Professional engineers can now develop new skills on user experiences and quality assurance alongside Wright State graduate students for a shorter term than a degree program.
The courses are “microcredentials,” a newer form of classes meant for short-term learning. This particular set of classes takes one semester, Wright State said.
Two courses are available: Six Sigma Green Belt and Introduction to User Experience (UX) and Design Thinking.
Introduction to User Experience and Design Thinking will give students a basis for designing system interfaces, an understanding of how users experience a product or website and tools to design and access these systems.
The Six Sigma Green Belt course is aimed at those who use Six Sigma tools, which are common in manufacturing and health care. Those who complete it will receive a green belt certificate, a key certificate for some engineers.
Both classes are three credit hours and can be taken in-person or online. Those who complete each course will receive a digital badge.
Wright State is offering the class to meet needs from students and working professionals who want to receive training for different skills, even if it is complementary to what they are learning in the classroom or what roles they hold in their company, said Subhashini Ganapathy, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical, Industrial and Human Factors Engineering.
“They don’t have to make a big commitment up front, but they can gradually add to their credentialling,” she said.
Wright State is not the first local university to begin offering microcredentials. University of Dayton’s offerings incorporate soft skills, like critical thinking and problem solving, into classes, so students can show employers credentials they earned from the university.
Sinclair Community College offers similar classes, like communication, work skills and attendance, for their students.
Wright State said that microcredentials are stackable and can be completed as part of a sequence of courses that lead to a certificate or a degree.
Wright State plans to introduce additional graduate microcredentials and new undergraduate microcredentials, the university said. Topics under consideration include toxicology, remote sensing, geographic information science and Skills Trac, or industrial maintenance training.
The university is also considering alternative delivery options for microcredentials that would allow students to complete a course in a few weeks, at their own pace or on demand.