A Strategic Roadmap for Implementing Alternative Credentials: Actionable Learnings from Four Institutions

This session will focus on the strategy and steps involved in working with your institution, including the development of non-credit programs as well as micro-credentials, badges, and certificates. Participants will learn about identifying the type of programs needed in your communities, how to identify program advocates and align these credentials with industry standards and requirements. Applied or Strategic

  • Clay Taylor, Texas Tech University
  • Lesa Hanlin, University of Virginia
  • Rebecca Cook, University of Arizona
  • Sara Leoni, GreenFig
  • Melissa Peraino, UPCEA

Achievement Wallets and Alternative Credentials are Unlocking Pathways to Opportunity

Learners today face unsettling economic realities. In today’s everchanging workforce, talent is everywhere…opportunity is not. At Western Governors University, we are accelerating efforts in our digital credentialing practice and to ensure that every graduate is equipped to thrive and provided the support they need to unlock pathways to opportunity. During this session, we will share our experience working with a wide collaborative of partners in designing, developing, and deploying the WGU Achievement Wallet. Join us as we share lessons learned in our efforts to empower learners in a new era of alternative credentialing.

  • Kacey Thorne, Western Governors University
  • Darin Hobbs, Western Governors University
  • Kymberly Lavigne-Hinkley, Western Governors University
  • Deb Everhart, Credential Engine

An Inclusive, Universal Micro-credential Solution for Higher Education

A model will be presented that supports registrars incorporating badging and micro-credentials within higher education. The model builds on a UK Quality Assurance Agency national pilot project that showed how skills profiling can be used to link education to employment, and how badges and micro-credentials can be incorporated within higher education qualifications. The background to the model will be explained, demonstrating how it can support US continuing education practitioners to increase engagement, continuation and completion rates within higher education through a more flexible, motivating and personalized learning approach.  The session considers holistic inclusive higher education policy and practice, discussing its focus on personalized learning, and how such approaches can be built into an inclusive, globally-applicable solution for micro-credential use within US higher education.

  • Rupert Ward, The Sino-British College, USST
  • Sheryl Grant, New Trust Lab
  • Robert McDonald, Colorado University, Boulder

Ask Uncle Sam: How Certain Federal Funding Programs Can Support Adult Non-credit Continuing Education

This session will discuss four different universities' experiences with federal funding opportunities for non-credit, continuing education learners. The process to be an approved partner for federal departments can be daunting. For independent CE units not part of an academic department or college, the ability to utilize these different sources may not exist. We'll talk about how our respective universities are able to utilize these different funding programs and if the cost/benefit analysis makes sense.

  • Laurel Hague, University of Central Missouri
  • Ross Jahnke, University of Minnesota
  • Patricia Cook, University of Arizona
  • Susan Leighton, Villanova University

Block Chain Untangled: Making a Case for Registrar Adoption

This presentation focuses on a registrar's path to understanding and making a case for adopting block chain to ward against diploma mills and fraudulent credentials, such as fake diplomas and transcripts. Participants will gain an understanding of block chain, and hear her case for why having registrar support could bring this 3.0 web technology to fruition for validating institutional credentials.

  • Helen Garrett, University of Washington

Catalyzing a Paradigm Shift: A First in the Nation Data Collaborative for Alternative Credentials

Time to completion and rising costs of higher education are resulting in decreased access to credentials for those in underserved communities, contributing to a skills gap and increased inequity in the workplace. Increasingly, institutions are deploying short-term, stackable, non-degree credentials focused on in-demand skills to better prepare learners for the workplace. Yet, concerns remain with ease of implementation, learning efficacy, employer adoption, and labor market value of short-term credentials (e.g., D’Agostino, 2023). Data is needed to better understand skills-based learning and inform the way to alternative credentials. This presentation showcases collaborative efforts between Education Design Lab (Lab), Credential Engine, the National Clearinghouse, Brighthive, and Education & Employment Research Center (EERC) in launching a Data Collaborative for a Skills-Based Hiring, a multi-source data infrastructure to support institutions implementing alternative credentials, inform program evaluation, and data storytelling about enrollment, progression, retention, completion, and labor/wage outcomes. The micro-pathways established via the Community College Growth Engine (CCGE), an initiative with 43 community colleges funded by 15 foundations and investors, provide a first use case with data flows already established in a cloud data structure supported by Brighthive and feeding dashboards built and maintained by the Lab for early insights.

  • Naomi Boyer, Education Design Lab
  • Lisa Larson, Education Design Lab
  • Matt Gee, Brighthive
  • Deb Everhart, Credential Engine

Convergence: Merging CEU’s to the Funding Model to Leverage Partnerships

Knowing this demand, creating sustainable and profitable programs is imperative. Strada Public Viewpoint reports 62 percent of Americans prefer skills training or another non-degree option if enrolling in the next six months. To aid in the decision-making process, we developed funding models which include Continuing Education Unit Credits (CEU’s) that are used to guide the program development process. Participants will explore the different models and engage in a process of sketching out funding models that may be used at their institutions.

  • Melissa Mahan, University of Texas, San Antonio
  • Edwin Blanton, University of Texas, San Antonio

Creating a Universitywide Digital Credentialing Program at a Large, Multi-campus, R1 University

Rutgers University developed a digital badging and digital certificate program to consolidate digital credentialing efforts across 4 campuses, serving nearly 100,000 students, faculty, staff, alumni, continuing education professionals, and community members. Structural guidelines provide for consistency in branding, assessment, and record keeping while enabling local-level program review and approval. Participants will learn of their program development challenges, the pilot program, migrating to a new software platform, communications, successes, and the challenges yet ahead.

  • Ann Gould, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • Gary Gigliotti, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • Richard Novak, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • Christopher Retzko, The State University of New Jersey

Creating Incremental Value for Learners: The Intersection of Skills and Quality Alternative Credentials

In a time when the value of a college degree is under continuous scrutiny and the opportunity for alternate pathways to workforce readiness are ever increasing, ensuring high-quality credentials is imperative. How can we transform the landscape of alternative credentials with a critical eye on quality?  Join Western Governors University and Jobs for the Future to explore new models and methodologies from our unique organizations in order to support more workforce-aligned, alternative credentials for learners. We will share use cases, data, and how we have operationalized our unique models for more consistency, transparency, and quality in alternative credentials.

  • Kacey Thorne, Western Governors University
  • Meena Naik, Jobs for the Future
  • Tyson Heath, Western Governors University

Credential Innovation for Healthcare Workforce

In this session, the Washington University in St. Louis School of Continuing & Professional Studies and BioSTL, a St. Louis regional leader in cultivating a diverse and inclusive workforce will illustrate a specific implementation of an innovative model to prepare adult learners to enter into the healthcare profession. They developed a pathway for individuals to complete a noncredit applied healthcare microcredential as a pre-apprenticeship. Seeking to diversify the healthcare industry and provide upward economic mobility, the partners are committed to recruiting and preparing underrepresented populations to be successful.

