Guiding Principles

The Division of Digital Strategy and Innovation (DSI) collaborates with academic departments and colleges across the University of North Texas to create a diverse portfolio of microcredentials. Here are our guiding principles:

  1. Learner Success: Our microcredentials equip learners with industry-recognized skills that advance their careers. We actively pursue strategic industry partnerships to keep our offerings relevant and impactful.

  2. Open Framework: DSI provides a flexible support and governance structure that enables the creation of various types of microcredentials, tailored to the needs of specific learners, disciplines, and industries.

  3. Ensured Quality: Our three-stage review process, featuring a dedicated Microcredential Review Committee, ensures the quality, rigor, and alignment of each microcredential with professional and academic standards.

This webpage is designed to guide UNT faculty through the process of developing a microcredential. We encourage those interested in doing so to utilize this resource and reach out to us at for further guidance and support.

What kinds of microcredentials does DSI support?

DSI supports the creation of three types of microcredentials: for-credit,  curriculum-embedded, and non-credit. They may be delivered in an online, hybrid, or in-person format.


A for-credit microcredential comprises 2-11 credit hours and is therefore smaller than a for-credit certificate. It can contribute to (or stack into) a certificate, minor, or degree. Learners must be current UNT students (undergraduate, graduate, or non-degree seeking).


A curriculum-embedded microcredential certifies a technical skill or set of related skills embedded in a for-credit course. Learners must be current UNT students (undergraduate, graduate, or non-degree seeking).


A non-credit microcredential does not carry academic credit. It requires between 5 and 120 contact hours to complete. Enrollment is open to all learners.

What benefits do microcredentials carry?

UNT microcredentials are designed to complement and enhance academic and professional journeys. They offer the following benefits:

Enrichment of Academic Degrees

Microcredentials can be integrated with undergraduate or graduate programs, allowing students to acquire targeted career skills alongside their broader education.

Professional Development

Microcredentials can offer working professionals a flexible and affordable way to grow in their current roles or pivot to new careers.


Microcredentials can serve as stepping stones within a larger educational journey. By contributing to or stacking into a certificate, minor, or degree program, they provide accessible entry points to various academic paths.

Transparency and Portability

When learners complete a UNT microcredential, they receive a digital badge, which identifies and certifies the skills that they have gained. Digital badges allow learners to showcase their achievements to coworkers, supervisors, or potential employers. They can be posted on social media, embedded in personal websites or e-portfolios, and downloaded as PDFs. At UNT, digital badges are issued through Canvas Badges.

How does DSI help faculty develop a microcredential?

DSI is committed to assisting faculty in the creation and implementation of microcredentials. Our comprehensive support ensures that faculty have the necessary resources and guidance to develop high-quality, market-relevant microcredentials. Here’s how we help:

Financial Incentives

DSI offers one-time task payments to faculty to reward their dedication and creativity in developing microcredentials and to acknowledge the additional work involved in doing so. Additionally, faculty may have the opportunity to receive a share of the revenues from microcredentials when these are licensed for external use.

Market Insight (DSI Digital Growth)

Our DSI Digital Growth team helps assess the market outlook for proposed microcredentials to measure their viability and potential for success.

Industry Partnerships (DSI Enterprise)

DSI Enterprise facilitates connections with industry partners. These partnerships are integral in tailoring microcredentials to current workforce needs, thus ensuring their relevance and practical application.

Instructional Design and Compliance (DSI Clear)

DSI Clear provides a comprehensive range of development support, including instructional design, media production, accessibility and copyright compliance, and learning technology integrations.

Marketing (DSI Digital Growth)

DSI Digital Growth provides a full suite of marketing services to increase awareness and enrollments in UNT microcredentials.

How do I develop a microcredential?

Developing a microcredential at UNT involves a thorough review process to ensure quality, rigor, and alignment with our criteria. This process is competitive and therefore not all proposals may be selected for development. Here is a breakdown of the three review stages.

Stage 1: Initial Screening

Submit an initial proposal. DSI's Senior Director of New Ventures will meet with you and provide feedback. Pending the endorsement of your proposal by your department chair and the Senior Director, your proposal advances to Stage 2.

Stage 2: Comprehensive Review

Submit a comprehensive proposal to the Microcredential Review Committee. This committee is made up of a minimum of four UNT faculty members and up to one industry leader, all appointed by the Vice President for Digital Strategy and Innovation. Upon the committee’s endorsement, your proposal will advance to Stage 3.

Comprehensive Proposal Due Dates
    • Fall 2024: September 9 and November 4
    • Spring 2025: February 10 and April 7

We recommend you schedule an initial consultation with the DSI microcredentials team no fewer than four weeks before the proposal due date. This will allow sufficient time for the initial screening (Stage 1). Email to schedule a consultation.

Stage 3: Executive Approval

The VP for Digital Strategy and Innovation and the dean of your college (or their delegate) will assess your proposal to confirm its alignment with UNT criteria and the strategic objectives of the college. Upon their approval, the microcredential moves forward to the development phase.

For detailed guidelines on the content of the proposals and the submission process, please refer to the Microcredential Proposal Guide.