Micro-Credentials are Here!  Imagine.......  

  • High quality, on-demand professional learning that meets your professional needs.
  • Learning you can apply in your classroom immediately, and helps you renew your license.
  • Learning you can do with your colleagues in an authentic learning community.
  • Free PD hours from your association

Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Professional development so often falls short of our expectations and often doesn’t meet our needs as educators. Numerous research articles, blog posts, and news stories have been chronicling the shortcomings of the state of professional development for educators over the past decade.

NEA has recently launched a new approach to professional development — micro-credentials. Micro-credentials aren’t new but have recently gained momentum in education with organizations like Digital Promise and Learning Forward elevating them as a way for educators to access professional learning to meet their needs.

Micro-credentials also allow educators to show mastery of specific and discrete competencies and to receive recognition for this mastery.  Once educators have demonstrated mastery, they are issued a digital badge. They can use this digital badge on their resumes, on social media profiles, and to earn professional development units (PDUs).  NEA offers over 100 micro-credentials to educators free of charge.

Micro-credentials are: 

  • Competency-based
  • Personalized, self-directed 
  • On-demand, responsive to teachers’ schedules
  • Shareable portable currency
  • Job-embedded, practical

Micro-credentials are not:

  • Seat-time based
  • One-size fits all professional learning
  • Limited by their availability
  • Minimal in their public value
  • Limited in contextualized learning

Micro-credentials are designed to recognize mastery of a skill.  The more background information an educator has on the content/skill of the micro-credential, the less time it will take to complete the micro-credential.  Hence, a micro-credential that represents a new skill to an educator will take longer to complete.  

NEA Micro-credentials - A benefit of Membership

NEA supports the development of micro-credentials, and these micro-credentials are created by NEA members and scored by NEA members. Vermont-NEA and Castleton University have partnered to allow educators to earn one Castleton Credit per micro-credential completed.  

How to get started

Browse the micro-credentials offered at NEA by creating an account at nea.certificationbank.com. Currently, there are 24 "stacks" (or broad topics) of micro-credentials.  Within each stack are micro-credentials, which are a narrow topic under the stack topic.  (Browse and you will see!)  If you want to earn a micro-credential by yourself or with others in your school (preferred) all you need to do is register and select the micro-credential you would like to complete.  When you complete your micro-credentials, send verification to Juliette Longchamp at [email protected], who will provide you a certificate that can be uploaded into ALiS (Vermont's online licensing portal). 

Want support through your micro-credential journey?

Vermont-NEA is offering support to educators who would like to receive feedback on assignments prior to submission (the initial pass rate is around 40%, but people may resubmit assignments until meets the competency.).  Vermont-NEA has a network of Board-Certified Teachers, who have demonstrated competency in the MC topic and will provide feedback prior to you submitting the micro-credential assignments.  Teachers can utilize their contracted PD funds for this by printing out the registration forms for your district, and either sending it to Vermont-NEA or applying online here. 

Want to receive Castleton University Credit?

Currently, only college credit may be used for salary advancement in most collective bargaining agreements. Castleton University will provide one credit per micro-credential earned.  If you would like support through Vermont-NEA (see above) and Castleton Credit, print out the registration forms for your district and either send it to Vermont-NEA or apply online here.  

Registration Forms - Registration forms are arranged by MC Stacks

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much does it cost to apply to a micro-credential?
A: Micro-credentials are free. If you want additional support or Castleton Credit, there is a small fee ($150 for support and $150 for Castleton Credit).  Many districts will allow educators to utilize contractual PD funds for this.
 
Q: What happens if I have a question about my micro-credential?
A: Click the Contact Us link in the footer of NEA Certification Bank. You will be able to submit a question, and it will be directed to either Technical Assistance or Content Support.  You can also contact Juliette Longchamp at Vermont-NEA at [email protected]
 
Q: Will earning a micro-credential make me eligible for a promotion and/or raise?
A: In Vermont, you need to earn college credit in order to advance on the salary schedule, so you will need to apply for credit.  However, your micro-credentials will earn 15 PD hours for relicensure.  Send verification of completion to Juliette Longchamp at [email protected] to receive a certificate to upload on the online licensing site.  
 
Q: What happens if I can’t finish a micro-credential in the allowed amount of time?
A: After six months, your application will be reset. You will need to start over when you are ready to finish uploading your evidence. It is important that you save your work on your own computer or in an online storage space in case this happens.
 
Q: What happens if I don’t pass the micro-credential? Do I have to start over?
A: You will receive feedback from your peer reviewer and be invited to address the feedback and resubmit. You may submit as many times as you need in order to pass. The national first-time pass rate is about 40 percent, so you shouldn’t feel bad if you don’t pass the first time. It is a process and the feedback is meant to help you improve your practice.
 

 

 
 
 

 

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