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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Universities Launch Microcredentials Platform

Six universities have teamed to launch the University Learning Store, a platform that will help job seekers and working professionals earn microcredentials in business and technical fields.

Learners will have to prove their knowledge through verified, hands-on assessments as measures of competencies to earn a microcredential, according to a report in eCampus News. In addition, learners can choose to combine microcredentials to earn larger certification from an institution.

“Although an array of nondegree credentials exist, they can leave employers guessing at their true value,” said David Schejbal, dean of the University of Wisconsin-Extension, one of the founding institutions of the project. “With the University Learning Store, leading institutions have joined forces to introduce credentials that clearly indicate the capabilities of the credential holder.”

Microcredentials, available as a printable certificate or digital badge, can be added to a student’s resume after successfully completing an assessment. Courses on the University Learning Store site cost $50-$150, but are currently being offered at half-price for a limited time. Each credential can be earned in days or weeks.

“This is an innovation in skill credentialing that the workforce, and higher ed, has not seen before,” said Nelson Baker, dean of Georgia Tech Professional Education. “At Georgia Tech, we bring the same rigor and real-world applicability to our nondegree educational opportunities as we do other programs. Industry validation is the final frontier of proving the value of lifelong learning.”

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