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  • Writer's pictureCCE

Putting Microcredentials to Work

With a public presentation at a conference looming in her future, Raylene Packet, Administrator for the RM of Webb, decided to get better prepared by taking the

Business Communications Professional Microcredential including the Presentation &

Public Speaking course.

“I chose to take this microcredential because it was a focused, remote offering that I thought would give me more confidence,” says Packet.

Instructor Loretta Gerlach agrees that when it comes to public speaking, practice and having a tool kit to communicate makes all the difference. “A lot of people who are doing public speaking or presentations are thinking about what they want to communicate but don’t think about it from the perspective of the audience. We talk about the art of storytelling to sustain attention and how to persuade people to shift attitudes or even just to accept information.”

The Presentation & Public Speaking course is one of three in the Professional Microcredential that lead to a digital badge. Digital badges can be shared via social media such as LinkedIn or emailed directly to employers to capture the newly acquired skills. When all three courses are completed, a student is awarded the Business Communications Professional Microcredential. “The three courses I took have improved my skills and confidence in leading a group, presenting and communicating through any means in an effective and efficient way,” says Packet.

Michelle Mikkelsen, Program Coordinator, Career & Professional Development says that the Business Communications Professional Microcredential is valuable regardless of a student’s profession or educational background. “We did research to find out what skills employees needed to succeed at their jobs and communication was at the top of the list. Whether you’re an engineer, accountant, people manager or a small business owner, the need to communicate effectively with others is always an important part of the job.”

Microcredentials are a growing trend in the educational field and the focused nature and short duration make them particularly suited to people who are balancing work with the need for more specific types of training. “Microcredentials have taken off across Canada and CCE was an early adopter. That’s because they complement and enhance other experience, certificates or degrees and students can experience the benefits immediately,” adds Mikkelsen.

“Raylene knew she needed some new skills to present at a conference. In less than a month after taking the Presentation & Public Speaking course she emailed me to say: ‘I nailed it!’ - Loretta Gerlach

The topics for microcredentials are driven by the needs of industry and CCE relies on a variety of sources to determine sought-after skills. In 2021, CCE surveyed 400 small and mid-sized Saskatchewan employers to help identify skill gaps. In addition, CCE takes advantage of one of the largest employer skill data services in the U.S. and Canada. “This service collects information from all job postings so that we can see what skills employers are seeking,” says Mikkelsen. “We can search it based on industry, city and even employer to determine the demands and new trends.”

Students also benefit from the expertise of instructors who are embedded in industry with long-standing careers. “I work in Human Resources and a lot of the programs I teach align with personal passions of mine,” says Gerlach. “It’s very rewarding to help people improve soft skills like leadership and emotional intelligence. Those are the skills that make all the difference in building a team of high performers.”

For Gerlach, students like Packet are a perfect example of what she loves most about teaching microcredentials. “Raylene knew she needed some new skills to present at a conference. In less than a month after taking the Presentation & Public Speaking course she emailed me to say: ‘I nailed it!’ She was so excited about using her new skills and receiving positive feedback from the audience. Being able to add to her foundational skills was so important and I think she now sees a path forward to more senior roles.”

Learn about Our Programs

Professional Development Funding Options

Canada-Saskatchewan Job Grant for up to $10,000 for employee training.

Re-Skill Saskatchewan Training Subsidy for 100% training cost coverage.

Canada Training Credit for $250 per year (unused years carry forward).



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