The Power of Digital Badging to Position Dual Enrollment Students for Career-focused Self Advocacy

Streamed Session Blended Leadership

Brief Abstract

Digital badges have been leveraged with increasing success to bridge the gap between the language of higher education and the workforce. But what about those who never matriculate? Join St. Catherine University as it shares its innovative approach to meeting the needs of this growing sub-set of job-ready students.

Extended Abstract

The true power of digital badges lies in their ability to make visible the knowledge and skills acquisition at the heart of any education experience, be it in the classroom or in the field. St. Catherine University takes skills transparency to the next level by creating badges and micro credentials that make plain the unique and sought-after skill sets that are earned through dual enrollment pathways. St. Catherine University is leading the way in recognizing the needs of this sub-set of students by creating stackable, credit-bearing microcredentials that attest to the knowledge and skills dual enrollment students have developed at St. Kate's while still enrolled in high school.

Interprofessional education refers to teaching and learning aimed at developing the skill sets needed to support the intersection of different disciplines within nursing and the health sciences, such as occupational therapy, respiratory care, social work, exercise science, dietetics, and radiography, all working together in the service of direct patient care. In these cases, IPE enables effective collaboration and improves health outcomes by providing skills development that is interactive and team based. Working in teams is not intuitive, but takes exposure to different disciplines, learning skills that are essential for high functioning teams and practicing these skills. Through the use of interprofessional simulation spaces, St. Catherine University provides the opportunity for high school students to blend knowledge and practice by experiencing a range of clinical scenarios that develop their clinical and collaborative skills. These interstitial skills sets, so vital for effective care, are finally gaining recognition at St. Catherine University through the institution's innovative use of digital badging to create a microcredential centered around the acquistion of an  industry-recognized credential, Certified Nursing Assistant. 

Our suite of badges have proven to be valuable additions to the students professional portfolios, empowering students to be effective self-advocates for their career readiness by enabling them to describe the knowledge and skills they have acquired, using language that today’s employers understand and appreciate. St. Catherine University recognizes the need of students looking to enter a diverse and evolving workforce. With this in mind, we have committed ourselves to meeting the growing needs of students, at all levels, to validate and display skills through the introduction of stackable and portable digital credentials that align with academic offerings and experiential learning in nursing and the health sciences. Join us as we outline the innovative approach that St. Kate's has taken to scaffold, launch and scale digital badging in this new and increasingly important space.