The Challenge
The University of South Carolina’s (USC’s) College of Education has played a longstanding role in supporting neighboring school districts in educator professional learning. However, they saw an opportunity to scale impact across the whole state – if they could find strategies that would support districts in credibly growing and identifying expertise without having to travel to a centralized campus.

USC was already working with Mira Education to develop a platform to support resources and micro-credentials for candidates in its CarolinaCAP alternative certification pathway . The university decided to make the platform accessible to all South Carolina educators via districts, state agencies, and other organizations. They positioned the work as CarolinaCrED — a center for competency-based professional learning and credentialing, from licensure to micro-credentials.

The Response
Mira Education partnered with USC to provide consulting on HR and operational capacity needs to engage in and implement the CarolinaCAP and CrED, as well as offer expertise to ensure financial resources and a viable business model.

Mira Education supported CarolinaCrED efforts to influence the redesign of professional learning systems across South Carolina. They also helped design and implement, and now help sustain, the microcredential platform – in addition to supporting the building of capacity for CarolinaCrED to manage their own platform. Mira Education leads the development of a growing catalog of more than 350 high-quality micro-credentials and serves as a quality assurance partner. They also help the development and calibration of a growing cohort of micro-credential assessors.

Mira Education also hosts storytelling retreats to train educators to develop and share effective, audience-focused, public narratives.

The Impact
CarolinaCrED is established in four districts, two state department offices, and with six education organizations across South Carolina — all of whom are engaging educators in the use of micro-credentials for professional learning. CarolinaCrED also owns a platform that engages educators across the state in documenting and affirming their learning using micro-credentials

As a design partner, Mira Education provided capacity and human resources needed for initial implementation. Since personalized learning for educators is a relatively new concept in the field of education, gaining initial traction around the idea of transforming professional learning systems presented challenges that Mira Education has helped CrED overcome. Ongoing advocacy and information sessions with South Carolina educators and policy makers continue to build upon the early success of this transformation.