  • Angi Taylor, BioSTL
  • Sean Armstrong, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Kilinyaa Cothran, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Jodie Lloyd, Washington University in St. Louis

Credential Innovation to Support Workforce: Empirical Data from Learner Experiences

This panel discussion will frame the ecosystem of alternative credentials in the workforce and higher education with respect to key challenges employers, students, and institutions face around designing and implementing alternative credential programs and offerings. The panel will share findings of a national empirical study conducted by UPCEA on learners who’ve pursued alternative credentials and institutional leaders about how they perceive alternative credentials. Study results focus on students’ perceptions and reasons for choosing postsecondary education, their goals for expanding workforce skills, and their lived experience in terms of their journey through gaining an alternative credential.

  • Amy Smith, StraighterLine
  • Bruce Etter, UPCEA
  • Louis Soares, American Council on Education (ACE)

DC Update: The Federal Alternative Credentials Policy Landscape

Please join us for a session that will discuss the varied and busy education agenda in Washington. The Department of Education in the past few months have been crafting regulations regarding major issues of importance to the alternative credentials education community. The appetite for supporting short-term credentials on both sides of the congressional political landscape has been discussed in recent legislation and actions. We’ll walk you through what to watch and what has been going on in DC. Hear from legal and policy experts on a host of issues in governance and regulation.

  • Jordan DiMaggio, UPCEA
  • Tanya Ang, Higher Learning Advocates
  • Jennifer Skiddard, National Skills Coalition

DEI + Micro-credentials: Using Alternative Credentials as Gateway to Serving New Populations

Alternative credentials have the power to reshape higher education (and learners’ trajectories), and institutions are using them well to enhance existing degree saliency, to address gaps in workforce preparedness, and differentiate their alums in the marketplace. What about those learners not already in a pipeline or funnel? How can higher education leverage alternative credentials to address, attract, retain, and engage new and, potentially, underserved populations? In this lively panel, hear from leaders whose research and pilot programs are guiding their institutions toward mission-minded program expansion and inclusion, meeting learners and employers where they are. 

  • Angie Kamath, New York University
  • Kimberly Underwood, University of Phoenix
  • Ann Prime-Monaghan, TESU
  • Kate Giovacchini, Arizona State University
  • Amy Heitzman, UPCEA

Filling Skills Gaps through Employer Partnerships in the UW Skills Forward Project

University of Wisconsin-Extended Campus (UWEX) will discuss a University-to-Business pilot project (funded by Walmart Corp.) in which they partnered with large regional employers to develop and deliver fully online, asynchronous, skills-based training courses aimed at filling the specific skills gaps the employers have experienced. Courses were conducted over an 8-week timeframe. At the end of the courses, those who successfully completed received digital badges to share with their employers and post on their social media profiles. Future work will include building a business model and technology infrastructure to include the participation of all 13 UW campus partners.

  • Alissa Oelfke, University of Wisconsin - Extended Campus
  • Matthew Mayeshiba, University of Wisconsin - Extended Campus

From Partnerships to Pathways: Collaborative Approaches to Credential Innovation

The workforce landscape is constantly evolving, and higher education institutions must adapt to meet the needs of today's learners and employers. Credential innovation is a critical tool in this effort, allowing institutions to create new pathways to professional and workforce success. In this session, Old Dominion University will explain how they have leveraged partnerships with third-party vendors, other colleges and universities, and internal faculty to develop and scale innovative credentials that meet workforce and professional standards.

  • Robert Doherty, Old Dominion University
  • Renee Felts, Old Dominion University

Fulfill Your Potential with Micro-Credentials: Badging for Beginners

So your institution awards degrees… but now what? As institutions look for ways to stay ahead of the curve and increase student retention, micro-credentialing is becoming an innovative way to advance professional development and skills-based learning opportunities for students. This session will offer an introductory overview of badging, the benefits of incremental learning, and how Elon University is creating an opportunity for students to display and articulate their skills before obtaining a degree.

  • Hannah Southern, Elon University
  • Annica Gaebel, Elon University

How Do You Boil the Ocean of Alternative Credentials? Our Approach: Piloting to Test the Waters

An interactive session creating a dialog with audience based on a presentation about WPI's journey in the realm of alternative credentials so far.

  • Aleksandra Taraschansky, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Stacy Chiaramonte, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Impact of Micro-credentials and Micro-pathways for New Majority Learners

Microcredentials and micro-pathways now being offered in post secondary instituions reflect the interest towards skill and competency based learning. More employers are eliminating degree requirements and focusing on skills and experience to address talent shortages. (L)earners are looking for accessible, affordable, stackable, portable credentials that lead to in demand, good paying jobs. Hear from forward leading community college leaders in their effort to design and offer microcredentials and micro-pathways to serve (l)earners in their communities.

  • Luke Dowden, Alamo Colleges District
  • Ian Roark, Pima Community College
  • Molly Phelps, Bunker Hill Community College
  • Lisa Larson, Education Design Lab

In-demand Credentials + Accelerated Schedule = Increased Completions

Repurposing credentials in Oakton's Automotive program with shorter, specific, and accelerated scheduling is effective in increasing credential attainment and completions. This approach increases student motivation and allows them to focus on the necessary skills for their desired career path. By producing more skilled professionals entering the workforce in the automotive industry, it makes graduates more competitive in the job market. The benefits of this approach go beyond increased completion rates, making it an efficient method to prepare students to become skilled professionals in the industry.

  • Marc Battista, Oakton College
  • Michael Peat, Oakton College

Integrating Microcredentials into Undergraduate Experiences

Microcredentials are growing exponentially, and they have many purposes. Discover how the University of Texas System is integrating microcredentials into undergraduate experiences through its partnerships with Coursera as a way to provide learners with the skills, knowledge, and competencies most valued by employers. The University of Texas at Arlington’s (UTA) Power Up + Tech Up program will be featured as an example of this work given their innovative program coaches students in STEM and non-STEM majors through recognition of their “power” skills aligned with the eight NACE competencies and completion of industry-recognized microcredentials of value from leaders like Google to broadly educate and specifically skill students for higher first-year earnings and career success in a rapidly changing employment market.

  • Karen Elzey, Workcred
  • Amber Smallwood, University of Texas, Arlington
  • Robin Macaluso, University of Texas, Arlington
  • Pranesh Aswath, University of Texas, Arlington
  • Kelvin Bentley, The University of Texas System
  • Kimberly Poelman, Coursera

It’s All About the Competency: Lessons Learned from the Launch of a Literacy Micro-Credential Initiative Supporting K-12 Educators

The Flamingo Literacy Micro-Credential is an online, competency-based professional development system based in the Science of Reading. The Micro-Credential provides learning pathways for educators from Birth-Grade 12. Educators participating in the birth through pre-k pathway receive a stipend upon program completion. Educators in the birth to five pathway earn a completion stipend and continuing education units; those in the pre-K through twelfth-grade pathways earn credit toward multiple State of Florida teacher certification requirements.

