ORONO— The University of Maine System is offering existing and incoming students a chance to improve their resiliency skills and earn an industry-recognized digital badge of proficiency that employers use to assess candidate skill sets. Initiated by the career services offices at Maine’s public universities, the free offer to earn a 21st Century Skill Resilience Badge comes in response to lost student employment and internship opportunities resulting from COVID-19.
Participating students will have an opportunity to learn and practice a 21st century skill valued by employers, demonstrate proficiency through a workplace challenge and claim and share their badge on resumes and Linkedin profiles. The University of Maine System was selected to participate in the Education Design Lab’s BadgedToHire campaign.
Registration for the free online course, open to any learner with a university email address, began June 2. The self-paced course on resiliency takes about 15 hours to complete and will be available throughout the summer.
“Digital badging is the future of candidate assessment and professional networking,” said Bangor Savings Bank Senior Vice President David Pease. “Hiring managers use digital badges to quickly identify candidates with the skills they are seeking, and badges help applicants assess employment opportunities and stand out from the pack.”
The skill badges are examples of micro-credentials. They are being offered in support of the University of Maine System’s role as a founding member of MaineSpark, a 10-year commitment from Maine’s most influential education and business leaders to ensure the Maine workforce is productive and competitive.
“We are meeting students where they are with innovations and offers that contribute to learning and success throughout the year,” said Chancellor Dannel Malloy. “Resiliency has never been more topical or timely. Students who have seen their summer plans disrupted by COVID-19 should take advantage of this free opportunity to earn a [badge] valued by employers.”