A new student recognition program, The Walsh Advantage, will be implemented this fall to promote the achievements of Walsh students through the awarding of digital badges.
The Digital Badge is an official credential that captures and validates a broad scope of learning or competence not evidenced on a traditional academic transcript. According to the United States Department of Education (2001), competence is a set of skills, abilities, and knowledge required to complete a task. Badges document a student’s soft skills acquired such as adaptability, engagement, critical thinking, problem solving, innovation in a student’s undergraduate and graduate education. Digital badges also provide a competitive edge in maximizing a student’s academic and career potential.
The development of the digital badge system is part of Walsh’s broader strategy and emphasis on technology and experiential learning, facilitated by Associate Vice President and Dean of Academic Administration Edna McCulloh, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Experiential Learning Rachel Hosler and a key group of faculty. The Walsh Advantage will become the University’s official credential recognizing and validating the accomplishments of each student in the eight areas of:
- Leadership & Civic Engagement
- Intercultural Fluency
- Career Readiness
- Personal Development
- Digital Fluency
- Problem Solving
- Effective Communication
“Walsh University is one of only two universities currently using the Merit Page social media platform system as a way to recognize the acquisition of important ‘soft skills’ in demand by employers and represented by the eight digital badge categories,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Douglas Palmer, Ph.D. “Merit Pages are traditionally used to showcase dean’s list and academic honors on campus. Walsh has taken it a step further by tailoring the program into a digital medium for students to validate and display their achievements to potential employers and graduate schools.”
All Walsh student can choose a digital badge to work towards and will be encouraged to pursue a digital badge credential as an expansion of their resume and academic transcript to support future graduate school and career endeavors. Students can link their digital badges to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. The digital badge will follow the individual through college life into the first career and beyond as a symbol of the expanded curricular and co-curricular experiences and exceptional accomplishments of each student.
MY WALSH DIGITAL STORY
This fall, Walsh first-year students will be creating a documentary about a topic of their choice to earn their first digital badge credential. Utilizing their smartphones, Walsh students will explore the art of storytelling by creating a video documentary “My Walsh Digital Story.” According to Forbes Magazine (2018), storytelling has been identified as an in-demand job skill that will give students an employable edge over the competition. The Walsh students will submit their final documentary capstone project at the end of the semester and compete to win the grand prize. The project kicked-off on Monday, August 27, with creative sessions in the Marlene and Joe Toot Global Learning Center and a discussion with author Dr. Eylem Atakav, Senior Lecturer in Film and Television Studies and internationally acclaimed documentary director.
For more information, visit walsh.edu/merit.