Friday, December 31, 2021

Ontario Providing New Rapid Training Programs

The Ontario government is supporting the development of up to 250 new rapid training programs that will be available for enrolment in 2022 through the Ontario Micro-credentials Challenge Fund. The  milestone is an important part of Ontario’s micro-credentials strategy, helping Ontario’s internationally recognized postsecondary institutions offer learners opportunities to gain the skills they need for in-demand jobs. Some of these micro-credentials will build skills in areas such as artificial intelligence, network security, mental health, dementia care, Indigenous relations, tourism and digital marketing.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

U Illinois Gies College of Business Develops Microcredential Pathways with Google - Rhea Kelly, Campus Technology

The University of Illinois Gies College of Business is partnering with Google to bundle certificate programs in job-ready skills and create microcredential pathways for adult learners. Learners now can complete any of the Google Career Certificates along with Gies' Professional Success Skills Certificate to receive a dual badge of completion. All courses for the certificate programs are delivered on the Coursera platform. The Gies Professional Success Skills Certificate comprises four asynchronous courses, designed and taught by Gies faculty.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Commission takes action to improve lifelong learning and employability - European Union

At the Porto Social Summit in May, EU Leaders welcomed the EU-level target of 60% of all adults taking part in training every year by 2030. Today, the Commission has taken an important step in helping Member States meet this target by presenting proposals for Council Recommendations on individual learning accounts and on micro-credentials, as announced in the Skills Agenda and in the European Education Area Communication of 2020. A strong skill set opens up opportunities to individuals, provides a safety net in uncertain times, promotes inclusion and social advancement and provides the economy with the skilled labour force needed to grow and innovate. The success of both the digital and green transitions depends on workers with the right skills. The COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated the need for reskilling and upskilling of workforce to adapt to the changing labour market and meet demand in different sectors.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Online higher education is boosting youth employment in the post-pandemic world - Sumesh Nair, Times of India

To close this widening skill gap, a market-oriented education system had to evolve. This gave way for job-seekers to adopt ed-tech solutions and become job-ready by opting for bite-size certification courses. These bite-sized courses were revolutionary in nature. Firstly, the delivery mode was technology-led and could replace existing class environments. Secondly, there was unbundling of skills and only the most relevant ones had to be pursued. Unlike a traditional degree which is a stack of credentials that don’t serve any purpose, these courses were able to help in what the industry needed. Thirdly, the delivery took more engaging shapes as well – live classes, cohorts, peer learning and more, previously unavailable in large MOOC platforms.

Monday, December 27, 2021

Crafting Talent In Hospitality And Tourism With Micro-Credentials - New Zealand School of Food and Wine

“We shine the light on the best New Zealand has to offer in terms of fresh ingredients, transformed into outstanding cuisine, exceptional wines and beverages, our spectacular scenery captured by so many memorable tourism experiences, yet as nation, we still struggle to understand and tell this story”, comments Celia Hay, director of the New Zealand School of Food and Wine. With NZQA approval for 13 micro-credentials, the New Zealand School Food and Wine hopes to inspire and attract new people to jobs in hospitality, wine and tourism and also enhance wider community understanding of our food and beverage story. “We export food and wine to the world, yet pride in this achievement is often lacking by our own communities,” say Hay.

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Learning, working and winning - EDITORIAL the Australian

It’s true that fostering skills and remedying skill shortages are primarily tasks for the vocational education and training sector, which is often neglected because of a perceived lack of prestige. But higher education also has a vocational tradition – in the broad sense exemplified by medicine, law or engineering – and that expectation of a career pay-off has increased with higher fees and the rise of the corporate university. Meanwhile, micro-credentials would help universities respond more quickly to the fast-changing needs of industry if guided by more detailed feedback on skill shortages or national priorities. This is a chance for more competitive universities to seize the opportunities being opened up by online education technology.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

The Still-Evolving Future of University Credentials - Sean Gallagher, EdSurge

Today, there is ample evidence of demand for new types of educational credentials—especially since the start of the pandemic. The growth of educational platform companies such as Coursera and 2U is being driven in part by a surge in demand for certificate programs and “alternative credential” offerings. The number of open badges awarded nearly doubled from 24 million in 2018 to 43 million in 2020. And major companies and industry groups are increasingly getting into the credentialing game, exemplified by firms such as IBM and Google. Strada Education Network’s consumer polling has shown that 40 percent of working-age adults have earned some type of non-degree credential—and that non-degree credentials are at the top of the list for adults seeking education or retraining. Among employers, awareness of and experience with new non-degree and digital credentials is also continuing to grow—and the potential value proposition of digital credentialing resonates, according to survey results that we published just last week.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Micro-Credentials: The New Enrollment Funnel for Tomorrow’s University - Wiley Education

