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Micro-credential at MC

micro-credentialing at Montgomery College
micro-credentials Leader Badge

The College is pleased to offer program, unit, and discipline areas the opportunity to create micro-credentials. Micro-credentials, also known as “badges,” are ways of certifying that a list of specific competencies or skills has been achieved. They represent the mastery of certain skill sets that build up to a certificate or credential; these skills should be relevant and of value to employers. Suitable for credit and workforce development students and Montgomery College employees, micro-credentialsshould align to other available credentials and help demonstrate that the person has learned new skills or competencies that underpin a career and academic pathway.

Once a student or employee has achieved the relevant competencies, the micro-credential is awarded through a digital platform. The credential is represented by a badge icon that can be inserted into a resume or online profile. Clicking on the badge icon leads the reader to the list of competencies that the individual has achieved. Employers, potential employers, faculty, and colleagues can then see exactly what skills the person has achieved and how they went about demonstrating competence.


Micro-credentials (aka Badges) Information Session

MC offers programs, units, and discipline areas the opportunity to create microcredentials. A micro-credential is a digital form of certification, also known as a badge that assesses specific competencies. They represent certain skillsets that align educational programming with business needs and allow badge earners to validate specific career readiness competencies through attainment. As the interest in badging continues to grow, now is the time to learn more about the process, how to apply, and the many benefits afforded to the earners at one of the information sessions.

Micro-credentials Proposal Form

Submit a microcredential proposal. (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)

Badge Information

The Antiracist Badge - Office of Equity and Inclusion at Montgomery College (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)
This micro-credential covers competencies in the areas of: Self-Awareness (What is your role in racism?), Self-Education (What knowledge do you need to act as an antiracist?), and Action (How can you practice Antiracism?)


The Changemaker Badge - Southern Management Leadership Program at Montgomery College (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)
The Changemaker Badge recognizes the work of students who are engaged in social and environmental justice learning and actions that align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


The Commitment Badge Rubric – Transfer Academy (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)
The Commitment Badge validates the work of students who persist in their educational and career goals, particularly in their successful transfer to a 4-year institution. The badge recognizes the competencies of organizational navigation, adaptability, resilience, and initiative.


The Communicator Badge Rubric - Macklin Business Institute at Montgomery College  (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)
The Communicator Badge validates that the earner has demonstrated ability to articulate thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively in written and/or oral forms.


The Creative Writing Badge - English and Reading at Montgomery College  (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)
Earning this micro-credential will demonstrate your ability to articulate innovative thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively in written and oral forms.


The Critical Analysis Badge - English and Reading at Montgomery College (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)
When you complete this micro-credential, you will demonstrate your analysis, understanding, and communications with an audience.


The Ethics Problem Solver Badge - Office of Compliance, Risk, and Ethics at Montgomery College (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)
The Ethics Problem Solver microcredential validates that the earner is competent to resolve complex problems/challenges by exercising sound reasoning and ethical judgment to analyze issues, make decisions, and overcome challenges.


The Entrepreneur Badge Rubric - Southern Management Leadership Program at Montgomery College (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)
The earner of this badge has demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and abilities that form the foundation for success as an entrepreneur ready to launch a new venture or an intrapreneur who will bring these competencies to a future employer.


The Interculturalist Badge Rubric - Anthropology at Montgomery College (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)
The Interculturalist Badge validates that the earner values, respects, and learns from diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations, and religions.


The Leadership Badge
The Leadership Badge validates that the earner has demonstrated the ability to leverage the strengths of others to achieve 
common goals and use interpersonal skills to coach and develop others. 


The Problem Solver Badge Rubric - MC Management at Montgomery College (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)
The Problem Solver Badge validates that the earner has demonstrated the skills necessary to resolve complex problems/challenges by exercising sound reasoning to analyze issues, make decisions, and overcome challenges.

The Social Justice Badge - Office of Equity and Inclusion at Montgomery College (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)
This micro-credential covers competencies in the areas of: Empathy (How do you try to understand others' feelings through their frame of reference?), Self-Education (What knowledge do you need to act as an advocate for social justice?), Self-Awareness (Look within to manifest a non-judgmental view of who you are in terms of compassion for others, biases, and an action plan towards more inclusionary practices.), and Advocate (How can you apply social justice to your own community?)


The Teaching Essentials: Innovation and Transformation Badge - Academy for Teaching (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)
This microcredential will cover learning regarding pedagogical and instructional attitudes, techniques and skills to promote student success. It is meant for full-time and part-time faculty. 

If you have additional questions, please contact ELITE at 240-567-6000 or dl@montgomerycollege.edu.

A micro-credential is a noncredit award given when a specific set or subset of skills or competencies has been achieved. micro-credentials can be aligned or “stacked” to build up to larger credentials or certificates. They can also represent a specialized combination of competencies that are relevant to a particular employment sector.

Montgomery College has adopted the framework established by the University System of Maryland for a series of badges focusing on collaboration, communication, critical thinking, globalism, interculturalism, leadership, problem solving and professionalism. These badges come with dimensions, or competencies, that Montgomery College units can adapt to meet their own needs. Units at the College may suggest other badges that they develop around a set of approved competencies.

A micro-credential looks like an icon as seen below. The College has contracted with Credly new windowfor our micro-credentialing platform. Montgomery College micro-credentials will have the same design, but the wording will change to reflect the micro-credential name and the sponsoring program or unit.

sample badge
sample badge

micro-credentials provide students with another way to articulate and document the achievement of specific skills. This is particularly useful when students are seeking further education or employment. Perhaps they haven’t yet finished a degree or certificate, but they still need to be able to describe their skill set to a potential employer. Employees are able to increase or further develop their skills by achieving the competencies within a micro-credential. 

