Do you have a microcredential? Why the hell not?
Microcredentials are carpet-bombing the higher-education landscape with the force of a Level 5 tornado flattening an Oklahoma trailer park on a late summer afternoon.
In a nutshell, microcredentials are short, non-credit programs (i.e., a few courses) that are intended to enhance a student’s knowledge and/or skills in a narrow area. Of course, obtaining a microcredential gets you a digital badge or certificate of some sort. The latter can be easily attached to your car’s sun visor in the event you are stopped by a state trooper who demands evidence of your proficiencies.
Intrigued? Here are a few examples:
University of Tennessee College of Medicine
Microcredential in Appendectomy Preparation: Learn how to get an individual ready to have his/her/their appendix removed. Course modules include “Informing the Patient,” “Calming the Patient,” and “Making the Initial Incision.”
This credential is especially useful for students who anticipate backpacking in a national park with a friend or relative who is at risk of developing acute appendicitis. A follow-up microcredential, Appendix Removal: Incisions 2 through 5, is highly recommended but not required.
Claremont School of Theology
Microcredential in the Book of Genesis, Chapter 1, Verses 1-20: This program covers everything in the Bible up to, and including, the creation of fish and fowl. (“Let the waters bring forth the creeping creature having life, and the fowl that may fly over the earth under the firmament of heaven.”)
Students possessing this Book of Genesis credential are qualified to establish a small church of their own in any rural setting having a population under 750. They can also engage in sidewalk preaching on secondary streets in urban areas.
Rutgers Law School
Microcredential in Traffic Citations: Become an expert on the range of fines in your county for offenses such as street racing, ignoring stop signs and red lights, driving while intoxicated, and speeding through work zones. Familiarize yourself with the special challenges associated with defending hit-and-run drivers.
This credential does not entitle you to practice law, but it does give you the right to file friend-of-the-court briefs and purchase billboard space on any state highway that features a Waffle House restaurant.
For the locations of colleges and universities near you that offer microcredentials, simply Google “the end of higher education.”