To address the need, the University of Maine is partnering with Northern Light Health and Bangor Savings Bank to participate in a national Education Design Lab project, that identifies and recognizes these 21st Century workforce skills that college students need and employers want.
The Engaged Black Bear initiative awards digital badges to students who can demonstrate skills in communication, collaboration, creative problem solving, inter-cultural fluency and empathy.
“Everybody needs 21st Century skills -- oral communication, critical thinking, collaboration,” said Claire Sullivan, UMaine coordinator of community engagement. “And so this is a way to demonstrate that, not just to say a line on your resume that you have these skills, but you actually have the artifacts to back that up.”
Those artifacts - posted under the digital badges that employers can click on - could be research papers, work history or videos that show the student's proficiency.
UMaine is one of seven colleges participating in the year-long Washington, D.C.-based Education Design Lab project.