How BCdiploma helped University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies to scale its micro-credentialing program and saved 170 workdays and 170,000$ in overhead costs

  • 6,000 micro-credentials issued
  • 170 workdays saved
  • 170,000$ overhead cost reduction
University of Toronto micro credentials
University of Toronto

The Organization

The University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies is renowned for its commitment to lifelong learning and sits at the forefront of educational innovation. As part of Canada’s leading university, it offers a diverse array of programs designed to enhance career advancement and personal development across various fields, including technology, business, health, and the liberal arts.

With the support of industry leaders and academic experts, the school provides students with practical, real-world knowledge tailored to professional growth. The flexible learning options and strong network of global and local partnerships further empower students, providing significant opportunities for career progression and personal enrichment.

The University of Toronto is a member of eCampus Ontario (an historic BCdiploma’s partner in North America), a nonprofit organization that aims to strengthen Ontario’s post-secondary education system by increasing access to online learning.

The challenges

Initially, the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies primarily issued certificates for courses and training programs that exceeded 90 hours. However, recognizing the emerging trend of micro-credentials and their potential to enrich learners' resumes and validate their educational achievements, the institution sought to adapt and expand its offerings. The global rise in the adoption of micro-credentials is evident, with a recent survey indicating that 88% of educational institutions view micro-credentialing as a crucial strategy for their future​ (HolonIQ. Global Impact Intelligence)​. Additionally, the adoption of micro-credentials enhances employability, with 76% of students worldwide more likely to enroll in programs that include such options​ (GBEN)​.

With the goal of aligning more closely with current and future demands of both learners and the labor market, the University of Toronto decided to offer micro-credentials for shorter course modules. This strategic move not only aimed to cater to the increasing preference for specialized, skills-based learning but also to position the university at the forefront of innovative educational offerings.

In implementing this initiative, the University of Toronto chose BCdiploma for its ease of use and implementation. BCdiploma's unique market proposition—enabling learners to truly own their credentials—was a key factor in this decision, aligning with the university’s vision of empowering students and professionals through recognized and portable credentials.

University of Toronto Credential Mobile
University of Toronto Credential Desktop

The Results

Since 2021, the University of Toronto has been at the forefront of the digital credentialing revolution, partnering with BCdiploma to issue digital micro-credentials for all its online course modules, ranging from 15 to 18 hours and culminating in the attainment of proven skills.

The University of Toronto leveraged the support of the technical teams from both Modern Campus and BCdiploma to design and implement a middleware integration titled “eTools.” This innovative tool not only enables the issuance of micro-credentials but also integrates with QUERCUS (UofT’s Learning Management System) to create course shells, UTORAuth (UofT's central authorization and authentication database) to issue login credentials and facilitate auto-enrollment, and Destiny One to validate certificate requirements. Integrating micro-credentialing seamlessly has been essential to the university's success in scaling the program.

The integration with eTools has not only streamlined operations but also yielded significant time and cost efficiencies. With the digital micro-credentialing process, credentials are issued promptly once final grades are approved in Destiny One—typically by 11 a.m. the following day. This efficiency is a marked improvement over the traditional certificate issuance process, which often takes a week to complete.

Additionally, issuing a paper credential incurs an average of 15 minutes and $25 in material and mailing costs. By adopting this digital approach, the University of Toronto has saved approximately 170 staff workdays and around $170,000 in combined learner and School of Continuing Studies (SCS) overhead costs over the past two years.

In addition to the cost savings, the school has observed a significant increase in student satisfaction. Students can now share their accomplishments online, enhancing their visibility with potential employers. This digital shift has not only streamlined processes but also expanded opportunities for learners, connecting them more effectively with the job market.

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