Medicine Hat College and Prairie Rose Public Schools have partnered together to provide high school students an opportunity to engage in higher learning. “The college recently announced micro-credentials as part of its program mix, which provide fast, flexible and quality-assured learning in targeted areas of interest and industry,” a press release reads. “These short-term programs are delivered online and can stand alone or complement traditional credentials such as certificates, diplomas and degrees.” “A micro-credential is an individual, stand-alone credential,” explained Timothy Spielman, dean for the School of Business and Continuing Studies. Spielman says after engaging with the community and asking what types of micro-credentials were needed, Reagan Weeks, superintendent of Prairie Rose School Division, came forward and indicated a feeling that some of the programs at Eagle Butte high school would work well with the micro-credential programming and that they’d love the opportunity for students. “It’s really forward thinking by Reagan and the group,” said Spielman. “They’re really looking and working hard to find a way to help their students, and we’re a happy partner in that.” Prairie Rose high school students will now have access to micro-credentials in several areas, including Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Advanced Pilot Training, Tourism and Hospitality Management, Permaculture Design and Rainwater Harvesting. “This is a chance to explore new subject areas and maybe discover a future career path,” Weeks said in the release. “Micro-credentials present an exciting opportunity for our students to test the waters and learn at a different level. We believe there is tremendous value in connecting our students to the college environment and increasing their confidence with the post-secondary system. The more exposure and experiences we can offer our students now, the better prepared they will be for the future.” Weeks went on to say the UAV Advanced Pilot Training micro-credential will be the first to launch with Eagle Butte Dave Rozdeba Flight Academy students and Foremost School, in partnership with the Foremost UAS Testing Range. Upon completion of a micro-credential, learners receive a digital badge that can be shared across their social media network, highlighted on their resume, or included in their email signature. “Employers are looking to address skills gaps now, and micro-credentials provide an efficient and targeted approach to meeting their needs,” Spielman said. “Whether learning in a high school classroom or building additional career capacity as a working professional, the online and flexible delivery of micro-credentials meets learners where they are at in life.” Spielman says the college is working hard to engage with the community. “These ideas came from the community and that’s what our goal is, we’re all about that engagement,” said Spielman. “This is just one example of that but I’m very hopeful there will be more.” For more information on the micro-credentials available, visit www.mhc.ab.ca.
LAUREN THOMSON, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News