The options are limitless for micro-credentials. Some institutions have developed microcredentials in leadership, communication, and ethics to name a few. However, it is important to ensure that the micro-credentials are meaningful to employers and other stakeholders. This can be done by working with employers, for example in advisory groups, ensure that the list of skills are relevant to their needs. 

The College will offer two types of micro-credentials to help both speed up the design process, but also allow room to address specific needs.

  1. Collegewide micro-credentials for general employment skills:  The College will be taking the lead in developing generic Collegewide competency lists and badges that align with employer needs nationally.  Often referred to as “soft skills” or “foundational skills” these will include leadership, and communication initially and will expand to cover a host of skills that are pertinent in the job market and useful to help employers or future transfer institutions understand what employees and students know and are able to do. Areas, programs, or units interested in offering these badges will follow a streamlined process to adopt these Collegewide badges and make them appropriate for their areas.

  2. Unit-designed micro-credentials for specific employment skills: A unit may wish to develop their own unique badge that is specific to employer needs. One example here might be “Basic Workday Skills for New Employees.” Units might work together to design a micro-credential or a series of micro-credentials. As one example, a joint effort between Business and IT might lead to micro-credential called “Basic Budget Skills for IT Entrepreneurs.”

All micro-credentials result from the individual achieving a series of competencies. These competencies can be achieved in or outside of a credit and/or WDCE course(s).  For example, a series of assignments in one or more courses may result in a set of competencies that meet the minimum requirements for a micro-credential. Micro-credentials may be awarded for out-of-class activities as well. For example, students may complete activities to be certified by a national organization; these may also qualify for a microcredential.

The College is exploring options to include micro-credentials on the transcript. In the meantime, Credly provides the College a location where students or employees can access their micro-credentials and link them to their electronic communications, resumes, and social media accounts such as LinkedIn.

Micro-credentials are noncredit awards processed through the WDCE unit. They are approved within the program, area, and unit. Once that approval process is complete, the microcredential is approved by the appropriate vice president or designee. After internal approvals have been obtained, the micro-credential will be evaluated by Workforce Development and Continuing Education (WDCE) for inclusion on the list of approved micro-credentials and to be entered into the Credly platform. Anyone planning to develop a micro-credential is required to be in contact with WDCE throughout the process to ensure the micro-credential meets the guideline requirements for the College.

There is no charge to students or College employees at this time.

  1. Gather your workgroup. Stakeholders should include WDCE and credit, employers, advisory group members and transfer institutions if applicable.
  2. Establish the need for a micro-credential. This should be in consultation with your employer advisory group, your College partners particularly in WDCE, and other external stakeholders.
  3. Make sure that the proposed credential doesn’t duplicate any existing credentials. Also make sure to fill in gaps between credentials where possible.
  4. Develop the list of skills needed for the micro-credential. These will be written as work-related competencies. (You can skip this step if you’re using a Collegewide competency list).
  5. Develop a way to assess if a student has achieved the competency. (Yes, we have a template!)
  6. Develop your unit process for awarding the credential. See the resource list for ideas on how this can work.
  7. Get your signature approvals.
  8. Submit your proposal for review.

To facilitate this process, you are encouraged to consult with WDCE staff as needed throughout the development of your proposal to ensure that you have met all of the requirements.

No. In order to create a microcredential of value, a range of stakeholders needs to support the need and usefulness of the proposed microcredential it. Your stakeholders should include employers, College partners (WDCE, credit), and transfer institutions (if applicable). 

The workgroup responsible for this initiative has developed these guidelines to be used for micro-credential development and approval:

  • Micro-credentials must provide evidence of demonstrated value, relevance and alignment with external associations or organizations (e.g., employers, four-year institutions, industry representatives).
  • Micro-credentials should be developed, when applicable, as a collaboration between external stakeholders (e.g. employers, 4 year institutions, industry reps, professional associations) and MC credit and workforce faculty/staff/administrators.
  • Micro-credentials should be described as a set of competencies.
  • Micro-credential proposals must provide evidence that there are sufficient competencies demonstrated to warrant the issuance of the microcredential.
  • Micro-credential proposals must indicate how each competency will be assessed. Each proposed microcredential must have an associated rubric or other forms of evidence to assess successful achievement of the competencies.
  • Each proposal will provide a process for evaluating student achievement of the competencies.
  • Each proposed micro-credential must have a justifiable expiration date.
  • Each program proposing a micro-credential must obtain required Montgomery College approvals.
  • Micro-credential proposals should be reviewed by the responsible individuals in WDCE or the areas/divisions responsible to determine if it overlaps with existing credentials or industry certifications and to identify any competency gaps.

There are two parts to the award process. 

  1. At the unit level, you’ll need to decide on the following: (This information will be included in your proposal.)
    • How will information about the microcredential be disseminated to students?
    • How will students apply?
    • How will applications and assessments be reviewed?
    • Who will sign off?
    • Where will student applications be stored?
    • How will results be communicated to students?
    • What is the timeline for these steps?

  2. A staff person in WDCE will be available to help you with next phase of the award process.
    • Once your proposal has been accepted, this person will enter the list of competencies into Credly and work with you to ensure that the badge artwork is correct.
    • Once you’ve determined that a student has achieved the list of skills, you’ll send the information to the WDCE coordinator who will enter that student’s information to the platform.
    • The system will send an email to the student using College email that their badge is ready to claim.

7 Things You Should Know About Digital Badges (PDF, Get Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader.-Link opens in new window.)
Knowing that learners will need to hone their skills over their careers, there are abundant opportunities for the university to develop new channels for working professionals to continue their learning and document that learning through digital badges.

 

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