The High School Gifted & Talented Summit Micro-Credential Program
Micro-credentialing is the process of earning credentials through performance-based assessments that showcase skills in specific areas. As an exemplar of personalized learning, students can earn stackable skills, differentiating themselves academically and professionally. Micro-credentials show colleagues, employers, and admissions officers how mastery was achieved. Consequently, micro-credentials can enhance a resume or application. LinkedIn profiles that feature micro-credentials are 7Xs more likely to be viewed. More universities are increasingly accepting micro-credentials as part of the Common Application, enabling students to strategically separate themselves from the crowd. While numerous individuals might earn the same badge, each badge is unique due to its verifiable metadata. Metadata includes information regarding issuing institution, date of issuance, criteria for earning and evidence that the learner has met the criteria. Students can earn micro-credentials in the following areas:
Micro-credentials can be earned wherever there is an opportunity to experience competencies associated with any of the credentials. While the classroom is the most obvious place to start, micro-credentials can be earned through one’s involvement in sports, clubs, enrichment activities, work, and engagement with organizations and activities beyond the scope of school. Earning a credential is not more work for a student. Since students are already involved in these activities, clubs, and classes, they can earn credentials for the skills they are developing by way of their involvement. A student need only collect and assemble data required to demonstrate competency.
The credentials can be shared at any time once granted, including after graduation, on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. In addition, the Common Application is developing a digital locker for students to use to store their credentials for interested universities and colleges to review. Micro-credentials can also be embedded into digital resumes.
Led by the high school GT counselor, each school will have a site team to help students set goals, identify opportunities to earn a credential, progress monitor, and determine whether to award a credential. Students will first need to complete their ALP. Once the ALP is completed, students can initiate the Micro-Credential Planning Guide. This is where the student identifies the credential s/he would like to earn, where an opportunity exists to earn the micro-credential, who can support them in his/her endeavor, and what evidence to gather and/or create to support one’s submission to earn a micro-credential.
The power of the Summit Micro-Credential Program is that it gives students agency, enabling them to develop and document their unique learning experiences. When it comes to student learning, there is no average. Micro-credentials allow students to express their distinctive learning profile.