As the first operational land-grant university, Kansas State University is uniquely positioned to meet today’s challenges of developing and enhancing human skills and capabilities through education, learning and meaningful work. While delivering curriculum in the traditional form of courses leading to degrees has a long history at K-State, the need to develop a coherent microcredentialing infrastructure is essential to K-State's future.
Microcredentials are short units of learning and offer pathways to achieve affordable, accessible, focused and immediately acknowledged learning opportunities. Microcredential offerings can be credit- or noncredit-bearing and have the following characteristics:
- focused on learners and their interests, needs, skills and career goals
- awarded based on demonstrated skill or competency in a specific area(s)
- developed, approved and endorsed by the university
- gained in a shorter or more flexible time period
- stand alone or stackable, wherein stackable offerings can be combined to count toward a higher education qualification (e.g., certificate, degree, etc.)
These market-aligned learning opportunities, delivered across flexible timespans, will expand the historic access mission of K-State and position the university in an increasingly competitive environment.
The focus of the microcredentials initiative is to purchase a digital credentialing system and develop a comprehensive microcredentialing infrastructure as part of the lifelong learning ecosystem at K-State with interconnected core components (e.g., learners, curriculum, definitions, credentials, technology, processes, policies and finances) needed for a robust lifelong learning ecosystem.
Establishment of this infrastructure will provide opportunities for diverse learners to acquire new skills and knowledge, communicate what they have learned in a consistent manner, apply the new knowledge and skills in their lives and further their career goals and credentials.