Ready to get credit for what you already know? Ready to get new skills you can put to work today? Ready to get a fresh perspective on teaching? Ready to get ahead in your career? Then you are ready for micro-credentials!
What is a micro-credential?
A micro-credential is a short, competency-based recognition that allows an educator to demonstrate mastery in a particular area such as Bully Free Schools or English Language Learners. The OEA/NEA micro-credentials are created by educators, for educators and are grounded in research and best-practices. There are currently more than 80 to choose from.
Getting Started with Micro-Credentials
You can choose to learn on your own, or create or join a learning community to support each other in your learning.
Micro-Credential PLC Grants
OEA can support members in creating their own learning community to work on micro-credentials through mini-grants of $200 each. The process is rigorous, so working with a group can help you earn your micro-credential sooner. You can read more about the grant and process in this OEA micro-credential PLC guide, or read through the Frequently Asked Questions below.
WHAT: Micro-credentials are free, high-quality, self-directed professional development. Educators demonstrate mastery of specific competencies, and earn digital badges to share with networks, on resumes, or in an educator profile. Browse the NEA micro-credential catalog at nea.certificationbank.com.
WHY: Data shows that educators working collaboratively in a PLC have a higher rate of successfully completing micro-credentials. Also, authentic, educator-driven and led PLCs are an effective and powerful form of collaborative learning. Educators can earn PDU certificates for completing the PLC and earning a micro-credential to renew their license.
HOW: Complete the Micro-Credential PLC Mini-Grant form. Then, recruit your PLC and get started. OEA will provide a collaborative support group for all mini-grant recipients and tools to run effective PLCs.
The micro-credential PLC cycle has four steps:
- select a micro-credential,
- collect evidence of proficiency,
- submit artifacts for review,
- share your digital badge upon complete.
WHEN: Members can apply for mini-grants at anytime in the school year. Each micro-credential requires approximately 15 hours of work including research, preparing artifacts, and writing reflections. PLC mini-grant recipients should plan for a 6 to 12-week PLC cycle.
WHO: Any OEA member can apply for a grant and become a micro-credential PLC leader. Any educator can join the PLC; they do not need to be members. OEA will ask for a roster of PLC participants.
- OEA will provide $200 per mini-grant. The funds provide a $150 stipend for the PLC leader and $50 for PLC supplies such as food or other materials (receipts required).
- Members can apply for additional grants after completing one PLC cycle.
- PLC leads sign a memorandum of understanding outlining OEA and member responsibilities.
- Upon completion, OEA will issue PDU certificates for the PLC and the micro-credential, for a total of 21 PDUs.
Individual Micro-Credential Journey
You can work through a micro-credential on your own. This works best if you want to show competency in an instructional or leadership skill you already have and feel confident about. To increase the quality of your submission, follow these tips:
- Choose your micro-credential wisely. Consider the evidence required, what you already know, and the submission requirements.
- Study the guidelines and scoring rubrics carefully. There is a lot of information and a close read will improve the quality of your work.
- Answer all the prompts completely, and ensure you provide all the required evidence.
If you don’t pass the first time, you can resubmit your evidence using the feedback you receive from the educator reviewers to improve your submission.
Q: What is a micro-credential?
A: A micro-credential is a short competency-based recognition. The are personalized, job-embedded, and classroom-focused. Educators can earn PDUs for successfully completing a micro-credential.
Q: What is a digital badge?
A: A digital badge is an electronically verifiable image that can be shared and displayed digitally on resumes, social networks, or elsewhere. You receive it upon successful completion of a micro-credential.
Q: What is a stack?
A: A stack is a way to organize micro-credentials into big ideas like Bully Free Schools, Assessment Literacy, or Classroom Management. Each stack contains several micro-credentials. You do not have to complete all the micro-credentials in a stack.
Q: What are the current micro-credential stacks?
A: NEA has more than 100 micro-credentials available to educators and continues to add more to its certification bank. Visit nea.certificationbank.com for a current list.
Q: How do you apply for micro-credentials?
A: Go to nea.certificationbank.com to create your free account today. Then, select a micro-credential and get started with learning.
Q: How long does each micro-credential take to complete?
A: On average, it takes approximately 15 hours to complete a micro-credential.
Q: How do I turn my micro-credential into PDUs?
A: Once you’ve successfully completed a micro-credential and received your digital badge from NEA, forward that information to firstname.lastname@example.org. OEA will send you a PDU certificate for 15 PDUs.
Q: How much do micro-credentials cost?
A: Micro-credentials are free to members.
Q: Can I create a PLC to work through a micro-credential together?
A: Yes! Educators who work in a PLC with colleagues have a higher rate of passing upon first submission than those who work individually. This is ideal when learning a new skill. A PLC can be a grade level team, content team, or any group of educators coming together to learn collaboratively. OEA can support your PLC with a mini-grant.
Q: Who writes and reviews NEA micro-credentials?
A: NEA micro-credentials are written and reviewed by educators from across the country. OEA members wrote the Assessment Literacy micro-credentials.