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What are Micro-Credentials?
Micro-Credentials are "digital badges" that recognize your commitment to professional learning and practice. Inspired by Micro-Credentials used in industries across the country, these badges are designed to make professional learning look and feel different.
Centered around global themes, each Micro-Credential can be relevant to any AACPS employee, including teachers, administrators, and support staff. From Systems Thinking to Relationships A-Z, participants in each theme choose from a flexible menu of opportunities to explore new ideas, build skills, and stand out as a leader in your team, school/department, and district. Working on your own timeline with employees from all levels and areas of the county, Micro-Credentials recognize and support the work you do every day to serve the most important people in our field--the students.
What does it mean to "Level-Up"?
Each Micro-Credential has three levels of growth for employees who want to dive deeply into a particular area of professional learning. AACPS employees who successfully complete each level will earn a "digital badge" that can be added to your professional learning profile (resume, email signature, Blackboard, etc.) to help you stand out as a leader within the school system. Each new badge that you earn recognizes your initiative in taking your professional growth to the next level.
What Micro-Credentials are available?
Can I begin as an Adventurer or Trailblazer?
You cannot begin an Adventurer badge until you have earned an Explorer badge for that Micro-Credential. For example, you must earn a Relationships A-Z Explorer badge before beginning your Relationships A-Z Adventure badge.
Likewise, you must earn an Explorer and Adventure badget before beginning a Trailblazer badge for that Micro-Credential.
Why should I earn a Micro-Credential?
Micro-Credentials give you control over your professional growth. Pick the path that works for you and learn skills and strategies that you can start using in your workplace immediately.
In addition, AACPS Micro-Credentials recognize your engagement in on-going, job-embedded professional learning that results in improved professional competencies, student achievement, and collaborative leadership. Educators with Micro-Credentials will have advanced consideration for leadership roles, opportunities, and positions.
How can I earn a Micro-Credential?
Once you choose a Micro-Credential, you will be able to select from a menu of learning modules related to that Micro-Credential topic. Each menu includes foundational modules that all learners will complete as well as a range of exploratory modules. Pick the modules that interest you and complete the Micro-Credential on your own timeline. Learn more.
How long does it take to earn each Micro-Credential?
Micro-Credentials allow you to learn on your own timeline. Most Micro-Credentials can be earned between six months and one year, although some people may take less time and some make take more.
How many modules do I need to complete to earn a Micro-Credential?
The number of modules that you are required to complete varies by your Micro-Credential theme and badge level). Click here to review the requirements for your theme and badge level.
Most Explorer level micro-credentials consist of four mandatory modules and three free choice modules.
How will I be recognized for earning a new micro-credential badge?
Once you complete the requirements for a Micro-Credential, you will receive an electronic badge that may be used in email signatures, Blackboard, Edmodo, LinkedIn, or other social media networks. You will also receive a physical pin celebrating your badge and a formal certificate. In addition, the office of Professional Growth and Development will keep a list of all employees who have earned a Micro-Credential and their badge level(s) to share with principals, human resources, and other AACPS administrators.
How will my supervisor know that I've completed a badge?
Once you have been awarded a Micro-Credential badge, we recommend that you reach out to your supervisor to let him or her know you have earned a Micro-Credential. The office of Professional Growth and Development will also keep a list of all employees who have earned a Micro-Credential and their badge level(s) to share with principals, human resources, and other AACPS administrators.
Will I earn credit for completing a micro-credentials?
You will earn Advanced Professional Certification (APC) credit for each micro-credential module that you successfully complete, including the Micro-Credential Experience module. The number of APC credits that you earn will vary based on the modules that you choose, but all participants will earn at least 1.0 APC credits for completing a Micro-Credential Explorer badge.
Will I earn a stipend for completing a micro-credentials?
Employees will not be paid a stipend for completing a micro-Credential. However, you may be considered for other leadership opportunities which may have monetary compensation (writing curriculum, leading professional development, etc.).
How many badges can I earn?
Micro-Credentials put your professional growth back in your hands. Survey lots of Micro-Credentials by earning multiple Explorer badges or go deep into one topic until you become a Trailblazer. Earn as many or as few Micro-Credential badges as you want to reach your professional and personal goals.
I am interested in some of the modules, but don't want to pursue an entire badge.
No problem! You can take one or more individual modules without registering the Micro-Credential Experience course. Go to Unified Talent-Learn Grow Succeed and register for the course using the section number provided in the menu. You will earn APC credit for any module that you successfully complete, even if you choose not to purse a badge.