Explanation of Terms

  • A micro-credential is a short program of learning focused on the gaining and evaluation of demonstrated competencies, specific skills or knowledge related to a topic. 
  • A digital badge is an electronic emblem that serves as evidence of an individual’s completion of a micro-credential and represents competencies related to a specific topic or topics. Digital badges can include metadata on the evidence of learning and link to the sponsoring institution and evaluation criteria. 

Like academic majors, minors and certificates, micro-credentials are not in themselves credit-bearing but can be made up of components that include credit or noncredit courses and learning experiences.  

Likewise, micro-credentials, in themselves, cannot be used to fulfill certificate, degree or program requirements and will not be listed on a student’s transcript. However, micro-credentials can be paired with existing credited learning, stackable credentials and other learning options.  

For example, a micro-credential may be defined as being constituted by a course component, a full course or a set of courses. These courses with academic credit will be listed on the student’s transcript and can also be applied to other program requirements, such as the major, the minor or General Studies. Transfer courses and credits accrued through prior learning may be used to demonstrate competencies as part of a micro-credential, dependent on the competencies and type of artifact required for the specific micro-credential.