The role that certification and credentialing will play in education has become increasingly critical as the need for lifelong learning has grown and trust in traditional higher education degrees has eroded. Clay Shirky recently posited that certification is the “million-dollar question” and Adrienne Segundo, our guest in this episode of the Leading Learning podcast, asserts that the future of associations will revolve around a certification or certificate programs.
Find out why as Celisa and Adrienne discuss certification and credentialing and their connection to learning. To tune in, just click below. To make sure you catch all of the future episodes, be sure to subscribe by RSS or on iTunes. And, if you like the podcast, be sure to give it a tweet!
Listen to the Show
Read the Show Notes
[00:18] – Preview of what will be covered in this podcast with credentialing and certification expert, Adrienne Segundo.
[03:40] – What is it that attracts you to certification programs? What do you personally find so appealing about that line of work? Adrienne shares that she has always loved association work but that certification programs take it a step further because she gets to work with individuals who are subject-matter experts, dedicated to improving their professions.
[04:37] –What do you think has made today’s world so pivotal for associations? What are the threats and opportunities? Adrienne talks about technology as a threat because members can now turn to the Internet for resources instead of the association. She says that associations need to be the career builders/drivers/main resource for members to rely on. Limitless is helping associations position themselves this way.
[06:24] – Adrienne defines the terms, credentialing and certificate/certification and gives examples of each.
[07:51] – Is it fair to say you focus on certification programs or is it more accurate to say you focus on something larger or in addition to certification programs? Adrienne says they do focus on certification programs, but they can be costly. So, many organizations will focus on certificate programs. She explains the importance of looking at the big picture because even though certification programs cost more up front, the return on investment is much higher over time. She also shares that microcredentialing is an emerging area of growth.
[09:16] – In terms of the work you’re doing with associations, are you always seeing the use of an exam or do some just denote participation rather than proven knowledge? Adrienne suggests staying away from something that only shows participation and advises her clients to go with examinations.
[09:59] – How do you ensure that somebody maintains their competency? Is that something that the organizations you work with struggle with? Adrienne says that this topic comes up a lot and that some organizations are simply re-administering the exam which doesn’t prove competency. She shares that one of the best ways to handle this issue (particularly in the healthcare industry) is to have a certain amount of continuing education hours due each calendar year.
[11:56] – Can you tell us a little about what types of systems or technology infrastructure tends to be behind some of the programs that you’re working with? Adrienne discusses how she works with Learning Management Systems (LMS) to gather the content that an organization has and put it together to create a deliverable. She also discusses the critical role that employer buy-in has in this.
[14:11] – Do you tend to work with any other types of technology besides LMS or do the other aspects of the certificate/certification program get taken care of largely outside of technology? Adrienne says that it is up to the organization to choose the technology they want to use for their deliverable and that most of what they do involves hands-on/administrative support.
[15:07] – You make the statement that the future of associations will revolve around a certification or certificate programs. Can you explain that a little more and why you see that as the focus for associations going forward? Adrienne explains that when you get out of college, you aren’t necessarily job-ready and that associations need to deliver a certification program to help you prove your competency for that job. She also shares that an emerging trend involves organizations/hiring managers utilizing an association certificate program as part of the job interview process to assess a candidate’s knowledge.
[17:45] – What role do you think competition is playing (or will play) in regards to certification/credentialing options? Adrienne says that it is important to look at what’s accredited to see what stands out when there are various options available.
[20:09] – What are your thoughts about digital badges? Adrienne says she thinks they are fantastic and that she can’t wait to see what else emerges from them.
[21:12] – Are you seeing a lot of associations you work with actively pursuing digital badges or is it more of a work in progress? Adrienne talks about how the process and role of digital badging has become more established so now organizations are working to support this.
[21:52] – Talk a little bit about the relationship between certificates/certification and learning in your mind. Adrienne discusses the importance of being able to prove your competency through credentials and the relationship that has with improved outcomes.
[24:12] – Are you seeing organizations taking the time to look at the relationship between the credential and the outcomes? Adrienne says that the progressive organizations are doing this.
[25:11] – What are the progressive/savvy organizations doing with learning (whether in the context of credentialing or not) that other organizations aren’t doing? Adrienne shares that they push your thought process to continue moving and that these groups challenge their members to be something different beyond status quo. They also provide the resources to support this.
[26:43] – What’s exciting or interesting to you happening in the certification world right now? Adrienne says that microcredentialing and digital badging are becoming attractive options in addition to or in place of a certification program.
[28:02] – What threats or hurdles do you see in the current environment for learning or the potential for certification programs? Adrienne explains that complacency and not embracing change is one of the biggest threats. She says associations need to really look at how to engage their members.
[29:14] – How do you approach your own learning and stay up to date on what’s going on? Adrienne says that she attends every conference that she can and that she tries to get certificates whenever possible. She also reveals that she builds her knowledge base by addressing the different questions clients come back with.
[30:09] – How to connect with Adrienne and Limitless Association Solution Resource:
[30: 55] – Wrap Up
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[32:31] – Sign off