Micro-credential Initiative

Starting in Fall 2024.

Welcome to Texas Woman's University's Micro-credential initiative, where we empower our students to acquire specialized skills and knowledge in targeted areas of study. In today's dynamic and evolving job market, the demand for professionals with niche expertise is higher than ever. Our micro-credentials are designed to meet this demand by providing flexible, accessible, and industry-relevant learning experiences.

We invite you to access our TWU Credly website to view all the available micro-credentials. If you wish to submit a new micro-credential proposal, please use this Google Form until we integrate this new aspect into our CIM system (Proposal submissions will start in Fall 2024).

If you have questions, or would like to have an exploratory conversation regarding potential micro-credential/badge options, please contact CSI@twu.edu.

Overview

TWU’s Micro-credentials Initiative emerges as an evolution of two institutional working groups. It was delegated by the Executive Vice-president of Academic Affairs and Provost to the Vice Provost for Curriculum and Strategic Initiatives and its office to continue the exploration and start operationalization. 

This two-part initiative includes an informational period starting in Spring 2024 with a control group approach and the initiative’s two-year pilot kickoff in Fall 2024. This initiative aims to provide TWU students (undergraduate and graduate) with valuable learning experiences to enhance their skills, knowledge, and employability via non-credit curricular micro-credentials (embedded into a course as part of an additional module, activity, or assignment) and non-credit co-curricular micro-credentials (not related to a TWU course and offered as part of student related activities and programs, organizations, or standalone basis). 

Definitions

A micro-credential is a concise and targeted educational program that swiftly enables students to acquire specific skills, talents, or knowledge. Micro-credentials are intentionally meant to be more adaptable and easily attainable than conventional degree programs. They provide focused education in particular domains and offer verified acknowledgment of one's accomplishments, abilities, or expertise.

In the educational setting, a badge is a digital symbol representing a learner's successful attainment or performance in a particular skill or course. Higher education institutions commonly award digital badges upon successfully fulfilling specific learning objectives. Badges frequently include metadata, which encompasses details regarding the issuer, the criteria for obtaining the badge, and the skills it signifies. Individuals can exhibit these badges on their digital profiles, CVs, and social networking sites to demonstrate their expertise and achievements.

To familiarize yourself with credentialing terminology, visit the Glossary of Credentialing Terms.

Types of Micro-credentials and TWU Badging Platform

Two non-credit-bearing micro-credential types could be awarded to TWU students as part of this initiative. These are non-credit curricular and non-credit co-curricular. A non-credit curricular micro-credential is embedded into a course as part of an additional module, activity, or assignment. At the same time, a non-credit co-curricular micro-credential is not related to a course and is offered as part of student-related activities and programs, organizations, or on a standalone basis. Micro-credentials will not be reflected in the student’s academic transcript. Other types of micro-credentials might be available for TWU students in the future. 

Credly will be used as TWU’s micro-credentials badging platform. The responsibility of its management is under the Office of Curriculum and Strategic Initiatives. The badges will be granted via the platform upon request by the component and in alignment with the established criteria and standards. Credly will be the sole central hub for tracking and recording the distribution of non-credit micro-credentials for TWU.

TWU Micro-credential Advisory Committee (MAC)

The Micro-credential Advisory Committee (MAC) will be established in Fall 2024. This institutional group will supervise and assess the issuance of non-credit micro-credentials at TWU. The Vice Provost for Curriculum and Strategic Initiatives will oversee the committee, which includes representation from the following university components: Curriculum and Strategic Initiatives, Graduate School, Student Life, Career Connections, Registrar’s Office, Libraries, Academic Assessment and Accreditation, Marketing and Communications, Center for Design, Development and Delivery, and Faculty (1 faculty member for each College chosen by the Dean on a 2-year appointment). 

The MAC is responsible for: 

  •  Revising and updating the framework and procedures for micro-credentials at TWU
  • Reviewing new micro-credential proposals
  • Avoiding duplication of micro-credentials
  • Enhancing precision, uniformity, and significance for micro-credentials

TWU Micro-credential Standards and Principles for Awarding

Standards

  • Structured instruction outlining clearly defined learning outcomes or competencies.
  • Education addresses an objectively acknowledged necessity such as career readiness, job skills, or professional development.
  • Meticulously arranged materials, tasks, and evaluation procedures.
  • A minimum of 10 hours of active learning through synchronous or asynchronous delivery in any mode
  • Official protocols for registration, monitoring, and validation of completion