Stackable credentials—expandable qualifications, often parts of educational sequences—have become a critical pathway for learners to advance their careers, gain higher pay, and display competency in a shorter timeframe than full degree programs allow. These credentials—also known as micro-credentials, certificates, digital badges, and nanodegrees—are valuable signals for employers, especially since the COVID pandemic. When asked in 2019 how open they were to hiring candidates with education alternatives in place of a college degree, only 20% of employers selected digital badges as something they would consider. Fast forward to 2021, 54% of employers said they view micro-credentials as extremely/very important.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Are Alternative Online Credentials a Threat or Opportunity? - Jackson Neil & Sasha Thackaberry, EAB

These for-profit entities, including Coursera, Guild, Udacity, even Google, offer everything from certificates to micro-credentials to full degrees, either in partnership with or independently from colleges and universities. Thackaberry explains why collaboration between these online upstarts and traditional higher education institutions is blurring the lines and creating both risk and opportunity.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Alternative Credentials on the Rise - Paul Fain, Inside Higher Ed

The reasons alternative credentials are piquing the interest of more Americans are not new, nor surprising. For years the demographics of higher education have been shifting away from traditional-age, full-paying college students while online education has become more sophisticated and accepted. But a wide range of experts say the unprecedented societal turbulence caused by a pandemic, the worst recession in a century and a national reckoning over racism have accelerated and added urgency to the development of alternative pathways to career and life success.

Monday, December 20, 2021

10 Types of Credentials You Can Earn Online Various options for online students range from MOOC certificates to graduate degrees. - Jordan Friedman and Josh Moody, US News

When it comes to online learning, students should choose a credential that fulfills their goals while providing flexibility – whether it's a single course certificate or a full degree. "There's such a wide range of offerings to them at economical prices that allow them to target their education specifically to their career plan," says Ray Schroeder, associate vice chancellor for online learning at the University of Illinois—Springfield. In fact, the nonprofit Credential Engine calculates more than 738,428 "unique credential programs" in the U.S., a number that Executive Director Scott Cheney expects to continue to rise. Here are 10 different credentials students can earn online.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

A European approach to micro-credentials - EU

This background paper has been drafted in preparation for the first meeting of the Consultation Group on Micro-credentials. The paper introduces major current initiatives on micro-credentials primarily in the EU. During the first meeting, the intention is for the consultation group to reach a consensus on key terminology and issues at stake regarding the development of a European approach for micro-credentials. More specifically, this paper aims to: 1. contribute to a shared definition and understanding of the core terminology underpinning micro-credentials, and 2. facilitate a first identification of critical building blocks which should be features in a European approach for micro-credentials in higher education in the EU.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

The 100 Most Popular Free Online Courses (2022 Edition) - Suparn Patra, Class Central

Check out this list of the top 100 new free courses launched this year. Class Central ranks the most popular; 20% of them and 18 of the top 25 are from Google!  These are the Career Certificate courses.

Over the years, the online course offering has continued to grow, to the point that it can be hard to navigate at time. So in this article, I’ve leveraged Class Central’s database of over 50,000 courses as well as course enrollment numbers to build a list of the 100 most popular online courses of the year.

Friday, December 17, 2021

Google Enters Higher Ed in a Big Way - Ray Schroeder, Inside Higher Ed

Two years ago, Google announced that it was launching a career certificate program that would provide all the essentials to start a new career. With lightning speed by higher ed standards, Google has conceived and launched a number of career certificate programs. In just two years, they have gone from concept to credential programs in IT support, data analytics, project management, UX design and Android development. Google has built a consortium of 150 companies that give preferential treatment to the career certificate holders. While the certificate programs are getting the headlines, Google is continuing to develop new artificial intelligence–powered applications to make higher ed learning more efficient, accessible and personalized.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Micro-credentials in Saskatchewan - Saskatchewan, Canada

