This May, the Council of Graduate Schools and Educational Testing Service (ETS) announced a new project on post-baccalaureate microcredentials and their relationship to the master’s degree. Microcredentials, certificates or badges that indicate satisfactory completion of a non-degree program, are one of the fastest growing sectors of the higher education market. Despite this increase, little is known about how microcredentials are changing the graduate education landscape. In particular, the relationship between stackable microcredentials – certificates or badges that can be combined into a degree – and the master’s degree remains unclear. This project will seek to clarify the types of credentials offered by post-secondary institutions; explore the relationship between those credentials and the master’s degree; and assess how those credentials are valued by employers.
The eighteen-month project will be guided by a panel of thought leaders from CGS member institutions, employers, and non-profit organizations. CGS will also hold focus groups on a variety of high-priority issues central to post-baccalaureate microcredentialing to inform surveys of graduate program directors and employers. The project will conclude with a convening in 2023, where CGS will release guidance on definitions of microcredentials as well as a framework for how programs might develop non-degree certificates and include them in their post-baccalaureate credential portfolios.
Click here to view the recording of a recent CGS webinar on “Microcredentials and the Future of Graduate Education” featuring presentations from Holly Zanville (Credential as You Go), Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), and Julie Masterson (Missouri State University).