Micro-Credentials at SUNY

Micro-credentials verify, validate and attest that specific skills and/or competencies have been achieved and are endorsed by the issuing institution, having been developed through established faculty governance processes and designed to be meaningful and high quality.


Micro-credentials may represent the content of credit or noncredit study; they may take the form of digital badge, MOOC, or micro-award, and can be offered online, on-campus, or a hybrid of both. Micro-credentials may be specifically recognized by certain industries, in which case they may have the advantage of providing validation and attestation of industry-specified and frequently highly sought-after competencies.

Each micro-credential awarded must be represented clearly and accurately, addressing all associated costs, financial aid, transferability, and applicability (e.g., stack-ability) toward a formal award(s) (i.e., registered degree, certificate).

Micro-credentials can be used to highlight competencies earned as part of a credit-bearing program (motivating students to persist and distinguishing students among prospective employers); serve as an introduction or entry point to a degree program (stackable); or be issued as a stand-alone credential and/or one complementary to a degree program (an English major may benefit from a micro-credential in computer science; a computer science major may benefit from a micro-credential in business writing; a computer science alum may benefit from a micro-credential on the newest programming language; and/or an education major may seek continuing professional development via a micro-credential, etc.). 

Guiding Principles:

  1. Academic quality is paramount for micro-credentials, and faculty governance participation is required.
  2. Micro-credentials are initiated locally, developed, and approved according to local campus policies and procedures, consistent with campus mission and strategic goals.
  3. Micro-credentials designed to meet market needs should be informed by current data from appropriate markets and align with relevant industry/sector standards.
  4. Micro-credentials can provide opportunities for industry/education connections and partnerships.
  5. Micro-credentials are inherently more flexible and innovative.
  6. Micro-credentials should be portable.
  7. Micro-credentials should be stackable.