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A Brand-New Qualification: The Micro Degree

Studying Intensively for a Short Period of Time!

Contents of Micro-credentials (dese.ade.arkansas.gov)

Since the mid-2000s, university education has faced a crisis due to the fact that skills taught by universities generally differ from those required by businesses. Hence, microcredentials, a system that certifies expertise in such fields, began to make a mark in higher education, and, micro degrees have been growing as part of the new system. A “micro degree” is a qualification that certifies the completion status if learners complete the minimum amount – micro – credits in specific academic fields. The student is then conferred a “mini degree,” separate from a bachelor’s or master’s degree or a doctorate. Micro degrees have only recently begun to be introduced to undergraduate colleges. In Korea, the Ministry of Education instituted the micro degree in 2020. Micro degrees help students acquire specific competencies as well as build skills and practical knowledge required by companies. The system allows learners to continue their professional development efficiently. Chung Myung-jin, a Professor of Medicine at Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU), said, “I believe students can learn specialized skills through the micro degree program, which will benefit their careers and employment.”

Micro Degree Programs of SKKU

SKKU has also implemented micro degree programs starting from the 2021 fall semester. Students enrolled for more than three semesters or transfer students enrolled for more than two semesters can register for the micro degree program. Students can apply for a micro degree by accessing SKKU’s intranet service system: first, enter the Golden Lawn Square (GLS), then access the Application/Graduation Requirements Management page, enter the Micro Degree menu and select the Application for Micro Degree tab. The application period is separated into April and July, and all the approved students can start their degree in the fall semester. Though students may apply for the micro degree program, compulsory credits for their first to third majors stay the same. Therefore, a micro degree is not a requirement for graduation. Even if learners have not completed courses or earned the necessary credits for the micro degree, they can graduate if they fulfill the requirements for graduation. A micro degree is granted when the student completes four courses in the course group There are four different micro degree course groups at SKKU AI + Economics, AI + Contents, Zero Carbon Building, and Medical AI. There are 6 to 12 courses in each group, and in the case of Medical AI, more courses will be added in 2023. Although a micro degree provides students with many benefits, there is a problem: the quota of non-majors is significantly fewer than the quota for majoring students. As the micro degree is a brand-new system, it will be essential to monitor how to improve upon what currently exists.

Receiving a Micro Degree (wrike.com)

정민주  sophiejmj@g.skku.edu

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