  • Amanda Pate, University of Florida
  • Robert Moore, University of Florida
  • Bryn Humphrey, University of Florida

 Job-defined Credentials Bridging the Divide: Building Equity and Access to the IT Workforce of Tomorrow

We achieve this by providing students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities mapped to job practices and delivering them at scale. Our new model focuses on bringing these skills and associated opportunities to high schools, higher education, and adult learners from around the globe. Our model is driven by our 150,000 members who typically hire talent and recognize that the traditional education model is not preparing students for the jobs they are trying to fill. To fill the talent gap and support the learner journey our 200+ chapters and their 150,000 members across the globe, mentor, support, instruct and hire our students. Through this unique model, ISACA provides equity and workforce access to students from all backgrounds and bridges the divide between education and the workforce.

  • Jeff Angle, ISACA
  • Perrin Greene, City Colleges of Chicago
  • Dave Tuckman, FRSecure
  • Nasir Memon, New York University

Launching Effective Certification+Degree Pathways

This panel brings together representatives from community colleges, the Higher Learning Commission, and the League for Innovation for Commmunity Colleges to share about their learning from a collaboration which focuses on launching certification and degree (C+D) Pathways at four colleges. C+D Pathways offer community colleges an affordable, scalable approach to align degrees with industry needs and provide alternative pathways to the workforce by embedding industry-recognized certifications into associate degree coursework.

  • Isabel Cardenas-Navia, Workcred
  • Rufus Glasper, League for Innovation in the Community College
  • Karen J. Solomon, Higher Learning Commission

Layers and Lifecycle of a Digital Credential

The transition to skills-based ecosystem drives the need for digital. Digital credentials have three life cycle stages or layers: Design – What is the credential? What underlies it? Assessment – How is the achievement validated? What value does it have and how can we trust that? Publication –How is the credential documented and shared? Digital credentials can be approached in multiple ways, but data standards and taxonomies are essential for content and technical implementation. The University of Maryland Global Campus, Southern New Hampshire University, and Western Governors University colleagues share their “layers and life cycle of digital credentials” stories.

  • Christopher Davis, University of Maryland Global Campus
  • Gwendolyn Britton, Southern New Hampshire University
  • Sarah DeMark, Western Governors University

Micro What? Our Journey to Awarding Microcredentals

How do you create a new credit-based credential at a large, decentralized R1 University? You find great partners across campus and make it a collaborative effort! Hear about Oregon State University’s journey as we discuss our online microcredential program for current and prospective students. After 18 months, we’re offering 30 different microcredentals and have awarded 111 badges. We’ll discuss the collaborative efforts between academic affairs (including the office of the registrar) and Ecampus, our online education division. Additionally, we will focus on the considerations that helped us decide how to structure the microcredentials, allowing for a streamlined process.

  • Rebecca Mathern, Oregon State University
  • Lisa Templeton, Oregon State University
  • Jarrell Townsend, Oregon State University

Micro-credentials Live: Three University Micro-credential Models from a Registrar Lens

Have you considered offering microcredentials at your institution but don’t know where to even begin? Considerations for credit, non-credit, transcript visible, badge visible, and other options will all be discussed. Three university registrars will discuss their institution's journey rolling out microcredentials to date. They will share their successes and lessons learned including which units with whom they partnered, which academic programs were most interested, which programs awarded the most credentials and other valuable nuggets that could assist other schools in successfully piloting microcredentials. Participants should come prepared to ask questions relative to their own experiences and their unique institution’s situation.

  • Rebecca Mathern, Oregon State University
  • Brenda Selman, University of Missouri
  • Kara Saunders, University of Buffalo

New Credential Benchmarks: A Joint AACRAO/UPCEA Study

  • Jim Fong, UPCEA
  • Wendy Kilgore, AACRAO
  • Bruce Etter, UPCEA

New Game-Mode Unlocked: Earning Real College Credit

Earning college credit for playing video games sounds like the stuff dreams are made of! But, how do you translate a blockbuster video game into a college credit opportunity? In 2022, the University of Arizona Online partnered with Microsoft's World's Edge studio and Relic Entertainment to offer a unique opportunity for players to earn college credit through mastery of the Age of Empires IV video game and supplemental “Illuminated Histories” content developed by UArizona faculty. Presenters will share insights about the collaboration across the university (and corporate partners) in order to bring “history alive” for gamer-students.

  • Carmin Chan, University of Arizona
  • Kara Aquilano Forney, University of Arizona
  • Alex Underwood, University of Arizona
  • Rebecca Cook, University of Arizona

Partnership Ecosystem for Success in the Alternative Credential Market

HolonIQ reports over 85% of institutions consider alternative credentials as an important strategy for their future. Higher education leaders confirm interest in expanding alternative credential offerings. However, attempts to generate meaningful revenue from alternative credentials often fall short of expectations. Few institutions are equipped with the skills, personnel, or systems to compete in the alternative credential market. A strategic partnership ecosystem provides the expertise necessary to realize goals. This panel will address strategies for developing a partnership ecosystem and key functions necessary for success in the alternative credential market. Examples of two partnership ecosystems will be presented by institution panelists.

  • Tracy Chapman, Collegis Education
  • Troy Hargrove, Saint Louis University
  • Alison Darling, Queens University
  • Graham Tutti, Traction Rec for Education

Postsecondary Quality Standards for Non-credit Credentials

At Humber College we set out to create a system for quality assuring non-credit continuous professional learning courses. In this presentation we will describe our process, what is similar and different in our quality practices in for-credit and non-credit programs, lessons learned and future directions. The presentation will also examine our institutional organizational structure for operationalizing quality practices in for-credit and non-credit offerings and how these practices are the foundation for plans to recognize prior learning assessments between for-credit and non-credit offerings in the future. This session will also engage participants in discussions around effective practices at their own institutions.

  • Nichole Molinaro, Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning
  • Vera Beletzan, Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning
  • Alena Shah, Humber College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning

Reducing Friction Between Education and Employment Records

In this exciting world of innovation in digital credentialing, we must take critical steps to achieve our core objectives of delivering useful, meaningful, trusted, secure, and globally transferable digital education and employment records. This panel will bring together leaders in today's credentialing movement who are collaborating and contributing to the building blocks of an effective credentialing ecosystem. Hear strategies for how you can contribute to the growth of this work and unlock new opportunities for billions globally.

  • Sarah DeMark, Western Governors University, Open Skills Network
  • Naomi Szekeres, Velocity Network Foundation
  • Rob Coyle, 1EdTech

Registrar Brainstorming, Wrangling and Solutioning

Engage in a discussion on how registrar can help wrangle, influence or lead campus protocols related to micro-credential initiatives. Topics of discussion include, but may not be limited to: proposal/approval processes, stacking credentials, turning non-credit credentials into credit opportunities, academic transcript and SIS considerations, and more.

