- Six universities have banded together to offer a new, non-degree credentialing service through the University Learning Store that they expect will give students value in the workplace because of industry-based verification of the skills.
- Campus Technology reports that students earn the microcredentials following hands-on, skills-based assessments that industry experts and employers approved as appropriate measures of competencies.
- Courses are organized by category — power skills, technical skills and career-advancement skills — and, if packaged together, they can form larger certifications, including one in Global Business Communication from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Business Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Extension.
As more adults look to post-secondary education as a path to a job, traditional colleges and universities have been forced to keep up with alternative providers offering relatively short, non-degree options. The University Learning Store courses are competency-based. Students do not have to go through all of the lessons in a single course if they know the content already. In this case, the site instructions encourage students to skip ahead to assessments.
The University of Wisconsin-Extension has been a leader in competency-based education. Many schools have developed deeper partnerships with industry in creating competencies and shaping courses around them. The University Learning Store offers a cheap way for students to get verified, marketable skills and, as it’s tied to accredited universities, it may undercut some of the credentialing initiatives in the for-profit MOOC world.