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REL Southeast Program Evaluation Micro-Credential Training


John Hughes


The South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) has established an internal training platform that will enable staff to complete "micro-credentials." A micro-credential is a performance-based assessment of a single skill or domain of knowledge. There are two keys aspects inherent in this definition. The first is that it is 'micro,' or very specific. Rather than evaluate a person on multiple topics, such as in a traditional course where dozens of concepts may be introduced, a micro-credential focuses on a small number of discrete related skills or concepts. For example, a credential might focus entirely on logic models. The second aspect is that the credential is performance-based. This means that the person taking it must demonstrate that he or she has mastered the skill. This can be in the form of a task to complete, a test, or similar.

The SCDE requested the REL Southeast help support the department's professional development efforts by creating a series of micro-credentials related to program evaluation. Agency leadership wants to increase the ability of its staff to apply rigorous evaluation techniques to both the process of implementing new programs and reviewing existing ones.

In consultation with the SCDE the REL Southeast identified five topics related to program evaluation. The SCDE will offer a micro-credential for each of the following topics:

  1. Understanding the research base
  2. Understanding research designs
  3. Planning implementation
  4. Interpreting results
  5. Creating a logic model

The materials for these micro-credentials will be hosted by SCDE on their professional development platform.