Principles for Awarding

  • Micro-credentials definition and assessment will be determined following established internal criteria.
  • Micro-credentials exhibit distinctions from traditional degrees or certificates, as they possess a narrower scope and are delivered through shorter learning modules.
  • Micro-credentialed learning can be delivered through various formats, including face-to-face, online, hybrid, or other modes of instruction.
  • The allocation of micro-credential badges will remain steady and be grounded in clearly outlined competencies via demonstrated knowledge and skills.
  • The process of micro-credential badge granting will uphold transparency and impartiality.
  • Micro-credential badges will be granted using a digital platform (Credly) that ensures portability and are not integrated into a Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR) system or the student’s official TWU transcript.
  • Micro-credential badge descriptions and visual elements will adhere to TWU brand guidelines and have a discrete name, definition, and design in Credly.
  • To be deemed valid, micro-credential badges will be awarded for curriculum and learning achievements based on universally recognized and highly sought-after competencies acknowledged by employers across various industries.
  • Emphasis will be placed on knowledge and skills facilitating students' transition from college to career or other future societal and economic development opportunities.
  • To ensure uniformity and prevent duplication, the Office of Curriculum and Strategic Initiatives will choose the final badge descriptor and design after receiving input on the language and images from the awarding university component.
  • Micro-credential badges are awarded for learning offered at TWU only, and all badges follow the dimension specifications given by Credly.

Costs of Micro-credentials

Whenever possible, micro-credentials will be accessible to students free of charge or at a minimal cost. However, it is the prerogative of the university component whether to charge the students for the micro-credential. Suppose the university component decides to set a price for the micro-credential. In that case, this information and cost will be shared with the Office of Curriculum and Strategic Initiatives to be updated in the TWU Credly website. In addition, the university component will be responsible for charging and collecting the students' payments. 

Starting in the Fall of 2025, all micro-credentials will have an operation cost of $10.00 per awarded badge. The Office of Curriculum and Strategic Initiatives will contact the university component and let them know the amount owed per badge. The transaction between components will be done via IDT. 

Micro-credentials Proposals, Modifications, and Deactivations

Who can propose what type of micro-credentials?

Non-credit curricular

Non-credit co-curricular

Academic Components

Yes

Yes

Non-Academic Components

No

Yes

Starting in Fall 2024, university components will submit new non-credit-bearing micro-credentials proposals all year round via TWU's CIM system to be evaluated by the MAC. Approval will be granted based on the alignment with established credential standards and governance processes.

Workflow

The workflow below for new proposals is subject to change.

  1. University component requestor completes the proposal form via the CIM system.
  2. CSI confirms receipt of the proposal form and forwards it to the MAC for review and approval.
  3. The MAC convenes and reviews each proposal submitted for consideration. It contacts the university component requestor with questions or actions.
  4. The Vice Provost for CSI notifies approval to the university component and forwards to the Provost for final approval.
  5. Once approved the university component proceeds with marketing, recruitment, scheduling, and registration for the micro-credential if applicable.
  6. CSI creates a digital badge using the TWU approved micro-credential templates.

All modifications to an existing and active micro-credential will be submitted via the CIM system and reviewed by the Vice Provost for Curriculum and Strategic Initiatives, who will send to the MAC only if needed. 

Should a university component decide to deactivate a micro-credential, it will need to propose the deactivation via the CIM system a minimum of one semester before the deactivation, explaining the decision in the justification and ensuring that those students currently participating will have the opportunity to complete the micro-credential. After two years of deactivation, the micro-credential becomes obsolete, and a new proposal must be submitted. Should the university component wish to reactivate the micro-credential before the two-year mark, it can do so by requesting reactivation via the CIM system and submitting any micro-credential modifications 60 days before the two-year mark.

Responsibilities for Managing and Awarding Micro-credentials

Micro-credentials will be granted for non-credit curricular and co-curricular learning only. It will not be associated with grades or academic credit; a minimum of 10 hours of active learning through synchronous or asynchronous delivery in any mode will be required. Each university component owns curriculum, marketing/communication, recruitment, assessment, and student support for its micro-credential. The Office of Curriculum and Strategic Initiatives will manage the webpage content for all micro-credentials.

The offering university component oversees and validates the completion prerequisites, criteria, and progress of students registered in a micro-credential. They are responsible for providing accurate guidelines and procedures to students to obtain a micro-credential, including the process, requirements, and associated costs (if applicable). In addition, they will authenticate the students who have complied with the requirements for attaining a micro-credential and communicate this to the Office of Curriculum and Strategic Initiatives. The following information will be shared in a .csv file:

  • Student's first and last name
  • Student TWU ID number
  • Student TWU email
  • Micro-credential completed/badge name
  • Date of completion

All confirmed micro-credential badges certified by academic or non-academic components will be entered and awarded by the Office of Curriculum and Strategic Initiatives via Credly.­

Requesting the Micro-credential Badges

Students will get a notification of their micro-credential achievement and badge via Credly through their TWU email. The Office of Curriculum and Strategic Initiatives will facilitate this process. The email will include detailed information regarding the Credly registration process and the subsequent claiming of the badge on the Credly platform. Students are responsible for downloading and securely saving their badges and actively managing their accounts on the Credly platform. Students should direct any inquiries regarding the badging platform or account access to Credly directly.

Page last updated 11:46 AM, April 2, 2024