CampusTalks Insights: Boise State Empowers Students with Industry Credentials

Written by Coursera • Updated on

Discover how this pioneering university is making students job-ready before they graduate.

In today's fast-changing job market, students are prioritizing employment outcomes when making enrollment decisions. To enhance students’ employability and support enrollment and retention, Boise State University has integrated industry-recognized micro-credentials. This not only enriches students' learning but also gives them a competitive edge in the job market while meeting workforce demands. 

The recent CampusTalks webinar "Blue Turf Thinking: Empowering Students at Boise State University with Industry Credentials" highlighted the importance of providing students with the skills and credentials that employers highly value. Mark Woychick (Clinical Assistant Professor and Director at the College of Innovation and Design) and Scott Shireman (Global Head of Coursera for Campus) discussed how Boise State is empowering students to earn Google Professional Certificates and other micro-credentials from Coursera.

In discussing Blue Turf Thinking—the name for Boise State’s approach to innovating higher education—Mark Woychick said, "We are committed to innovation across our campus, from academics to athletics, and we are committed to delivering positive outcomes for our students and community.” With Coursera’s Career Academy, Boise State has a partner in achieving such outcomes.

Institutional leaders seeking to enhance employability, enrollment, and retention through micro-credentials should explore these key takeaways from the webinar:

Q: What is the value of integrating industry-recognized certificates into degree programs? 

A: By integrating these certificates into their curricula, institutions can enhance the value of their degrees and equip students with additional industry-relevant skills. This not only improves students’ overall employability, but also prepares them for the demands of the modern workforce.

Q: How can you achieve buy-in from faculty members regarding the incorporation of industry certifications‌? 

A: Effective communication is essential when addressing skepticism or resistance from faculty members over offering industry certifications. Ensuring that they understand the value and relevance of ‌certifications is key to gaining their acceptance and support. 

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Q: What can institutions do to engage students in certification programs? 

A: By offering continuous and flexible learning opportunities, institutions can pique students' interest in certification programs. They can provide the option to learn and earn certifications at students’ convenience. To increase accessibility, institutions can offer these courses online and ensure they're always open for enrollment. 

Q: How can universities help drive student enrollment and engagement in certification programs? 

A: Leveraging instructor and advisor outreach can drive student enrollment and engagement in certification programs. Institutions can further boost enrollment by ensuring that advisors and instructors are knowledgeable and able to advise students about the programs. 

Q: What benefits can institutions gain by extending certification programs to the larger community? 

A: By offering programs to the larger community, institutions can engage them and serve as a valuable resource for continual learning within the community. This can help to build stronger ties between the institution and the community. Publicizing these offerings through workforce development councils or similar entities can help draw interest.

Q: What can universities do to ensure the success of certification programs? 

A: They can consider deploying programs on a trial basis, experimenting and learning as they go. If the program doesn't work as planned, gathering feedback and making the necessary adjustments can enhance future success. This "trial and error" approach can provide valuable insights into what works best for the institution and students.

Watch the webinar to learn more from Boise State University about how universities can improve students’ skills and employability and enhance the value of their degrees with Professional Certificates.

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This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.