Integrating Microcredentials into Undergraduate Experiences: Workcred and The University of Texas System Release New Framework Report


Integrating Microcredentials into Undergraduate Experiences

Workcred, in collaboration with The University of Texas (UT) System, has released a report that serves as a framework to guide the development and implementation of microcredentials and how they can be combined with undergraduate experiences. The comprehensive report builds on discussions from a workshop hosted by Workcred and the UT System that included faculty and administrators from across five UT System institutions who assessed how to integrate microcredentials that signify data analytics knowledge and skills most valued by employers. They explored how undergraduate students majoring in humanities and liberal arts could concurrently earn a data analytics microcredential and a bachelor’s degree, potentially increasing their employment opportunities and earnings outcomes.

The new report, Integrating Microcredentials into Undergraduate Experiences, provides insights on:

  • the use and purposes of microcredentials;
  • factors to consider when building or selecting a microcredential;
  • the relationship between microcredentials and badges;
  • promising microcredential practices in digital skills and data analytics;
  • commonly identified skills in liberal arts and data analytics;
  • approaches to align data analytics microcredentials with undergraduate experiences;
  • a framework to guide the development and implementation of microcredentials; and
  • assets to support microcredentialing efforts in the UT System.

The report also highlights how, certain institutions of higher education, including those within the UT System, are developing a common and consistent definition for microcredentials. In fact, the UT System launched the Texas Credentials for the Future initiative in 2021 with a focus on microcredentials that arm learners with the skills, knowledge, and competencies most valued by employers.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with the UT System on this report to shed even more light on how microcredentials can foster the transformation of higher education,” said Roy Swift, executive director, Workcred. “We are hopeful that this report can help inform the creation and implementation of microcredentials to enhance existing degree programs, and provide learners with valuable skillsets to take into their careers.”

“UT System institutions are committed to producing graduates who are broadly educated and specifically skilled. Our collaboration with Workcred is helping build the capacity within our institutions to expand employer-relevant microcredential opportunities for students in a way that aligns with our values and quality standards,” said Archie Holmes, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs for the UT System.

About Workcred

Formed in 2014, Workcred is an affiliate of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Its mission is to strengthen workforce quality by improving the credentialing system, ensuring its ongoing relevance, and preparing employers, workers, educators, and governments to use it effectively. Workcred’s vision is a labor market that relies on the relevance, quality, and value of workforce credentials for opportunities, growth, and development.

About The University of Texas System

For nearly 140 years, The University of Texas System has improved the lives of Texans and people all over the world through education, research and health care. With 13 institutions that enroll more than 243,000 students collectively, the UT System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. UT institutions produce more than 64,000 graduates annually and award more than one-third of undergraduate degrees in Texas and more than 60 percent of the state’s medical degrees. Collectively, UT-owned and affiliated hospitals and clinics account for more than ten million outpatient visits and more than two million hospital days each year. UT institutions are among the most innovative in the world, ranking number one in Texas and number two in the nation for federal research expenditures. The UT System also is one of the largest employers in Texas – employing more than 116,000 faculty, health care professionals, support staff and student workers – and has an operating budget of $25.2 billion for fiscal year 2023.