  • Kristi Wold-McCormick, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Bart Quinet, Vanderbilt University
  • Mae Sanders, Motlow State Community College

Scaling Digital Credentialing: Insights from a Peer Review Process

Join us for a panel session on scaling digital credentialing programs in higher education, drawing on the experience of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Three participants in the UMBC peer review process will share their insights and recommendations for bridging academic affairs, student affairs, and continuing education and balancing quality and scale. Attendees will gain actionable advice and insights that they can apply to their own institutions, as well as a broader understanding of the significance of digital credentialing and microcredentialing in higher education.

  • Collin Sullivan, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • Sherri Braxton, Bowdoin College
  • Chris Steel, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • Mark McConahay, AACRAO

Skillifying at Scale: Helping Faculty Connect Course Outcomes to Workforce Needs

Indiana University, partnering with Lightcast, is exploring how machine learning can be used to analyze course material to suggest “skills” embedded in courses. Our goal in assessing curricular material within the LMS is to develop an integration that allows faculty to analyze their courses, discover the skills embedded in it using employer-relevant language, and choose which skills should be associated with their courses. Integrating skills-based learning frameworks requires tech solutions that help faculty articulate the skills embedded in courses. This session will present the conceptual framework in our approach and an early look the technical solutions we’re developing.

  • Adam Maksl, Indiana University
  • Maggie Ricci, Indiana University

Space for Alignment: Bringing PCO and Academic Affairs Together

Coordinating and consolidated management of alternative credential offerings is challenging, but critical in the modern postsecondary environment. Higher ed institutions are under more pressure than ever to innovate fast, and to come up with new program models designed to serve a more diverse audience of learners. At many institutions, this has led to departments developing non-degree programs in isolation—leading to consumer confusion, questions around rigor, and ultimately a poor learner experience. In this session, hear from leaders at two institutions who took unique approaches to achieving the same goal: creating a cohesive and consolidated approach to managing alternative credentialing.

  • Amrit Ahluwalia, The EvoLLLution: A Modern Campus Illumination
  • Anissa Vega, Kennesaw State University
  • Nicole Westrick, Morgan State University

Statewide CLR/LER Implementations: A Discussion of Alabama Community College System and Tennessee Board of Regents CLR/LER Projects

AACRAO participated in the design and implementation of CLR/LERS for the statue systems of Tennessee and Alabama. Though each state designed and built their CLR/LER independently, they both shared an overall objective of enabling their students to articulate the learning they mastered in their academic journeys and to validate them on behalf of the student to potential employers. Though unique, each is a valid attestation of competencies achieved. This session will provide overviews of each state’s project, discuss the successes and challenges of each and the extensibility of these projects within the digital credential ecosystem.

  • Mark McConahay, AACRAO

Strategic Innovation: Building a Better Infrastructure for Microlearning

Advancing microlearning for professional education requires strategic planning to establish the infrastructure and workflows necessary for success. This presentation details the innovative approach taken at WIlliam & Mary, a selective public liberal arts university in Virginia. Attendees will explore the three-stage process that led to a human-centered approach to professional learning: infrastructure, strategic partner recruitment, and system implementation. Participants will make connections with their work through a guided planning process.

  • Diana Theisinger, William & Mary
  • Adam Barger, William & Mary
  • Mark Hofer, William & Mary

Student Record Holds: The National Landscape

The session will provide an overview of developments and share insights on policies, legislation, and practice across the nation related to the placing of holds on student records.

  • Jared Abdirkin, New England Board of Higher Education
  • Jenny Parks, Midwestern Higher Education Compact
  • Peace Bransberger, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

The "Power of And": High Quality Digital Badging at FGCU

Micro-credentials and digital badges provide flexible and efficient ways to prepare students for the world of work. When approached as a collaboration between education and industry, there is little to fear and much to innovate! This presentation shares how a regional, comprehensive university has partnered with global employers to develop a talent pipeline through the "Power of And."

  • Kristen Vanselow, Florida Gulf Coast University
  • Aysegul Timur, Florida Gulf Coast University

The Creation Process: Establishing Credit & Noncredit Microcredentials with Faculty at the Wheel

Faculty and staff from SUNY Oswego will share their experience establishing credit and noncredit microcredentials. This presentation reviews steps taken to define a common vision and goal, get campus-wide buy-in, implement microcredentials via the faculty governance process, cultivate productive academic and industry partnerships to establish new microcredentials, and strategically offer microcredentials within degree programs as well as in stand-alone capacities. While SUNY Oswego is still breaking ground in this area and doesn't have all the answers, this story may shed light for others as they consider their own next steps establishing this accessible and innovative programming.

  • Jill Pippin, SUNY Oswego
  • Sandra Bargainnier, SUNY Oswego
  • Julie Pretzat, SUNY Oswego
  • Karen Archibee, SUNY Oswego

Three Things You Must Do to Make Your Microcredentials Program a Success

Get valuable tips and advice to help strengthen your microcredentials program and deliver more value to your learners. We've identified three of the most challenging elements needed for success with digital credentials in higher ed, including:Creating a strategic governance model, Connecting and partnering with employers, and Improving education-to-career pathways through more effective curriculum design.Hear from three experts in the field about how they tackle these challenges. Come ready to share your experiences and get answers to your questions.

  • Janelle Elias, Rio Salado Community College
  • Anissa Vega, Kennesaw State University
  • Luke Dowden, Alamo Colleges District
  • Kelly Hoyland, 1EdTech

Tiered Badges to Scaffold Faculty Development at an R1 Institution

How can educational developers leverage digital badging to facilitate faculty development? This session discusses the design of a multi-tiered badging faculty development program to support inclusive pedagogy in classrooms. Our goal was to support implementation of inclusive teaching practices, and the badges were designed so that faculty demonstrated their learning at each level before earning subsequent badges. Multiple levels of badges provided opportunity for continued instructor engagement in programming with faculty at higher levels also supporting those at the lower. We describe the design, implementation, advantages and limitations of using digital badges in faculty development.

  • Christina Bifulco, Rutgers University
  • Chris Drue, Rutgers University

 Trust in the Digital Credential Age: Governance, Technology and Agency for Institutions and Learners with the TLN

The Trusted Learner Network initiative works to tackle core challenges of quality, accessibility and value in the world of digital credentials by developing governance frameworks, technologies to onboard institutions into the world of digital credentials, and a community to explore and advance the ecosystem. Join us to engage in an exciting round-table conversation with expert members of the TLN Governing Body about the key trust challenges and innovations within the space and learn more about how to become a part of this institution-led initiative!

  • Sherri Braxton, Bowdoin College
  • Insiya Bream, University of Maryland Global Camus
  • Meena Naik, JFFLabs
  • Noah Geisel, University of Colorado
  • Kate Giovacchini, Arizona State University

Using Competencies to Ensure Credential Credibility: Assurance of Learning in Microcredentials

Grounding microcredentials in competencies connected to employer demand is an essential component of ensuring credential value and transparency. Creating performance-based, criterion referenced assessments that measure and ensure a learner has mastered those competencies is even more important to assure the quality. This session will review how to develop competencies tied to microcredentials and review hallmarks of competency-based assessment design, and discuss the broader benefits and implications of tying microcredentialling and badging efforts to competency-based pedagogy.