Post-secondary institutions can ensure learners have access to quality, relevant micro-credentials by collaborating with employers and industry groups to identify current gaps in the labour force and developing programming to meet those needs. Saskatchewan's Guide to Micro-credentials provides institutions with a common foundation for understanding micro-credentials and a framework for developing and implementing new programming.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Are Post-Pandemic Campuses Finally Ready for Competency-Based Education? - Jeffrey R. Young, EdSurge

The basic idea of competency-based education, or CBE, is this: What if the way to get a degree or certificate was to prove to a college that you’ve learned the required knowledge and skills. It wouldn’t matter exactly how, or where you learned the knowledge—or competencies. Colleges would be in the business of certifying what students know, and giving them the coaching and materials needed to fill in any gaps to earn the credential. For this week’s EdSurge podcast we checked in with a longtime proponent of competency based education: Paul LeBlanc, the president of Southern New Hampshire University. And he lays out his latest thoughts about the approach in his new book, “Students First: Equity, Access and Opportunity in Higher Education.”

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

CEDEFOP: International conference on microcredentials

The event focused on the results of the mapping exercise regarding the role, the perceived relevance and use of microcredentials within vocational and professional education but also their independent use by companies and sectors. It bringed together selected international experts and researchers to discuss and reflect on the understanding of how micro-credentials are influencing national and international qualifications and certification systems.  Includes .ppt and handouts of sessions.

Monday, December 13, 2021

University of Phoenix and ChildCare Education Institute Continue Making It Easier for Students to Turn Certificates Into College Credits Sofia Peterson by Sofia Peterson, the Hack Post

A long-standing agreement between University of Phoenix and ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI), an accredited online provider for training early care and education workers, has recently been renewed via an articulation agreement partnership. The agreement enables CCEI students to transfer their eligible certificates into college credits and continue working toward a college degree. Students who complete one of several available certificate programs can articulate up to four semester hours of credit through University of Phoenix’s Prior Learning Assessment (PLA). Eligible certificate programs include Child Development Associate (CDA), CDA Renewal, Director’s Certificate, and Florida Child Care Professional Credential (FCCPC). CCEI students can also translate 30 hours of training done as part of CCEI professional development into one hour of elective credit at University of Phoenix.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Atlanta Music School Offers Insight Regarding Online Music Certificate Options

Kieth O’ Neill, the senior instructional designer at AIMM, explains the difference between a music lesson and a music certificate, adding that a lesson is not as credible as a certificate or degree. “Lessons are more of a tutorial, one-on-one type learning situation. You will undoubtedly learn a great deal, depending on the teacher, but you will not receive a Certificate, Degree, or Diploma that holds credibility within the music industry,” says O’ Neill.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Promoting social inclusion through micro-credentials - Gillian Golden, Shizuka Kato and Thomas Weko Higher Education Policy Team, OECD Directorate for Education and Skills

Two new Education Policy Perspectives from the OECD Higher Education Policy Team provide new evidence on the opportunities and challenges that micro-credentials present to higher education systems. More work is needed to ensure higher education systems develop micro-credential programmes that are widely understood and recognised across institutions and systems. These programmes should also be inclusive, meeting the needs of a wide range of learners.

Friday, December 10, 2021

American Council on Education Releases Blockchain Findings - Suzanne Smalley, Inside Higher Ed

The American Council on Education, a membership organization focused on public policy and fostering good practice in higher education, released a report Thursday on an 18-month initiative to find new ways to help college students assert greater control over their digital identities, among other technology-related issues. ( ) ACE’s Education Blockchain Initiative also examined how to broaden opportunities for employment and diversify modes for lifelong learning through distributed ledger technologies. Funding for the effort was provided by the U.S. Department of Education 

Thursday, December 9, 2021

edX Launched a First MicroBachelors Program with IBM in Cloud Application - IBL News

This program of 11 courses in seven months and at $600 is credit-backed and worth up to three college credits from Thomas Edison State University. It is designed for learners with no prior programming or cloud experience and sets them for an entry-level role as a full stack developer — one of the top 15 tech jobs for 2021. The development of edX MicroBachelors programs is supported by American Student Assistance, Boeing, Lumina Foundation, the Truist Foundation, Walmart, the Jeremy M. and Joyce E. Wertheimer Foundation, and the Yidan Prize Foundation.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

