro-credential efforts underway at the university. The Curriculum, Academic Effectiveness, and Policy Development (CAEPD) Office oversees micro-credentials that include academic credit components. The Innovative and Lifelong Learning (I&LL) Office oversees micro-credentials that do not include academic credit components.

Microcredentials

  • I&LL continues to confer micro-credentials for various programs as they have for the last several years
  • University-wide policy enacted 2022 to oversee micro-credentials and digital badging
    • Process to create new micro-credentials implemented as defined by the policy in 2022
    • Procedures put in place for proposing new micro-credentials using existing curriculum and catalog software programs
    • Shared governance approach that includes faculty and administrative staff
  • More than 10 badges created and implemented through system as of May 2023

Digital Badging

  • I&LL begins offering digital badges upon completion of non-credit component micro-credentials in 2019
  • CAEPD begins offering digital badges upon completion of academic credit component micro-credentials in 2022
  • Digital Badging Bulletin created and available for public view beginning in 2023
  • Implemented software programs to track and award digital badge progress in both I&LL and CAEPD

Future Efforts for University

  • Variety of high-impact micro-credential opportunities in both academic and non-academic credit options
  • Additional customized options available through I&LL
  • Continue to find ways for learners to come into and exit from a range of points in their educational journey

 

Goals for participation

  • Learn what other participating organizations have discovered as high impact or valuable practices
  • Create flexible and desirable “on and off ramps” for students to engage with in their academic journey
  • Allow for students to stack together micro-credential opportunities into larger programs that scaffold learning
  • Meet a diverse set of learner needs that respond to local industry/government/employer workforce demands
  • Build pipelines and pathways to higher credentials and degrees at MSU Denver
  • Provide greater career mobility for learners
  • Close the skills gap – the space between the skills employers need and what new employees are showing up with

Associated Case Studies

Improving Education and Employment Outcomes