So, not only can bachelor’s and master’s students learn new skills with every five- or six-week class, but they can showcase those skills on their resumés, digital platforms or LinkedIn® profiles before they even graduate.
More than 200 verified digital badges are available through Credly digital badges. UOPX has issued over 200,000 badges since September 2021 for skills obtained in undergraduate, graduate and professional development courses. Currently, more than 85% of UOPX programs open for new enrollment are now skills mapped.
Savron says this is significant for students because they don’t have to wait for graduation to tout their achievements and can see what they earned through a skills profile. “The way we’ve built our programs, they get these skills credentials as they go,” she says.
In the nursing program, for example, with the recent natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic, nurse preparation for public emergency was identified as a need. “We looked at the credentials that exist in the marketplace around that skill set,” Savron says. “When matched up with the [public emergency] skills already in our courses, we are able to help students demonstrate and display, through badges, the skills they have acquired.”
As skills-embedded programs continue to gain momentum in education, it’s important to note that a thoughtful, truly relevant approach doesn’t happen in a vacuum.
University of Phoenix has been working with labor market data since 2015 and endeavoring to align skills with courses since 2019.
Bridging the skills gap
As a leader in connecting educational programs to in-demand workplace skills, UOPX is bridging the gap between what employers want and what students can deliver.
In the end, an institution-wide shift to a skills-ready, career-relevant mindset at UOPX will not only help students feel empowered toward their progress, but it will also help them demonstrate proof of learning to potential employers, current employers and colleagues.
“It is innovative. We’re trying to triangulate with students, employers and an institution,” Savron says. “It’s reflective of how University of Phoenix as an institution is a leader [answering] trends and anticipating trends.”
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