  • Amber Garrison Duncan, Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN)
  • Ryan Specht-Boardman, Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN)

Validating the Value of Experience: A Journey of Credit for Prior Learning

An emerging trend in higher education is building pathways for student success by making sure all learning counts. This presentation will showcase our credential innovation collaboration efforts between our online and continuing education units. These units have converged on the intentional selection of in-demand short-form offerings so that every program leads to a level-up opportunity through credit for prior learning (CPL).

  • Kristy Anthony, LSU Online and Continuing Education
  • Lynn Nahmens, LSU Online and Continuing Education
  • Radhika Krishnadas, LSU Online and Continuing Education

Where Do We Go from Here? Setting a Course for PCO Units, Programs, and Credentials.

New, short, professionally aligned competency and skill development “courses” and credentials are everywhere - from free online resources, to high-end, ultra polished, video-based programming featuring well known celebrities. For learners, the options are endless. For university, non-credit continuing education divisions, our positioning is not always clear. In this session we’ll explore higher education’s important stake in the future of responsive, professional learning, including how to approach strategy, planning and program differentiation so that we can not only keep up, but remain leaders as work and learning continue to evolve.

  • Ryan Torma, University of Minnesota
  • Krissy Collins, University of California, Irvine

Roundtable Sessions

Accelerating to Opportunity: Implementing a Unified Achievement Framework for Learners to Earn and Demonstrate Value

Micro-credentials are becoming increasingly common, and the desire to offer them spans industry and education. But what exactly are these new offerings? How big or small should they be? And Which micro-credentials should my organization offer? This session will discuss how WGU recently implemented a Unified Achievement Framework and the lessons learned from the rollout.

  • Tyson Heath, Western Governors University
  • Kacey Thorne, Western Governors University

Adapting to the Changing Landscape of Education

Mississippi State University (MSU) has established the College of Professional and Continuing Studies to provide greater flexibility and an entrepreneurial approach to address the lack of structure to support professional, applied, and continuing education credentials for adult learners. MSU collaborated with stakeholders to create innovative solutions, including alternative credentials such as micro-credentials that are more focused, shorter in duration, and more affordable than traditional degrees. This new college is a victory for the Alternative Credentialing community and allows MSU to respond to the diverse needs of both workforce and industry.

  • Susan Seal, Mississippi State University
  • Ryan Walker, Mississippi State University

Blazing a Quality Trail in the Wild West of Badging and Credentials

Ninety five percent of employers see benefits in their staff earning micro credentials according to a recent survey (Collegis Education/UPCEA, 2023).  However, many employers expressed concern about the lack of standardization and measuring authenticity. The badging and digital credentials landscape is often considered the “wild west.”  To date, there are no universal standards governing quality.  This round table session will encourage discussions of possible standards along with the technology being utilized for badging and credentialing.  The session offers participants the opportunity for in-depth dialogue including sharing best practices, gaining insights from colleagues, and discussing “what’s next” including Comprehensive Learner Records.

  • Lynda Wilson, California State University, Dominguez Hills

Converging Perspectives: How a Research University (R1) Approaches Alternative Credentialing

Through university and private sector perspectives, this panel explores the value and challenges of rolling out non-credit to credit and microcredential pathways at the University of Delaware, an R1 research institution, to meet student and employer demand.

  • George Irvine, University of Delaware
  • Amanda Steele-Middleton, University of Delaware
  • Lee Maxey, MindMax
  • Jennifer McDermott, JP Morgan Chase

Charting New Territory: A Journey in the Development of a New Stackable Degree

Stackable credentials are flexible educational opportunities that provide learners with multiple pathways. Previous research suggests that stackable credentials can reduce barriers to completion for non-traditional students. A stackable degree program at Kennesaw State University was designed with multiple pathways in the Digital Financial Technologies (FinTech), MS program. The curriculum team identified ideal programs and engaged stakeholders in program development, incorporating successful programs such as micro-credential initiatives, credit for prior learning, and Community and Professional Education involvement. The presentation provides a potential roadmap for institutions looking to create a stackable credential program, including lessons learned during program development.

  • Brendan Callahan, Kennesaw State University
  • Ashley Archer Doehling, Kennesaw State University
  • Michelle Head, Kennesaw State University
  • Anissa Vega, Kennesaw State University

Defining the Beginning Together: Opening Strategies for Developing and Implementing Microcredentials at our Institutions

This roundtable discussion will share a mid-sized public research university’s progress on crafting an institutional approach to integrating digital alternative credentials across campus. Roundtable facilitators will provide insight on how the institution is approaching strategy development and share the resources used to build a theoretical foundation for and the exploratory questions guiding this work. Participants will have ample time to discuss their own experiences with developing alternative digital credentials and learn from one another.

  • Sarah MacDonald, James Madison University
  • Nora Sutton, James Madison University

From One to One Billion: Creating Opportunities for People Globally

Hear from innovative leaders in the credentialing ecosystem explaining four essential ingredients to driving mass adoption and accessibility within the credentialing ecosystem: (1) working through existing technology ecosystems, (2) enabling full interoperability, (3) incenting participation and (4) fostering collaborative effort. Speaking directly to institutional leaders and their teams, this interactive presentation will feature multiple leaders from both the education sector and the world of work to explain key concepts and share practical experiences of organizations who are implementing solutions and cooperatively driving mass adoption.

  • Naomi Szekeres, Velocity Network Foundation
  • Jim Owens, Velocity Network Foundation

From Research to Enrollment: Understanding, Engaging, and Influencing Prospective Students on LinkedIn, in Search, and on Your Site

Carnegie and LinkedIn have partnered to deliver valuable insights into the prospective student journey for online program enrollment and the ways in which prospects use LinkedIn and other forms of social media to inform their enrollment decision-making process. How are prospective students interacting with colleges and universities on LinkedIn, through search, and on your websites? Learn tactics and strategies with LinkedIn, website best practices, and optimizing search results to help drive high-quality leads and help boost enrollment.

  • Melissa Rekos, Carnegie
  • Michael Lamphier, Wake Forest School of Business
  • Tim McCarthy, LinkedIn

Journey to a Shared Micro-Credentials Language Across the Institution

University of Calgary Continuing Education is working on creating shared language and documentation around what micro credentials are or will be across the institution. The process has been a journey of fits and starts toward consensus in communicating a broad definition of micro credentials with students, employers, and others. The ongoing journey involves all continuing education areas: Registrarial, Marketing, Teaching and Learning Services, and Governance. The aimed objectives of our work are to establish clarity and consistency in definitions, determine the composition and complexity of the micro credential badging - including branding elements, and set up an efficient process to issue and manage badges. The proposed UCalgary model of development could be described as an iterative and heuristic leveraging of existing structures, workflows, and frameworks.We are working on finding a balance in our unit, institution, and larger governmental oversight bodies to avoid both small-box binding prescriptiveness, as well as the bloom of wildflowers. We will present and share discussion on the front-facing student view with the current and future back-end of micro credentials and micro credential badging.

