Micro-Credentials at SUNY

Please note that this website is transitioning to: www.suny.edu/microcredentials.

Visit the new site today to see our new micro-credential directory. For information on building a high quality micro-credential program, see the note below.

Creating a High-Quality Micro-Credential Program
Building the SUNY Program

November 2021 Update

SUNY was one of the first Systems (or institutions) of higher higher education to adopt a broad micro-credential policy in January 2018; largely following the recommendations of the SUNY Micro-Credentialing Task Force that had begun its work three years earlier, in 2015. Fast forward to 2021 and SUNY today is offering nearly 400 micro-credentials across 27 campuses. It has been a challenging, sometimes complex, but completely rewarding experience.

We are beginning to see the fruits of our labor with adult learners moving from a micro-credential to a degree program and with current members of the workforce moving from non-credit professional development to credit bearing activity. We are watching adult learners get the professional development they need and even out-of-state students using micro-credentials as a way to get to know SUNY and a particular program. We have created micro-credentials to support P-12 educators and administrators. We have created micro-credentials in partnership with business/industry partners and community organization partners. More people understand what SUNY micro-credentials are and recognize what we offer in this space as distinct.

SUNY intentionally worked to be transparent in its process, actively sharing what we learned throughout the policy development process on our website. Throughout our planning and as we began to focus on implementation, we admittedly focused less on the website. Both System and micro-credential leads have willingly shared updates, lessons learned and best practices with countless higher education leaders, faculty teams, and state higher education agencies through interviews and workshops. We have done many presentations at the state and national levels. However, we recognize now that continuing to document our progress is important for us and those who are interested in our work--yes, we have heard you!

That work begins with a new webpage at: www.suny.edu/microcredentials, and for the first time, a searchable directory of micro-credentials offered. Our goal over the coming months is to move our policy development resources into a single webpage for easy access, to update our FAQ to reflect lessons learned and most commonly asked questions, and to capture our story from this point forward. We have come a long way but still have important work to do. 

At the system level, we are in the midst of refreshing our website to accurately tell our story and launch our first searchable database of SUNY microcredentials. Campus websites, too, are in various stages of completion and are striving to support easy access to information. We are looking to streamline application processes, data tracking and reporting and benefit from innovative registrars working to make that happen. Together we will identify gaps in areas of focus and discipline to ensure pathways from the undergraduate to graduate levels in high-demand fields. We will look for ways to scale access to in-demand microcredentials and survey microcredential alumni to inform program improvements. We will continue to engage with our business, P-12 and community partners to enhance our support through microcredentials. Importantly, we will also support efforts to create a national incremental credentialing system that recognizes high-quality microcredentials, as established by SUNY. This work is underway now through partnership with the SUNY System, University of North Carolina System, North Carolina Community College System, Colorado Community College System and Colorado Department of Higher Education as part of SUNY Empire State College’s IES supported-grant work, Credential As You Go. 

There is so much good work to share. Please stay tuned!


Picture of a magazine article on Micro-credentials in The Evollution magazine.

"SUNY microcredentials help existing students distinguish themselves in a competitive job market; provide professional development to alumni and professionals across an array of positions and industries; build a pipeline of skilled employees in emerging fields; and, upskill and retrain incumbent workers and those unemployed or underemployed because of the pandemic."

Read the full article:

Defining a Role for High-Quality Microcredentials in Higher Education