If you’re reading this, it means you’re interested in taking steps to improve your practice as an educator and create better outcomes for your students. Congratulations! Your commitment to lifelong professional learning is essential in helping VT-NEA & NEA fulfill our joint mission to provide a great public education for every student.
Unfortunately, not all educators have access to the professional development support they need. That’s why we created NEA Micro-credentials—to make it easy for all educators (teachers and education support professionals alike) to access professional learning opportunities throughout our careers.
What’s a Micro-Credential?
A micro-credential is a short, competency-based recognition that allows an educator to demonstrate mastery in a particular area. NEA micro-credentials are grounded in research and best practice and designed to be:
- Personalized: You can create your own learning journey, based on your interests and career goals; gaps in your skills; and the specific needs of your students, school, and district.
- Flexible: You can study when it’s convenient for you, alone or with your peers.
- Performance-based: Unlike “sit-and-get” certifications, NEA micro-credentials are awarded based on demonstrated mastery of the subject matter, not just for showing up.
VT-NEA Micro-Credentials Program: Mastering New Skills to Help Students Succeed
How Do Micro-Credentials Work?
Micro-credentials are flexible. You can choose to learn on your own, or join a learning community and support each other through the process. The process is rigorous, so working with a group can help you earn your micro-credential sooner. Contact Juliette Longchamp at [email protected] to learn more about your options.
I chose the NEA micro-credentials specifically because of the reputation of the organization. Unlike private firms who offer micro-credentials for a cost, I knew that the NEA had the best interest of educators in mind and that they would be consistent and reliable.
–Kristen Pierce (IL)
Ready to get started? Here's how it works, at a glance:
- Go to nea.certificationbank.com/vermont to get started.
- Select a skill you have developed or would like to develop.
- Collect the required evidence demonstrating your competence in the selected area.
- Submit by uploading your evidence.
- Share your achievement with others!
- Once you earn the Micro-Credential, forward the email to Juliette Longchamp at [email protected], who will then provide a 15 hour PD Certificate, which can be used for Vermont Educator License Renewal.
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.
Process & Tips for Success
Select a skill you have developed or would like to develop, and download or view the micro-credential on nea.certificationbank.com. Read the micro-credential carefully to familiarize yourself with the resources, submission guidelines, and evaluation criteria. If you choose to print the micro-credential you may also want to view it digitally in order to access the clickable links in the research and resource sections.
Collect the required evidence demonstrating your competence in the selected area. For most micro-credentials, you will be required to collect evidence from real experiences in your classroom or worksite. Each micro-credential requires different kinds of work to demonstrate your mastery. For example you may need to write a lesson plan, videotape a meeting, or collect data to analyze. It typically takes about 10-15 hours to complete the requirements to earn a micro-credential.
Submit by uploading your evidence on nea.certificationbank.com. Once you click Start, you will see a place to upload each piece of evidence you have collected. It will take approximately two weeks for you to hear back from the reviewers.
You have six months from the time you click Start to complete your micro-credential. If your time runs out, you will need to click Start again and re-upload anything you already completed.
Share your achievement with others! After you have successfully earned the micro-credential, share it with your evaluator, post on social media and add to your resume. In some states, micro-credentials even count as continuing education units. You will need to check with your district or state to see if NEA micro-credentials are accepted. You can view all of your micro-credential badges on the My Showcase page.
Tips for success
Follow these tips to avoid the need for resubmission:
- Choose your micro-credential wisely.
- Study guidelines and scoring rubrics carefully.
- Answer all prompts; provide required evidence.
- Take advantage of your support system.
If you don’t pass the first time, you can address the feedback you receive from the reviewers and resubmit as often as you need to.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much does it cost to apply for a micro-credential?
A: Micro-credentials are free to members. Non-members must pay a $75 fee to apply for a micro-credential. 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: I’d like to study with a group. How can I find out if my local affiliate is actively organizing a learning community?
A: Call your local president or ask your building representative.
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.
Still have questions? Drop us a line at [email protected]