Microcredentials are formal certifications that recognize the achievement of one or more specific skills, competencies, or learning outcomes, which are identified by industry sectors to meet specific employer needs. Typically short in duration and offered in a more flexible format, microcredentials may be offered face-to-face, distance, or in a blended learning format.
Microcredentials may be additional, alternate, or complementary to a traditional formal qualification such as a certificate, diploma, degree, applied degree, or post-graduate certificate.
Holland College works collaboratively with industry partners to create and develop microcredentials in a timely and responsive manner. Together, they define an organization’s training needs, identify skill gaps, develop content and assessments that are unique to the learner and the employer, and ensure that the learning is offered in an appropriate format, time, and location.
Students choose microcredentials that focus on a specific set of skills related to their industry or career, or that expand their skills and learning on a topic or area that is of interest to them personally.
Industry Driven and Endorsed
The creation and development of microcredentials is driven by employers and industry sectors to meet specific employer workforce needs.
Assessment of microcredentials ensures that students have successfully demonstrated competency in the specific outcomes and skills identified within the microcredential.
Flexible Delivery and Shorter in Duration
Microcredentials focus on specific workplace skills. As a result, they are typically short in duration, ranging from six to 25 hours, and may be offered in a more flexible format, such as face-to-face, by distance online, or in a blended learning format.
Stand-alone or Stackable
Microcredentials are valuable on their own, or can be combined (stacked) with other microcredentials toward the completion of a larger credential. As an example, at Holland College, students can choose to earn some of the seven microcredentials offered in New Manager Training or complete all seven microcredentials and earn a New Manager Training milestone microcredential.
Secure, Portable and Part of a Student’s Official Academic Record
Successful completion of microcredentials are included on students’ academic transcripts. Students earning microcredentials will also receive digital badges which can be shared on a résumé, CV, an online profile, and in their social media accounts.
As with all Holland College post-secondary programs and continuing education courses, microcredentials are subject to a robust and rigorous quality assurance process. Additionally, Holland College’s microcredential definition and guiding principles are part of Colleges and Institutes Canada National Framework on Microcredentials, which has been adopted and endorsed by regional colleges and institutes across the country.
Students who successfully complete a Holland College microcredential receive a digital badge.* Upon completion of their microcredential, students receive an email from the college’s Customized Training department explaining how to access and download their digital badge.
Digital badges come in the form of a downloadable emblem containing meta-data that includes the student’s name, the issuing institution (Holland College), the name of the microcredential, and lists the specific, demonstrated learning outcomes or competencies the student has achieved. The badges can be shared by students on social media accounts, included in an online résumé, or added to an email signature.
New Manager Training Microcredential
The New Manager Training microcredential series is an online offering that delivers content to help new managers excel in their workplace. Participants in the series have two options. The first is to select any of the microcredentials offered through the series and receive a digital badge for each microcredential completed. The second option is to complete all microcredentials in the series and receive a New Manager Training milestone microcredential and digital badge.
Microcredentials offered in the New Manager Training series include:
Supportive Care Assistant
The Supportive Care Assistant microcredential is a fully subsidized training opportunity that allows students to discover a new career and provide much needed support to those living and working in long-term care. Students who complete the Supportive Care Assistant microcredential are eligible to receive a $5,000 stipend to put toward further training in the health-care field.
* The digital badges are issued by CanCred, a leading-edge technology platform chosen by Holland College to create, issue and maintain its digital badges. CanCred has a secure cloud service for high quality digital badges and microcredentials built on the Open Badges standard. Badges from CanCred Factory can be easily and securely downloaded by students who have successfully earned a Holland College microcredential and shared as PDF certificates, linked on social media profiles, and built up into free digital portfolios on CanCred Passport. For more information on CanCred, see www.cancred.ca