Micro-credentials—small programs that allow people to gain relevant skills needed in today’s workforce—are a growing trend in higher education and in today’s economy. To provide CU Denver students with the latest in-demand skills and to serve working professionals looking to upskill and reskill, the College of Engineering, Design and Computing has allocated $160,000 to launch six new interdisciplinary micro-credentials, which typically require completing a small number of new courses or specific trainings outside of class. Each program was developed by a faculty member and will launch in spring 2022.
Faculty from across the college submitted competitive program proposals, which required a description of the credential, justification for the program, the intended audience, and how the credential could be stacked with other offerings, among other logistics.
“We received nine proposals and we were able to fund most of them, at least partially,” said Mark Golkowski, associate dean for education and student success, who managed the proposal selection process. “These micro-credentials are part of the larger process of constantly improving and updating the curriculum to make sure we are preparing our student for future success.”
The goal is to modernize and differentiate our curricula and educational offerings, to provide opportunities for students to differentiate themselves, and to advance campus and college strategic priorities to create and deliver modular, stackable offerings. These micro-credentials provide opportunities for students to engage with cutting-edge topics and to receive credentials that acknowledge their mastery.
“Leveraging internationally recognized research and creative work, we will offer students and alumni a chance to reskill and support the growing innovation industry of the Denver metro-area,” said Golkowski.
The funded programs outlined below will allow the college to explore creative new ideas and to evolve in terms of content, pedagogy, and delivery.
The Reliability Engineering micro-credential requires completion of one three-credit course. Proposed by electrical engineering senior instructor Lary Speakman, students who complete the program will be prepared to sit for the formal Certified Reliability Engineering exam, to obtain an American Society for Quality (ASQ) reliability engineer certification, thus becoming a professional who understands the principles of performance evaluation and prediction to improve product and systems safety, reliability, and maintainability.
The Trimble Technology micro-credential, proposed by civil engineering professor Caroline Clevenger and IT director Kenny Sisco, will allow students to train on surveying equipment donated to the university by Trimble Labs and will result in a college certification. Trained students will be employed to support faculty and student projects that use the equipment.
A micro-credential in Electric Vehicle Technology,spearheaded by electrical engineering professor Jaedo Park and proposed jointly by the departments of electrical and mechanical engineering. The program includes a new course in electric vehicle power train, and will teach students the fundamentals and industry standards in electric powertrains and aerodynamics.
The Quantum Computing micro-credential is a three-course sequence offered jointly between electrical engineering and the physics department, and was proposed by associate professor Tim Lei and professor Martin Huber. Students will be exposed to quantum computing algorithms and quantum computing hardware. However, unlike quantum computing courses at other institutions, the CU Denver quantum computing certificate will be available to undergraduate students and will feature a unique hands-on laboratory component exploring cryogenic environments and precision RF measurements.
New programs in Additive Manufacturing (AM) will leverage existing CU Denver course and workshop offerings to create multiple and stackable micro-credentials for all students and an AM minor for STEM students. These were proposed by associate professor Chris Yackaki, senior associate dean Kristin Wood, and Andrew Henderson and Dan Griner from Inworks.
Assistant professor Monika Wittig from Inworks proposed micro-credentials in Interdisciplinary Design for Clinical Impact that overlays current course offerings across many colleges, schools, and departments to provide the opportunity for interdisciplinary microdegrees, micromasters, and/or digital badges.
For more information about each of these programs, please visit engineering.ucdenver.edu/academics/micro-credentials or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the CU Denver College of Engineering, Design and Computing, we focus on providing our students with a comprehensive engineering education at the undergraduate, graduate and professional level. Faculty conduct research that spans our five disciplines of civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, bioengineering, and computer science and engineering. The college collaborates with industry from around the state; our laboratories and research opportunities give students the hands-on experience they need to excel in the professional world.