Graduate Micro-credential Policy

Graduate Micro-credential Policy


Academic Affairs


Vice Provost of Academic Programs


Graduate Studies



Effective Date:


Implementation History:


Micro-credential, certificate, digital badge, micro-award, competencies, skills

Background Information:

In January 2018, SUNY adopted a micro-credential policy, developed by a task force of representative presidents, chief academic officers, faculty governance (University Faculty Senate members and Faculty Council of Community College members), business officers, registrars, and continuing education professionals. SUNY's policy supports micro-credentials that motivate current students to persist; provide a pathway to (or back to) higher education; foster individualized learning; allow students to distinguish themselves in a competitive marketplace; and provide incremental steps for students looking to start or return to college that stack into degrees and support life-long learning and professional development. Empire State College’s policy and practice will align to the SUNY policy.


This policy establishes the rationale, conceptualization, design, development, review, and approval process of micro-credentials at the college.


A SUNY micro-credential:

1.    Has clearly articulated learning outcomes/competencies
2.    Is endorsed by the issuing campus
3.    Is developed through faculty governance
4.    Is meaningful and of high quality


Micro-credentials verify, validate, and attest that specific skills and/or competencies have been achieved.  They differ from traditional degrees and certificates in that they are generally offered in shorter or more flexible timespans and tend to be more narrowly focused.  They may represent the content of credit or non-credit study; they may take the form of a digital badge or micro-award. Micro-credentials can be acquired through online or classroom study, or via professional learning evaluations or individual prior learning evaluations, or a combination of all of the above.

Micro-credentials can be used to highlight competencies earned as part of a credit-bearing program; serve as an introduction or entry point to a degree program; or be issued as a stand-alone credential and/or complement to a degree program. Micro-credentials will not be registered as a certificate program although they could be applied to an existing certificate program. 

Micro-credentials do not need to be credit bearing. For those that are, there is no prescribed number of credits, although they will be smaller than certificates.

The award of a micro-credential will appear on the college transcript.

Development and approval of a micro-credential must take place through the appropriate academic unit/school.  The academic unit/school will determine the requirements for each micro-credential including any residency requirements, evaluation processes or other applicable academic requisites. Approval of the micro-credential will follow governance processes including review and approval by GSPC and the Senate.  

Applicable Legislation and Regulations

SUNY Micro-credential policy:

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices