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SUNY Niagara offers microcredentials to help students develop and authenticate their professional competencies and personal development. Successful completion of a microcredential cumulates in an earned digital badge that can be immediately available to employers and others via one’s online curriculum vitae and social network. With our digital badges, SUNY Niagara students have the opportunity to be at the forefront of professional and personal development.

SUNY Niagara utilizes Credly’s Acclaim (Acclaim), a digital badging provider. Credly’s Acclaim provides recognition of earned skills and achievements with secure and verifiable digital badges. Digital badges can be used by their holders in any digital medium including email signatures, personal websites, social media sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as on electronic copies of resumes. Credly is the leading digital credential service provider for verifying, sharing, and managing digital credentials and badges.


What is a microcredential?

A microcredential is a short-term credential that may or may not be credit-bearing. Micro credentialing is a way to recognize competencies or skills acquired through a variety of learning experiences. Microcredentials are shorter in length than a regular course and they are more narrowly focused. Micro credentialing also allows students, faculty, staff, and community members to document their professional development. Participants have the flexibility to select their own learning experiences and set their own personal learning pathways.


What is a digital badge?

A digital badge is a visual icon of your microcredential. It identifies your learned skills. Badges, like the one in this picture, are embedded with information about when, where, and how a microcredential was earned.

Badges provide a visual record of achievement and can be combined with a portfolio to allow users to demonstrate their learning in ways other than traditional credit course work.

Editing & publishing microcredentials

The proposed microcredential combines hands-on and theoretical knowledge that greatly expands a student’s understanding of written communication and the distribution and marketing of texts of various kinds. As such, it aligns with both the General Education goals of the college and with the strategic goal of giving them skills necessary to flourish in the 21st-century economy. It is a keystone of the new English A.A. degree for the same reasons, and helps to challenge the idea that an English degree does not prepare one for a career, as skills in written communication are among the most commonly mentioned by business leaders in their description of what they seek in new employees.

Students must take and complete a minimum of 3 classes, from a choice of 4, for a minimum of 9 credits, and achieve a GPA of 2.5 in those classes. Taking the 1 credit Newspaper Design and Production class will be strongly recommended through advisement.  Students can select 3 of the following courses:

CourseTitleSubjectCredit Hours
COM 110Publication Layout and DesignCOM3 Cr.
JRN I/II or CRW I/II or CRNF I/IIJournalism or Creative Writing or Creative Non-FictionENG3 Cr.
JRN 150-153Newspaper Design and ProductionENG1 Cr.
DIG 105Social MediaCOM3 Cr.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Students will create various online media documents (i.e. YouTube Video, LinkedIn) and other digital-based social media platforms (Assessment: Students create, update, improve their LinkedIn pages).
  • Students will develop advanced writing skills in professional contexts;
  • Students will learn to produce student-written publications for print and online distribution;

Why microcredentialing?

  • Beginning fall 2019, SUNY Niagara will offer credit and/or non-credit courses/activities called microcredentials that help individuals develop and authenticate their professional competencies and personal development.
  • If you ever heard of the term MOOC (massive, open, online courses)–then you already are aware of what a microcredential is.
  • Microcredentials may take a few hours or a few weeks to complete. Successful completion of a microcredential or a series of microcredentials (called stackable credentials) may “stack” into a credit-bearing degree or certificate program.
  • SUNY Niagara is one of several SUNY schools venturing into the area of microcredentials.
  • Participants will earn digital badges that can be immediately available to employers and others via one’s online curriculum vitae and social network.
  • To further enhance one’s knowledge or skills.

What are the sources of SUNY Niagara badges?

Sources for microcredentials:

  1. Academic Credit
  2. Professional Development (FRCAE)
  3. Student Life
  4. Workforce Development

How do I earn a microcredential?

  1. Register for the microcredential.
  2. Complete the micro’s requirements.
  3. Submit evidence of your competencies, as per your facilitator’s instructions. The required evidence might be an earned grade, a written reflection, a combination of the two, or something entirely different.
  4. Wait while your facilitator evaluates your submitted evidence.
  5. Receive verification of your microcredential.
  6. Apply for your earned digital badge.
  7. Share your digital badge on your curriculum vitae, your email signature line, and/or social media platforms.

Why should I earn a microcredential?

For the same reasons, you would take courses, attend workshops, or complete webinars. It is generally because you want to grow both personally and professionally. One reason could be that your employer requires you to earn a microcredential.  Another reason is that you are fond of a particular subject matter and want to learn more about it.

I’m working towards a degree at SUNY Niagara. How will microcredentials fit into my program?

The microcredentials we offer support several degree programs. Earning a microcredential within your program demonstrates additional rigor and broadens one’s knowledge within the degree. It is important to know that microcredentials hours measure actual competencies, not just seat time or completion of papers. Earned microcredentials will appear on students’ co-curricula transcripts.

What do others learn from my digital badge?

When posted online, your digital badge can be viewed by others. Employers, college admission officers, friends, parents, and colleagues can see when, where, and how the badge was earned. A digital badge does provide more information than a transcript.

Contact Academic Affairs

Phone: 716-614-6450
Fax: 716-614-6406
Location: Notar Admin Bldg.
Hours: Mon-Fri, 8:00am – 4:00pm