University of Texas System Bets Big on Microcredentials (Inside Higher Ed)
As the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas. And now going big applies to microcredentials.
The University of Texas System, spanning nine academic campuses with roughly 240,000 students, is expanding its partnership with microcredential provider Coursera. The initiative announced last month is Coursera’s largest, aiming to reach 30,000 students with 35 courses by 2025.
Microcredentials are small, buildable credits that help students earn certifications in high-demand skills such as cybersecurity. They’re not new—the State University of New York has had an expansive program since 2018, and Spelman College recently made headlines for garnering nearly $2 million in revenue with its own certificate programming.
UT’s partnership with Coursera, which works with universities providing online courses and certificates, began in December 2022. A pilot program included 3,000 students, who completed more than 6,000 courses.
“What UT is doing is making it part of its education; it’s not one or the other,” said Jim Fong, chief research officer at the UPCEA. “It’s the whole smaller modules of learning that can fit into a degree. They’re trying to make things stackable. If folks cooperate and collaborate, the long game plays out and both parties can win.”