Helping Students Obtain Workforce-Ready Skills, Then Guiding Them to Degrees
Some potential WSU students just aren’t ready for a (or another) degree. Recognizing this, WSU’s Division of Online & Continuing Education created the microcredential program.
Microcredentials provide quick, demonstrable skills to students eager to improve their career prospects. All the while, the program is introducing WSU to new audiences — and solidifying bonds with alumni.
For Your Students
Microdredentials enable community members to develop provable skills in a timely manner.
Those same community members are introduced to university-level education in a low-risk, manageable environment.
As their confidence grows, they become more open to the idea of furthering their education.
For Your Department
Through non-credit, professionally oriented skills,
microcredentials introduce your department to a new population of students.
Those students may not be ready to commit to a full degree yet, but you’re making the connection.
The microcredentials program introduces them to the great education WSU provides.
The university can follow their progress, stay in contact and approach them with more educational opportunities when the time is right.
How It Works
The microcredentials program depends on win-win partnerships between DOCE and the rest of campus. Faculty members are compensated for development at $60 per hour for up to 20 hours. Please note, though, that course content often is already created! It’s just repurposed. More details are in the segment below.
Microcredentials provide students with enough knowledge to upskill, but not as much content as a standard, three-credit-hour course.
Curriculum is often drawn from existing, vetted, for-credit course materials. Faculty and DOCE work together to break existing course material up into smaller, workforce-focused bits.
Using a Canvas template designed to make content population easy, the faculty member(s) and DOCE work together to create modules for the microcredential.
Those modules, often articulated as assignments, stack into milestones, which are accomplishments that culminate in earning a microcredential.
The milestones and artifacts are displayed in Portfolium, WSU’s ePortfolio provider. Upon completing the course, students can share their ePortfolio to potential employers and others.
Students Begin Earning the Microcredential
With most microcredentials, students are able to participate online, asynchronously and on an extended timeline.
As they achieve certain milestones, they are acknowledged for their hard work. Completed milestones eventually stack into the microcredential.
Students Acquire Provable Skills
Having earned the microcredential, students now have proof to share on social media and elsewhere.
Employers and others can see the skills behind the microcredential on the student’s ePortfolio.
WSU Retains the Relationship With the Student
Now that WSU has helped that student upskill, a relationship has been formed.
With the right communication plan, departments can continue to engage with that student about microcredentials, certificates and even degrees.
The university can make the right communication to students at the right time.