The Microlearning Moment in Workplace Learning - Sean Gallagher, EdSurge

Many employers are investing in the professional development of their workers at a greater level than prior to the pandemic. One motivation is a need to give workers new skills so they can grow their businesses at a time when there is a faster rate of skills obsolescence, driving the need for lifelong learning. And employers are competing to attract and retain employees in what is being called a “war for talent.” Put simply, the short-lived recession of 2020 has given way to a massive shortage of workers and skills in 2021–and placed talent strategy and human capital back at the top of corporations’ strategic agendas.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Free online tech courses with certificates - Doug Wintermute, ZD Net

Online classes with certificates have made professional development more accessible than ever before. Tech students can complete free online courses with certificates to qualify for entry-level careers, and experienced professionals can use online certification classes for advancement opportunities. Free online classes with certificates offer accelerated and flexible schedules and demonstrate mastery over a subject. Here, we examine the benefits of online tech courses and credentials and highlight some of the best options available.

Monday, December 6, 2021

University Of California Irvine Launches 6-Month, Online Certificate Course in Cloud Computing - News 18

University Of California Irvine (UCI) has launched a new postgraduation programme called ‘Professional Certificate in Cloud Computing’. It has been designed for professionals who want to upskill in emerging cloud technologies. Launched in collaboration with Simplilearn, a digital skills training provider, and the UCI Division of Continuing Education (DCE), it is best suited for middle and top management professionals with over eight years of work experience. The six-month online course will be delivered via Simplilearn bootcamp-style learning delivery model and will include self-paced videos, instructor-led live virtual classrooms, and interactive labs.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Best online certificate in accounting 2021: Top picks - Doug Wintemute, ZD Net

An accounting certificate is a focused and accelerated alternative to a full degree. We ranked the best online certificate programs in accounting. Accounting certificates prepare students for entry-level accounting roles that include managing financial records, analyzing financial operations, and ensuring that clients and employers avoid risks and take advantage of financial opportunities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 7% growth in accounting professions between 2020 and 2030 as a result of organizations' increasingly complex and globalized financial activities. Accounting certificate-holders can also pursue bookkeeping and tax examiner positions. Here, we rank the best accounting certificates and provide detailed information about these programs.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Roblox, Building Out the Metaverse, Looks to Bring Educational Videogames to Schools - Sarah E. Needleman, Wall Street Journal

Roblox Corp. plans to help bring educational videogames to classrooms world-wide, part of its strategy to expand its mostly teen and preteen user base and play a role in the next evolution of the internet known as the metaverse. San Mateo, Calif.-based Roblox announced Monday that it has invested $10 million to help develop three games for middle-school, high-school and college students. 

Friday, December 3, 2021

CPE launches new certification program aimed at helping train a culturally competent workforce - Northern Kentucky Tribune

The Council on Postsecondary Education has launched a new process to review and certify cultural competency credential programs offered by Kentucky colleges and universities. The Cultural Competency Credential Certification Program was unveiled at the Council’s 2021 Higher EDquity Symposium hosted by Western Kentucky University. “Being able to effectively communicate with those from different backgrounds, appreciating intersectionality and being open to diverse perspectives are essential skills for today’s workforce,” said Dawn Offutt, CPE’s executive director of initiatives for diversity, equity and inclusion. “This statewide certification process is a way to ensure Kentucky students, faculty and staff at our public colleges and universities are getting high-quality, consistent opportunities to develop well-defined competencies.”

Thursday, December 2, 2021

CUNY Winter-Spring 2022 Micro-Credential - City University of New York

This free 100-hour online intensive will provide undergraduate students with in-demand skills and a chance at an internship or full-time job at NY Jobs CEO Council companies, who are some of New York’s largest employers. Students who complete the course will also receive a $300 stipend, access to internship info sessions, and networking. The Micro-Credentials will be offered January-February 2022 as part of a partnership between the City University of New York (CUNY) and the NY Jobs CEO Council. The courses will include:

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Certificate programs can dramatically boost outcomes for Hispanic students - Amy McCaig, eCampus News

Short-term training programs for health care careers significantly boosted employment and income for Hispanics involved in a new study from Rice University, helping them overcome long-standing achievement gaps exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hispanic graduates of The College of Health Care Professions (CHCP) reviewed in the study, which was conducted by the Rice University School Mathematics Project (RUSMP), had a 78% graduation rate and 80% job placement, well above the national averages of less than 50%. Graduates also had incomes 2.5 to 3.1 times higher than when they started the program.