The Badging Fellows

Eighteen months ago, we released Version 1.0 of our 21st Century Skills Micro-credentials as a free Toolkit to the public. With 1100+ institutions, colleges, nonprofits, and high school districts using the Toolkit, we believe innovators around the country can help us crowdsource expertise to make the next version even better. 

We have funded five Badging Fellows to lead institutional or community teams in 2019-2020 to add expertise and scaling strategies to one or more existing badges.

Each Fellow’s organization received $25,000 through a grant from the deLaski Family Foundation and pro-bono support from the Lab to lead their team in recommending enhancements and testing those ideas in one or more educational curricula or programs.


Initiative Overview

After a competitive RFP process, we selected five innovators who have recommended important ways to scale and enhance the Lab’s 21st Century Skills Badges to meet the needs of historically underrepresented learners. The Fellows have the support of teams from their organizations to scale the projects outlined. 

Each lead innovator joined the Lab’s preconference workshop, Jump-Starting Your Institution’s Badging Initiative, at the EDUCAUSE 2019 annual conference and is leading their campus in a year-long pilot development process. The pilot proposals ranged from on-ramps for continuing education to empathy badging for human trafficking survivors.

The dozens of proposals we received were very strong demonstrating that campus efforts are spreading to adopt and scale explicit, visible curriculum and credentials for 21st century skills. 

The Lab is committed to helping colleges and other types of educational providers prepare their learners with digitally-discoverable credentials that address the targeted needs of today’s employers.

Who are the Badging Fellows?

Innovators from US-based education institutions and education-focused organizations committed to pushing the envelope on our 21st Century Skills Micro-credentials.

How are they different from other Badging Partners at the Lab?

The Lab has several initiatives on 21st century skill learning, micro-credentialing and sub-degree credentials, namely micro-pathways. We have many partners, most of whom engage the Lab to move this work forward on their campuses. These Fellows were chosen to receive institutional stipends from a one-time deLaski Family Foundation grant based upon their planned innovation and contributions to the Lab’s 21st Century Skills Micro-credentialing Toolkit.

Meet the Fellows

Bridgette Cram
Florida International University // @FIU
“Changing the Narrative: A Focus on Self-Regulated Learning” will enhance instruction around “Initiative” and “Resilience” through a curriculum centered on assisting students to develop and use the skills to enhance personal and professional success and explore the potential use of augmented and virtual reality.



Rolando Sánchez
Northwest Vista College  // @govista
Course+Badge Initiative will train 25 faculty members to articulate a marketable skill into a credit-bearing course using the Education Design Lab’s 21st Century Skills Badges. This project is modeled after a pilot program called Cert+ at Palo Alto College that was sponsored by the UpskillsSA partnership with Goodwill SA Industries. The Course+ Badge Initiative will scale up the Cert+ program to build digital credential offerings across the five colleges in the Alamo Colleges District: Northeast Lakeview College, Northwest Vista College, Palo Alto College, San Antonio College, and St. Philip’s College.



Kathryn Aultman
St. Mary’s University  // @StMarysU
“Career Management Badging” will enhance the Lab’s Empathy badge by focusing on enhanced curriculum and bundling it with “Networking” and “Time Management” badges to create a suite of marketable badges for an overlooked and vulnerable population–human trafficking survivors.



Lalitha Subramanian
University of Washington Continuum College  // @UWContinuingEd
“Professional Expertise & 21st Century Skills” will focus on their nontraditional learners and build bridges between the academy and the workplace by designing an innovative process to identify and assess ‘human skills’ in conjunction with experts and employers—targeting their nontraditional learners between theory and practice, the academy and the workplace.



Wilson Garland
Minnesota State IT Center of Excellence  // @MinnStateEdu
“Project ELEVATE” will take career readiness, 21st century skills and badging to the next level for the entire state’s Information Technology and Computer Science Program by tailoring the overall badge experience to reflect real-world IT workplaces and scenarios.



To get in touch, please email our team at


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