OEMC Badge Proposal Exemplar

(updated March/April 2022)

This document offers guidance regarding what members of GVSU’s Online Education and Microcredential Council (OEMC) look for in a clear, well-articulated badge proposal. Please note that certificates should be routed through your department, college, and the university curriculum process.

General Considerations

  • Be detailed. Don’t use jargon. Please ensure all proposal content is clear to individuals outside of your department or discipline;
  • Focus on specific outcomes/competencies/skills learned and demonstrated;
  • Clearly explain how the badge will have value outside of the learning environment and have signaling power to external audiences about the learner’s skill and knowledge;
  • Use rigorous assessment practices to authenticate what a learner knows against clear and measurable criteria.


Digital badges are a validated indicator of accomplishment, competency or skill. 

A credit-bearing badge is an academic program that may “stack into” a larger certificate or degree program; it can also be a free-standing program. Badges are anywhere from .5 credits to 15 credits; they can include non-credit (i.e. co-curricular) learning experiences with the credit-bearing experiences. 

A non-credit bearing badge is a program that recognizes achievement in co-curricular experiences or continuing/professional development opportunities. A non-credit professional development or continuing education badge is applicable to business/industry organizations; supports skill and competency development necessary for career advancement, upskilling, reskilling, and/or preparation for a career change.


What is the title of this badge? 

Create a title for your badge that is reflective of the overarching competencies that the earners will be working to develop. The title should be meaningful, interesting, and clearly understood by potential earners. Select a name that is short but descriptive. 

Examples: Palliative Care: Complex Symptoms Management, Non-Profit Board Leadership, Victim Services and Advocacy

Is this badge credit bearing, non-credit bearing, or a combination?

Credit bearing badges consist of an individual academic course or series of courses and often can be applied to an academic certificate or degree program.

Non-credit bearing badges often represent the completion of standalone experiences to include workshops or short courses. Non-credit courses cannot be used toward a credit-bearing program of study or degree, but can apply toward industry certifications and or licensing requirements. 

Will this badge be a stand-alone badge or embedded within an existing degree program?

An embedded badge must be earned with a corresponding degree. A stand-alone badge can be earned without any additional requirements.

Please enter a description of this badge.

The description is a brief explanation and overview of the intent of the badge.This description will be used in the Acclaim system to describe the badge; thus, it is a public, student-facing description that non-experts should understand. The description must be 500 or fewer characters.

Example: This badge is designed to prepare and equip nonprofit executives to effectively partner and leverage the relationship with a Board of Directors in order to maximize the impact of the organization and its mission within the communities they serve. There is an emphasis on equity and how leadership understands and applies equitable and inclusive leadership practices. 

Please list the skills learners will gain from completing this badge.

Description of skills should be concise and accurately reflect the competency being developed.

Use action verbs to describe the behavior you intend for learners to perform. Words such as calculate, identify, match, explain, translate, prepare are useful in describing behavior and can be demonstrated.  Avoid using words such as understand, learn, and know as they are not easily measured. Consider using Bloom’s taxonomy (one resource that is commonly used in GVSU curriculum processes) to describe skills.

  • Identify bias and its impact on boardroom and organizational culture
  • Implement specific tools for leadership development
  • Compare and contrast the diagnosis and evidence-based strategies to assess and manage pain in persons requiring hospice and/or palliative care.
  • Define and describe relevant legal terminology and the criminal-legal process for crime victims.
  • Create interprofessional, evidence-based patient and clinical telehealth workflows that incorporate leadership, social/behavioral, computer and information science models and theories.

Please list the knowledge learners will gain from completing this badge.

List the activity or activities learner will complete to demonstrate they have earned the skills associated with this badging program (e.g., complete specified courses, collaborate with peers and/or community members, address and solve problems, partner with professionals, generate presentations, portfolios, and/or projects). 

For non-credit badges, next to each activity listed below, please list the approximate number of hours it will take a learner to complete the activity. 

For credit-bearing badges, it is not sufficient simply to list the courses students must take to earn the badge.  Please provide a narrative that describes the activities or assessments (methods of evaluation) students will complete within those courses that allow them to demonstrate/practice the skills associated with this badging program. 


