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Here’s why Idaho implemented badges for high schoolers

By Heather Kennison, The Times-News
October 25th, 2016

Through new jobs skills program, high school students can earn badges for credit at technical institutions

digital badges

Think of Idaho’s SkillStack as a way to gather merit badges that will help you earn college credits or a job.

The online tool was created by Idaho Career & Technical Education using federal grant money. The program kicked off in high schools across the state this fall.

While it’s more complicated than getting dual credit for a high school course, badges earned through SkillStack can be used toward credit at any Idaho technical institution — and, its online resume-building tool can also help match employers to future employees.

“I think CTE’s goal is to ensure that the students meet the quality standards for employment and industry,” said Karrie Hornbacher, College of Southern Idaho’s coordinator for accelerated learning.
How it works

On skillstack.idaho.gov, a student creates an account and finds a pathway to pursue for college credit like welding technology. If a student wants to earn two credits for a safety and leadership course at an Idaho technical college, the student can take a career and technical education course, or in some cases several courses, at their high school.

Next page: How students can use their badges to earn credit


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