Micro-credentials confirm that an individual has achieved specific skills and competencies in a given area of academia or professional development. They differ from traditional degrees and certificates as they can be completed in short amounts of time and afford learners increased flexibility in attaining learning outcomes.
Micro-credentials can be offered for credit or non-credit and are applicable to undergraduates, graduates, non-traditional students, and working professionals. After completion of a micro-credential program, learners earn a digital badge certified by Credly that contains meta-data which verifies the skills, competencies and learning outcomes obtained therein.
Micro-credentials are an exciting and innovative trend in professional development and higher education that offer practical applications to a diverse population of learners. Please see a list of our current micro-credential offerings.
Micro-credential programs were approved to be offered in pilot mode for a period of up to three academic years by Faculty Senate. Ongoing assessment of micro-credentials is conducted as part of a periodic review of the academic program/unit with which they are associated. At the end of each year, a program review form should be submitted to UMOnline to monitor progress during the pilot phase.
Post-Pilot Phase Review and Established Program Process
On or before fall semester of 3rd year of pilot, participants must notify UMOnline if the unit/program would like to proceed with a full proposal or remove for consideration. At this time, a full proposal is submitted for approval by an interdisciplinary, sub-committee. The recommended established program proposals move into the full faculty senate committees prior to faculty senate and provost review.
Steps to Launch a Micro-Credential Program
Process and Procedure
Review the “University of Montana Micro-Credentials and Badges: Process and Procedures”. This document provides an overview of micro-credentials, digital badges, and the processes and procedures regarding launching a new micro-credential program.
Please schedule a consultation appointment with Eric Vorkoeper, Online Education Manager, to discuss market analysis, financial models, marketing, credit options, learning outcomes, meta-data and digital badging.
Complete the Micro-credential Proposal Form. Detailed information regarding the proposal process is outlined in the “University of Montana Micro-Credentials and Badges: Process and Procedures”. Please ensure that your proposal form has been signed by your supervisor, section head, and other applicable parties. If the program is interdisciplinary or developed with a third party, an MOU should be established and submitted with your proposal.
Submit your Proposal Form and Syllabus to UMOnline. Proposal forms are submitted through the digital platform Submittable. You will need your Net ID and log-in information in order to access the Submittable site. At this point you will also be asked to enter the meta-data that will be embedded in the digital badge. Once your proposal and meta-data information has been received you will be contacted by a UMOnline administrator regarding the next steps.
Faculty and Administrative Duties
Faculty/ staff are required to track and verify the academic requirements, standards, and progress of students enrolled in micro-credential programs.
Once the requirements of a micro-credential have been satisfied, it is the responsibility of the faculty/ staff member to request the issuance of a digital badge to the student.
If the Micro-credential is credit-bearing, the micro-credential will be recorded on the student’s transcript and a digital badge will be issued to the student by the Registrar’s Office. To request this service please complete the “Credit-Bearing Micro-Credential Tracking List” and upload it to Submittable. Your request will then be forwarded to the Register’s Office.
If the Micro-credential is non-credit, a digital badge will be issued by UM Online. To request this service please complete the “Non-Credit Micro-Credential Tracking List” and upload it to Submittable. Your request will then be forwarded to UMOnline.
If the Micro-credential is a hybrid of Credit and Non-Credit students, please submit a separate request for each cohort using the links above.
If you would like assistance in marketing your micro-credential or don't see your approved micro-credential listed on our Micro-credential Offerings web page, please review our Marketing Services and contact Breanna Niekamp.
Please note: a micro-credential cannot be marketed until the micro-credential proposal form has been approved by UM Online.
Digital Badges FAQS
Have questions about digital badges? Please visit our Digital Badge FAQ webpage.