  • Gabriela Santamaria, University of Calgary
  • Terumi Taylor, University of Calgary

Mind The Gap: A Microcredential Strategy to Empower Students

Much has already been said about traditional transcripts' inability to capture college students' myriad skills and abilities. New solutions including LERs, CLRs, and Digital Wallets offer promising solutions for the long term, but what can be done now to assist students in telling their own stories of growth? A microcredential strategy that spotlights the skills, knowledge, and abilities they build within, across, and outside their coursework offers a short-term solution for this challenge.Although this approach has been implemented at various higher education institutions, what we propose takes into consideration the specific challenges, policies, etc., of an R1 institution.

  • Javier Motta-Mena, University of Texas at Austin

No Longer Optional: Launching Dynamic Email Content to Engage PCO Prospects

Tufts University College and Viv Higher Education will share lessons learned in launching dynamic content nurture streams in Hubspot. This presentation will cover developing content strategy, building the dynamic content, implementing it in the CRM, reporting on it, and how it impacted students’ experiences.

  • Audra DeLaney, Viv Higher Education
  • Tara Pope, Tufts University College

Trust at the Speed of Innovation: Moving Fast Without Breaking Hearts and Losing Minds

Credential innovation in Higher Education takes the expertise of many different stakeholder groups that include such areas as schools, colleges, departments, as well as registrar, bursar, online education, continuing education and others. In this thought provoking panel, experts from these areas will discuss high level considerations for strategy and governance of credential innovation.

  • Robert McDonald, University of Colorado Boulder

Upskilling Department of Defense Senior Leadership in Artificial Intelligence: Solving a Cold Start Problem through a Partnership between Academia and Government

Upskilling programs for working professionals exposes them to new knowledge, frameworks, and skills that directly influence how they solve problems. The context for our presentation is upskilling of senior DoD leaders in AI in support of their respective Missions. Given obvious national security implications it is critical that we commit every effort to provide best-in-class training. Our work demonstrates a robust and systematic approach to the development of a comprehensive and scalable learning ecosystem for upskilling senior executives. The model we will share can be replicated in other academic domains as well as workforce development contexts other than the US government.

  • Khusro Kidwai, Johns Hopkins University
  • Laura Kahn, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Kelly Anne Costello, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Mathias Kölsch, Naval Postgraduate School
  • Kathleen Kennedy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Open Learning

Stop and Share Sessions

Building a Shared Vision: A Participatory Approach to Online Education Support

Whilst there is wide-ranging consensus about the need to foster shared institutional vision and understanding for online education, in general, and for the development of online education support units, specifically, few planning models for forming and sustaining these units exist. This presentation reports on the use of concept mapping methodology to conceptualize an enterprise-wide infrastructure plan for reorganizing an online education support unit. Participants who engage in this presentation will garner “lessons learned” from this effort, partake in a replicable exercise for creating a shared vision for online support units, and receive tools to deploy participatory approaches for institutional planning.

  • Jay Miller, University of Kentucky
  • Tyler Gayheart, University of Kentucky

Digital Credentials: Supporting Career Journeys Through High-Demand Skills

Our institution, like many higher educational institutions, has been challenged to overcome the workforce skills gap and the devaluing of the college degree. Our digital credential strategy intentionally closes the gap between the classroom and workplace by aligning university, program, and course outcomes to marketplace skills to enable students to articulate what they know, using employer language, and differentiate themselves through digital credentials. Whether your institution has been issuing digital credentials for some time, or you’re just starting out, or even if you’re just badge-curious, this session is for you!

  • Mary Elizabeth Smith, University of Phoenix
  • Kathryn Uhles, University of Phoenix

EELISA European University: European Engineering Learning Innovation Alliance: Success and Challenges

During the session, our objective is present the success and challenges of our European university EELISA, through the presentation of (i) our shared vision for transformation higher education and research area in Europe in engineering (ii) innovative EELISA communities engaging academics and researchers, students, non-academic staff and external stakeholders (iii) the presentation of our innovative model of alternative recognition, EELISA credential and our overall student engagement recognition system.

  • Sofia D'Aguiar, EELISA European University
  • Alberto Garrido, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
  • Sophie Griveau, Chimie ParisTech - PSL University

Give Me Some SLACK: Fostering Support for Online Degree and Credential Seekers

Innovative support models are germane to degree and credential attainment. Yet, empirically tested, scalable models are few. Using an interactive, case-study presentation style, this presentation details the deployment of an innovative student success initiative designed to cultivate connectedness, increase information seeking effectiveness, and foster belonging among an online student cohort enrolled in a specialized certificate program. The initiative utilized Slack, a productivity platform designed to efficiently organize and connect groups. Participants who engage in this presentation will appreciate the importance of learner support for successful credential attainment and consider implications for replicating this initiative in an array of contexts.

  • Jay Miller, University of Kentucky
  • Tyler Gayheart, University of Kentucky

Online Workforce College: Stackable Learning and Micro-credentials at Scale

The Online Workforce College is a fully online, self-paced, & on-demand skills training platform based out of Jones County Junior College (Ellisville, Mississippi). The platform was built to offer expanded learner opportunities by offering affordable, flexible, work-ready skills training for employment. A scalable highly customizable solution, employers are given affordable, yet valuable pathways to meet their specific training goals. Individual learners experience a seamless learning journey, stacking small courses into skills training programs. OWC has grown over the past 2 years and has been adopted by individuals, community colleges, employers, and others who understand the value of a highly skilled, competent workforce.

  • Michael Trest, Jones College
  • Thomas Ohlenforst, Drieam

Revolutionizing Learner Mobility with ASU Pocket: Lessons from Enterprise Credentialing Transformation

As the global workforce continues to evolve, the demand for accessible, flexible, and innovative educational pathways is becoming increasingly critical. In this groundbreaking session, our team will unveil ASU Pocket, a cutting-edge credentialing solution on the path to revolutionize learner mobility and agency, and the future of education. In the summer of 2023, we released ASU Pocket Beta 1.0 to the entire ASU community of 160,000 students, faculty and staff. In this session, we will provide an exclusive first look at the Beta version of ASU Pocket, revealing its transformative capabilities for students, educators, and industry stakeholders alike, and discuss lessons learned from the first enterprise-wide rollout of the next-generation credentialing technology.

  • Timothy Summers, Arizona State University
  • Marianna Milkis-Edwards, Arizona State University

Supporting the Adult Learner Through the Portability and Durability of Skills-Based Credentials

Excelsior University developed online building blocks to offer flexible and personalized options for its diverse student body of working adults, including certificates and experiential learning in courses. The School of Business labels key skills in courses, identifies the ways students will use skills on the job, and helps students to demonstrate and reflect on what they have learned to build connections. Attendees will learn how they can ensure portability of their business degrees through better curricular design and programmatic offerings, as well as help students to showcase in-demand skills in their digital profiles and conversations with employers in online courses.

