Nationally, distance is a barrier to traditional in-person training opportunities for teachers and administrators in many rural areas. Four years ago, the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC) decided to “flip the script” on professional learning and use micro-credentials to benefit its educators in small remote rural schools scattered throughout the mountains of southeastern Kentucky.

Rather than asking educators to spend their limited time and money traveling great distances for professional learning, we chose to use technology as a tool for overcoming distance. We began developing our own personalized, competency-based micro-credentials to connect our educators with new opportunities to improve their teaching and advance in their careers.

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They’re also addressing unique challenges faced by students living in our region – a high-poverty, isolated area larger than the state of Connecticut.

About the Author:

Jennifer Carroll and Robert Brown lead the micro-credentialing work for the Kentucky Valley Educational Cooperative (KVEC). For more information about KVEC and the work with micro-credentials, contact Jennifer Carroll at or