While Kent State already implements micro credentials, such as project-based learning and online training, Shadduck plans to further develop these skills across regional campuses.
Kent State offers a variety of micro credentials:
The Digital Leadership Academy through the Division of Information Technology
Online Teaching Orientation
Certificate in Project Management
Online Writing Instruction Workshop Series
Certificate for Emerging Leaders
“[Micro credentials] allow individuals to pivot in their knowledge and gain new skills to fulfill new needs. … Individuals can do multiple pieces that build upon one another to take them in greater skill sets as their career advances,” Shadduck said.
She sees micro credentials as a workforce need in Northeast Ohio, she said.
“Areas related to information technology and automation and automated manufacturing are very important things in this area,” she said.
While Kent State’s colleges and regional campuses do not have significant differences in degree programs where there are workforce challenges, skills needed for certain industries are higher than others, Eric Mansfield, the assistant vice president of the university communications and marketing department, said in an email.
“Low unemployment coupled with [a] skills gap for trades and some advanced manufacturing is what we consistently hear,” Mansfield said in an email.
With Shadduck’s previous experience in community colleges, where technical skills enrich a students’ ability to enter the job market, she brings her expertise to Kent State’s regional campuses.
Working at Transylvania University in Kentucky, she developed more than 20 courses, where many crossed discipline boundaries. She also served as the chief academic officer at Shelton State Community College in Alabama.
In Dallas, she worked with students who came from low-income households and may not have had the opportunity to pursue college. While she helped develop early college programs for those students, they could graduate with credits toward a degree.
Serving as an associate dean at the University of North Texas from 2018 until she began her position at Kent State April 1, Shadduck focused on computer science and information technology fields.
As she settles into her new position and discusses micro credentials with Kent State faculty, Shadduck also considers more employer partnerships for internships and job shadowing as part of her strategic plan.
“There are so many opportunities that people are taking a really hard look at right now. … It’s also the kind of thing that is getting integrated into conversation related to Kent State’s overall strategy [and] how we are going to move forward as a university,” Shadduck said. “These are issues that are key topics about which of the many ways we could look at this, [and which ones] are we going to decide [to] tackle first.”
Kelly Krabill covers administration. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.