  • Leah Sciabarrasi, Excelsior University
  • Scott Dolan, Excelsior University

Stop + Share Sessions

Building a Micro-credential: A Case Study from the Metaverse

An in-depth look a case study to developed and implemented micro-credentials in VR. The workshop will explore the three critical components of this development process, which includes establishing industry partnerships, developing a value-added marketing strategy for recruitment, and monitoring longitudinal outcomes for participants. The workshop will include a collaborative, working session that will guide participants through the process of addressing each step of the process. Attendees will have the opportunity to brainstorm ideas and develop a plan to create their own micro-credential programs that meet the needs of their stakeholders.

  • Ryan Walker, Mississippi State University
  • Susan Seal, Mississippi State University

Comprehensive Learner Record: It Takes a Partnership to go From Concept to Reality

Temple University’s Office of the University Registrar partnered with the Fox School of Business and other internal stakeholders to implement a comprehensive learner record. To manage data related to co-curricular pathways and achievements, Fox partnered with Suitable, a student engagement platform that provides a virtual roadmap for the entire student lifecycle. The Office of the University Registrar partnered with Parchment to create the CLR visual document and issue the CLR to the students via their Award platform. A governance model was established to uphold the CLR and the data it contains.

  • Bhavesh Bambhrolia, Temple University
  • Charles Allen, Temple University
  • Jason Weaver, Parchment

Credentialing in Innovative After School STEM/STEAM Program

Fin Future Techies (FFT) after-school STEM/STEAM program conceived by Fiserv, Inc. will be described, external evaluation findings shared; and attendee input sought regarding credentials to award to successive cohorts of middle schoolers. FFT tenets honor community service and upskilling, directly exposing youngsters to professional standards with by practitioners teaching topics; and crafting FFT to build interest in the FinTech industry sector among learners who eventually will become job seekers.

  • Gale Tenen Spak, New Jersey Institute of Technology (Emeritus)
  • Linda Wellbrock, Firserv

Customized Alternative Credentials: Meeting the Skills Gap One Employer at a Time

Continuing, Professional, and Online Education units continually evolve to keep pace with changing industry demands. Training & development is a crucial component for employers to remain competitive. The Great Resignation is a huge struggle. While there are universal training needs, increasingly employers want to customize alternative credentials for their employees.Two case studies will be presented that represent employer partnership collaborations to curate a series of training that meets customized training needs for their employees. Closing the skills gap is at the forefront for these collaborations!

  • Lisa Verma, LSU Online & Continuing Education

Light the Path: How You Can Go from Concept to Credentials to Scale in Building Your Micro-Credential Program

Choose your starting point. There is no single way to launch and scale micro-credentials. Hear how one system, Alamo Colleges District, went from concept to credentials to a plan for scale. Discover the framework they used and consider how to apply it to your institution. Whether you’ve started on micro-credentials, are just thinking about it, or aren’t yet at this point, this is your chance to join the discussion, consider the potential, and start making a plan. You’ll come away with tools in hand and the first step completed.

  • Lucas Dowden, Alamo Colleges District
  • Julie Johnson, StrategyForward Advisors

Playbook for Creating and Increasing the Value of Alternative Credentials: How Stanford Builds Meaningful Pathways to Socio-economic Mobility through a Stackable Credential Framework

Stanford University, a decentralized institution, ratified a credential framework that standardizes requirements and rigor across a large portfolio of online and global education programs offering stackable, alternative credentials. The Stanford Center for Professional Education (SCPD) helped Stanford develop the credential framework, stewards it, and issues the majority of non-credit alternative credentials through Stanford Online. SCPD designed stackability into the framework, issuing credit-bearing graduate education certificates, which increase access to master’s degree programs. Last year, SCPD launched a digital badging and certificate system that automates the instant, electronic delivery of credential documents as immutable records, verified on the blockchain – giving students control over their records and the ability to demonstrate knowledge and skills to employers. Get the team's playbook.

  • Carissa Little, Stanford University
  • Robert Prakash, Stanford University
  • Judith Romero, Stanford University

Recruiting Faculty to Embrace Alternative Credentials

Mississippi State University College of Professional and Continuing Studies has developed a strategy to recruit faculty to embrace alternative credentials. The approach involves providing faculty with their own micro credential in virtual reality curriculum development, which gives them an authentic understanding of micro credential training and helps them see the value of the new model. The session will highlight the outcomes related to improving their ability to secure external funding, improving learning outcomes for students, and joining a community of innovative curriculum developers. Attendees will gain insight into effective recruitment strategies that promote innovation and growth through alternative credentials.

  • Arianne Hainsey, Mississippi State University
  • Ryan Walker, Mississippi State University

Transforming the Academy: Leveraging Institutional Resources and Regional Relationships to Design Innovative New Industry-Responsive Microcredentials

In 2022, Mercy College’s months-old Division of Workforce Credentialing and Community Impact partnered with White Plains Hospital on an unprecedented dual-track noncredit program in two high demand healthcare specializations through a collaboration involving joint program design and implementation. The program incorporated just-in-time needs of the Hospital, content reflecting contemporary issues in healthcare, and application of the College’s resources, curricula, and faculty in completely new ways.  Attendees will learn about starting up a new division from scratch by engaging vital community partners and transforming traditional academic program development while exploring approaches for identifying lucrative, game-changing microcredential expansion at their institutions.

  • Brian Amkraut, Mercy College
  • Lisa Braverman, Mercy College

What We Learned about Micro-credential Learners

The Alamo Colleges District, a very large community college district of Hispanic Serving Institutions, released an Insight Series, looking at early results on its journey to elevate training options since introducing micro-credentials into the Alamo Colleges District. This six-part series tells AlamoONLINE’s story of exploration, innovation, and learning. The series documents and shares findings, successes, and opportunities for improvement. In 2020, the District expanded its services to include micro-credentialing to enhance students' educational experiences and strengthen each college’s capacity to deliver premier, quality digital learning experiences. Learn about the outcomes of engaging #workerlearners, partnering with business and industry, and making skills visible for learner earners.

  • Amber O'Casey, Alamo Colleges District
  • Luke Dowden, Alamo Colleges District

Talks Sessions

Assessment Taxonomy for CPE Micro-credentials

What makes for good assessment practices in digital micro-credentials? Research has focused on the promise of digital micro-credentials to enhance curriculum and employability opportunities for working learners and foster lifelong learning. However, there is a lack of literature examining good practices in assessment for micro-credentials. I analyze our University's work-focused portfolio of post-professional micro-credentials (over 100 programs) to inform the development of a taxonomy of micro-credential assessment to determine the relationship with the goal of providing work-focused assessment in the micro-credential ecosystem. Participants are given the opportunity to provide their feedback on the efficacy of the draft taxonomy.

  • Josephine Lang, The University of Melbourne

Employer-Aligned Skills-Based Education: Empowering the Workforce for the 21st Century

Join higher education and workforce development expert Dennis Di Lorenzo in this short but impactful talk on how to ensure that the skills you teach and those valued by employers are one and the same. Employers are experiencing recruitment and retention issues, and individuals in the workforce don’t know how to choose an education provider to give them the skills they need for job access, sustainability, and mobility. The answer? Build skills and assessment frameworks alongside employers, based on real job roles to upskill the workforce and build the recruitment pipeline. With training and job outcomes aligned, everyone wins.

