Building Collaborative Relationships with Industry Partners for Micro-Credential Programs


Many Institutions are seeking ways to break into the credentialing space. In addition to conversations about how credentials can be used in the traditional academic space, institutions seek creative and innovative credentialing programs. Regardless of the conversation, the question remains: Where do we start? The answer lies in employer partnerships. 


Identify the industries or companies that could benefit from your credentialing offerings. Employers are searching for ways to validate specific skills and knowledge of potential employees. However, many employers need more resources to develop rigorous programs internally. Consider partnering with employers your institution already has established relationships with to understand their specific needs, challenges, and the value they seek in a credentialing program. This information provides valuable insights for sketching potential opportunities and designing relevant micro-credential programs. 

Consider opportunities for Industry-embedded projects in current course offerings. Industry-embedded projects provide practical experiences that allow participants to apply their learning in context and demonstrate their skills to potential employers. Involving faculty members in the discovery process for any new initiative is crucial. Consider creating a committee of faculty members to explore courses or programs that can pilot these types of projects. 

Explore opportunities for flexible delivery methods. Potential learners have preferences and limitations for accessing and participating in micro-credentialing programs. These include time commitment, program cost, and ease of completion. Similarly, employers are looking for solutions that offer quick and efficient completion. Therefore, it is important to explore opportunities that offer accelerated, asynchronous, self-paced options to meet the needs of both learners and employers.


Establishing these types of partnerships has numerous benefits for both institutions and employers. Offering specialized and industry-specific credentials that align with the needs of employers and the demands of the job market will enhance the relevance of the institution's offerings and increase its graduates' employability. This will increase brand recognition and visibility by providing additional marketing opportunities. Furthermore, micro-credentialing programs can create an additional revenue stream for the institution. 


In this video, we demonstrate the process of integrating third-party badges into Canvas Credentials. This feature is a valuable tool for fostering connections with industry partners.

Please review our Canvas Credentials Checklist for Success for additional information on getting started.  Contact your Customer Success Manager to hear more about our consulting and training services if you need more assistance building industry partnerships.