Forsyth Tech Community College has received more than $100,000 in funding from the National Science Foundation Advanced Technical Education (NSF/ATE) to support micro-credentials.
Micro-credentials, often described and issued as digital badges, are a recent development for workforce training and skills building. According to Forbes Magazine, however, they are important to effectively recruit, retain and upskill workers.
Forsyth Tech’s National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce (NCBW), based at the Innovation Quarter, will use the funds to implement a 2023 in-person workshop for instructors, to introduce and pilot new BETA Skills micro-credentials in collaboration with the Bioscience Core Skills Institute of Kansas (BCSI, www.coreskillsinstitute.com). At least one micro-credential in 2023 will derive from “people skills,” such as communication and good documentation practices.
This workshop and new skills are a continuation of BETA work completed in 2021 and ongoing efforts in 2022 to offer in-demand skills that are relevant to biotechnicians and other technical workers.
“We thank the NSF ATE, BioMADE (www.biomade.org), our national partners and BCSI for the opportunity to have supplemental BETA Skills funding which enables the NCBW to pilot this approach micro credential approach.” said Russ Read, Executive Director of the National Center for the Biotechnology Workforce at Forsyth Tech @ Innovation Quarter.
An additional outcome of the funding received is to demonstrate new pathways into the skilled technical workforce, as well as add knowledge about the links among post-secondary credentials, certifications, badges, micro-credentials, and trainings – and how they intersect with and impact jobs and employment.