  • Dennis Di Lorenzo, Rochester Institute of Technology

Leveraging a Microcredential to Increase Student Population and Workforce Development at an Academic Medical Center

This presentation will describe the development of a digital badge and pilot testing utilized to fill research study positions at an academic medical center.  Additionally, we will outline steps taken to show efficacy of this approach to onboarding and training new employees as well as utilization of the microcredential as a recruitment tool into our academic programs.

  • Barbara DeMarco, Rutgers University

Microcredentials in Effective Online Teaching: A Case Study

We launched two series including a Foundations in effective online teaching which comprised a foundation course, a best practices course, and a course for building in the LMS. An advanced series was also launched titled Current Trends in Engagement Strategies and included fundamentals in leveraging google and teams for engagement, collaboration for learning online, and alternative assessments to promote engagement.

  • Samantha Clifford, Northern Arizona University

Pulling Threads: Shifting Perspectives on Microcredentials in Higher Education

Defined as a shorter, competency-based learning experience, microcredentials give learners the ability to identify, demonstrate, and communicate their specific skills in a given context. Dal microcredentials are a valuable addition to other formal, more traditional post-secondary education, and provide increased access to learning experiences for a diverse learner population.  This session will share our ongoing microcredentialing journey that incorporated principles of engagement, experimentation, and continuous improvement; intentionally designed with minimal constraints to allow for innovation and the adoption of culturally responsive practices. It will highlight the need for discovery and the ability to respond to emerging opportunities.

  • Dianne Tyers, Dalhousie University

Resistance is Fertile: Innovating through Resistance with Alternative Credentials

Alternative credentials are at the forefront of enormous innovation: but, as with any innovative approach, they can face resistance at every level of our higher education institutions. In this talk, we’ll take Rutgers Law School’s Certificate in Cannabis Law and Business as a case study. This program went from an initial idea to launch in 11 months, marking a significant step for the law school as its first open-enrollment non-credit program. It was also a major step for Rutgers, given the institution’s hesitancy towards any involvement with cannabis. We’ll share some of the key strategies used to gain support and implement the program, and describe how viewing resistance as a fertile opportunity for further innovation was crucial to the program’s success.

  • Vanessa Williams, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Using Digital Badges to Showcase Student Competencies

This presentation will describe how our school uses digital badges to showcase the competencies students achieve in their required practical experience.

  • Melissa Kaufman, Drexel University

Why Is This Credentialing Different Than All Other Credentialing?

What are we actually doing here? Who cares? How does this stuff work? Why does it matter? This Convergence talk strives to meet attendees where you are in your credentials journey by engaging in group processing through the lens of four questions from four childhood personas. The Wise Child, the Wicked Child, the Simple Child, and the Child Who Doesn't Know How to Ask will offer concise points of view on the complicated, conceptually abstract topics of the digital credentialing space and suggest values-driven frameworks that offer us opportunities for shared meaning making and collective understanding.

  • Noah Geisel, University of Colorado Boulder


AACRAO Report on Alternative Credentials: What Next?
The AACRAO workgroup charged with developing best practices and guidance on alternative credentials released its report in 2022. During this workshop, AACRAO board members will provide an overview of the report and facilitate a discussion on what future guidance is needed for members from the association. Participants should bring their ideas around things like implementation impacts, standards, learner populations, and future opportunities and challenges.

  • Kristi Wold-McCormick, University of Colorado Boulder
  • Julia Pomerenk, University of Oregon

How to Create Global Education Micro-credentials

Brief presentation to level-set definitions, introduce micro-credential development model, and demonstrate use in an example program teaching Global DEI competencies. 1st activity – Develop adjacent market-segments with differentiated micro-credentials by considering alternative audiences. 2nd activity – Articulate learning outcome statements appropriate to audience / market segment for a micro-credential. 3rd activity – Align assessment of learning to an outcome statement and ensure appropriateness for a market segment. All activities follow format of solo work, paired work to revise, then a quick pitch to a small group with opportunity for feedback. Participants will leave with practice and a micro-credential partially developed during the activities.

  • Brendan Guenther, Michigan State University
  • Ashley Green, Michigan State University
  • Ashley Braman, Michigan State University

Learning and Employment Records: A Higher Education Organizational Change Model

We present a self-assessment framework for organizational change to guide departments, campuses, and systems through the LER Stages of Development. We identify workstreams and benchmarks for academic affairs, workforce partnerships, student success, data and technology, and state/system infrastructure, policies, and processes. We will workshop ideas, share insights from Indiana, Oregon, and Tennessee, and engage conversation around awareness and motivation to improve alignment between education and the workforce to improve outcomes.

  • Michele Spires, American Council on Education
  • Lauren Collier, American Council on Education

Lessons Learned from Implementing the Country's Largest University-Based Microcredential Program

The State University of New York (SUNY) is the largest comprehensive system of public higher education in the U.S. with 64 campuses including community colleges, technology colleges, comprehensive colleges, and doctoral institutions. Through an innovative, policy-driven approach SUNY has implemented microcredentials across all campus sectors and every academic level, at campuses urban and rural, large and small. SUNY's broad microcredential experiences (500+ microcredentials and counting) are translatable and adaptable to any higher education institution. This interactive session shares successes (including a key exercise on bridging silos across the institution), highlights missteps to avoid, and outlines future plans.

  • Cynthia Proctor, SUNY System Administration
  • Mindy Kole, SUNY Ulster

Serving Community Employer Partnerships through Credential Innovation

The world of work is ever-changing, and there has never been a greater need for partnership between employers and colleges. By coming together and leveraging their respective strengths, these two groups can help to create a more dynamic, innovative, and adaptable workforce that is better equipped to tackle the challenges of the 21st century. Attendees will have a deeper understanding of the principles and practices that underpin successful partnerships between employers and colleges. They will have the tools and knowledge they need to initiate and sustain these partnerships and to help create a more collaborative and innovative workforce in their organization and community.

  • Karina Kogan, EducationDynamics
  • Jodi Ashbrook, The U School, EducationDynamics
  • Christopher Steele, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Six Steps to Enable the Skills Ecosystem: Skills Alignment in Your Curriculum Playbook

Through the lens of active projects, the presenters will facilitate an interactive session to equip participants with the process and strategy to enable skills alignment to underpin digital credentials, within their institutions. Design activities will be conducted using sample data, applying a six step enablement model of the skills ecosystem to assist attendees with understanding “how” to develop skills structures to support institutional strategies. Use cases highlighting the use of competency data in undergraduate, graduate, and non-credit in US and Australian contexts will be provided. The presenting team includes higher education, non-profit, and technology representatives.

  • Brian La Duca, University of Dayton
  • Naomi Boyer, Education Design Lab
  • Josephine Lang, Melbourne School of Professional and Continuing Education, The University of Melbourne
  • Margo Griffith, Edalex