  • Workshop 1 Inclusive Leadership (4 hours), Workshop 2 Resource Management for Sustainability (4 hours), Workshop 3 Board Leadership (4 hours)
  • In ENS 201 "Introduction to Environmental and Sustainability Studies" students will gain knowledge in the following areas:
  1. Holistic skills and concepts.
  2. Principles of systems thinking & design thinking. 
  3. The concept of sustainability interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary studies. 
  4. Wicked problems and essentially contested concepts. 
  5. Organizations and civic engagement.
  6. Food Systems and Sustainable Agriculture.

ENS 201 includes application of holistic skills to understand specific environmental and sustainability topics. In this course students have historically been assessed via a combination of examinations, oral or poster presentations of case studies and project assignments. Discretionary methods of assessment include quizzes, regular journal or blog entries, online portfolios, research papers and reflective papers. 

Estimated length of time to complete badge

In some cases, a badge can be completed within several hours or months, while others may take several semesters. Please offer your best (most accurate) estimation of how long it will take a learner to complete the badge.


  • 43 hours across a period of one year and dependent on when courses/sessions are scheduled
  • This badge can be completed in 2 regular semesters or 5 LEADS sessions (~30 weeks)
  • This badge can be completed in a minimum of 3 semesters.

What is the education level required for this badge?

Clearly identify the level of education or background required. This may be a degree, specific standing such as junior or senior level, or may require the learner to have met specific licensure requirements. 

Who is the audience for this badge? (Examples: any enrolled undergraduate at GVSU; graduate students; faculty; staff; community members (non-enrolled learners); social workers who need to keep their licensure; employees at XYZ corporation). *

Clearly identify the primary audience. A badge can appeal to a wide range of audiences; however, there may be enrollment requirements that are exclusive to a specific group of individuals that would prohibit open enrollment or require an individual to have a certain set of prerequisite skills or licensure. This may include early and mid-career professionals, post-secondary graduates and alumni who are seeking to further develop or round out their skills set, mature learner who want to upskill or reskill, individuals at all career stages who are seeking professional development


  • The primary audience is members of boards of directors for nonprofit organizations and CEOs of those organizations. Some of the sessions are designed for joint learning by both audiences; other sessions are dedicated to one of the two audiences.
  • Eligible applicants include pre-health first semester freshmen, newly graduated alumni, and graduate-level students from any area college or university who pass the screening process.
  • Undergraduates who hold a degree in engineering or the completion of three semesters of engineering courses at GVSU.

When do you expect to make the badge available to learners?

Please identify by using the semester and year the program will begin or a specific date if the program falls outside of a traditional semester start. Badges will only be offered and conferred once fully approved. Please note that badges cannot be awarded retroactively. Students must complete at least one course in the badge after the badge is fully approved in order for them to earn the badge.

What units/offices have you consulted and/or partnered with in the creation and delivery of this badge? Please list each unit/office you have worked with and explain their role in the need and/or delivery of the badge.

Please consult with units and offices that may be impacted by, may compliment, or can support the development or delivery of the micro-credential. 

In some cases, the badge may require a course outside of the discipline, may require additional resources, or may appeal to various audiences.

In addition to academic units, University Marketing, Adult and Continuing Studies, and eLearning Technologies can often provide support and resources.   

What is the educational, community, and/or market need identified for this badge? What evidence do you have to demonstrate a need of this badge among your identified audience (e.g., recent market analysis/data you’ve gathered or obtained from GVSU's Market Research & Analytics Team, a letter of intent to participate from corporation/organization)?

Gathering information on the market needs for the specific content is essential in predicting the demand for the programming as well as providing potential avenues for marketing and recruitment. 


  • Registration data over the past few years and surveys of satisfaction support the demand for this badge. Also, we receive requests for client engagements that primarily focus on board training or strategic planning with a focus on the board's role.
  • EMSI data on career opportunities in the cannabis retail profession is attached in Attachment 3 “Cannabis Education and Careers – Initial Michigan Market Overview – May 2021.”  

Please tell us anything else the Online Education and Microcredential Council should know in evaluating this proposal (e.g., a sample curriculum you have developed, a budget to support the offering, additional contextual information, related resources you’ve developed or collected).

Example: Our intent is to market this program primarily to private foundations that have the resources and motivation to support or offset the costs of the badge for their grantee organizations.

Page last modified April 26, 2022