Micro-credentials will provide Minnesota teachers a competency-based, personalized approach to career advancement, salary increases and improved instruction
Palo Alto, CA, (April 15, 2020) — Today Bloomboard announced it has partnered with Minnesota Service Cooperatives (MSC) to support Minnesota districts in providing a relevant, job-embedded approach to professional learning and career advancement through micro-credentials. The partnership will offer Minnesota school districts a continuing education framework consisting of a series of micro-endorsements. Each micro-endorsement is a collection of micro-credentials on a particular topic which allow educators to prove competency in specific practice areas while accumulating graduate-equivalent credit hours.
By implementing an effective micro-credentialing program, district leaders:
- Offer teachers a selection of micro-endorsement options aligned to district strategic plans
- Realize meaningful results for improving teacher practice through job-embedded learning
- Observe increased student achievement resulting from the direct classroom application built into the competency-based learning experience required to earn micro-credentials
- Retain and recruit excellent teachers by offering better options for their career growth
“We’ve seen a growing interest in alternative ways for teachers to move along salary schedules that are inexpensive and directly related to work done in the classroom,” said Jennifer McLachlan, micro-credential coordinator for MSC. “Micro-credentials add another layer of support for teachers looking to improve their practice. We strongly encourage districts to align micro-endorsements to existing salary schedules, which will empower their teachers, anchor focus on student outcomes and practices that are best for kids, and develop an avenue for retaining and recruiting great teachers.”
Bloomboard and MSC have worked with several districts throughout Minnesota, including Waseca Public Schools, Fairmont Area Schools, and Saint Peter Public Schools, to establish a micro-credentialing pilot program that would both support individual educators and drive ROI for districts.
After partnering with Bloomboard and MSC, Saint Peter Public Schools is now halfway through its pilot program, and the results have been positive: 100 percent of participating teachers surveyed agreed that working on their micro-credential submissions had a positive impact on their practice as an educator and had a positive impact on their students. What’s more, 90 percent agreed that the incentives provided for completing micro-credentials motivated them to participate.
“So many educators experience a dilemma when considering advancement,” said Sanford Kenyon, CEO of Bloomboard. “Either they are forced to invest tens of thousands of dollars and spend countless hours earning graduate degrees, or in many cases, they consider leaving the profession. Unlike ‘sit and get’ professional development and advancement options, micro-credential based advancement provides more affordable pathways for educators while demonstrably improving practice because of its rigorous, job-embedded and evidence-based approach.”
Founded in 2010, BloomBoard is leading the shift from professional development to educator advancement via micro-certification. The company partners with states and districts to enable a unique online learning experience where educators improve their instructional practice and advance in their careers by earning micro-credentials. BloomBoard aims to help all organizations transition to meaningful, purpose-driven educator development and advancement based on measurable certification. For more information, visit bloomboard.com.
About Minnesota Service Cooperatives (MSC)
The Minnesota Service Cooperatives is a Joint Powers organization comprised of nine educational service agencies. The service agencies are geographically distributed across the state and serve members in their respective areas. Each agency has a unique understanding of the strengths and needs of their members, and uses these insights to positively impact and improve outcomes. For more information, visit mnservcoop.org.