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Micro-credential partnership gets funding boost from Ontario government

Micro-credentials

We need designers who are not just human-centric in their philosophy, but trained to pragmatically drive processes that bridge the gap between idea (like sketching a prototype illustrated above) and the product says Tony Chain, founder and CEO of Myant Inc. Image credit: Aldus Fong

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A partnership between OCAD University and Myant Inc, a leader in textile computing, has received $35,000 in funding from the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities.

Through this partnership, OCAD U and Myant have jointly created online micro-credentials in Human-Centred Design. This program will support students in gaining the design skills they need to find rewarding careers at Myant Inc. and other workplaces and industries.

Micro-credentials are used to verify a set of skills or specific competencies. Individuals who complete a micro-credential are awarded digital, secure verified badges to share with peers, employers, and educational providers.

“The partnership between Myant and OCAD U is proof that effective partnerships between Ontario’s businesses and world-class colleges and universities can deliver high-quality education that leads to real jobs,” said Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities.

“We have heard loud and clear about the gap between employers, like Myant, that cannot find candidates with the right skills and the many Ontarians looking for meaningful employment. By working together, we can create flexible and responsive programing to react to the needs of employers and ensure that Ontarians can learn a new skill, to help them better succeed in their careers,” said Romano.

With support from eCampusOntario and in partnership with Myant Inc., a Textile Computing™ company, Continuing Studies at OCAD University has developed two new online micro-credentials in Human-Centered Design: Empathy + Social Insight for Human-Centred Design and Ideation + Prototyping for Human-Centred Design.

“As Canada’s oldest and largest art and design university, OCAD U trains students in areas that are helping close the skills gap in a variety of sectors including manufacturing, automotive, finance, creative industries and technology,” said Ana Serrano, President and Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University. “Our new micro-credentials and partnership with Myant Inc. fulfils a need to provide valuable training to individuals and new opportunities for our industry partners.”

The micro-credentials offered by OCAD U are geared towards early or mid-career individuals with some design experience, which may include post-secondary education, self-directed learning, and/or work experience. Supporting individuals upgrading skills and exploring opportunities, micro-credentials also help companies enhance their teams’ research and design proficiency.

"As pioneers in the emerging textile computing industry, one of the great challenges we face is finding talent with the unique set of skills, training, and ways of thinking that we need in order to innovate,” said Tony Chahine, Founder and CEO, Myant Inc.

“A way we invest in this talent pipeline is partnering with academic institutions like OCAD University to craft curriculums serving the needs of the student, the school, and the company. We need designers who are not just human-centric in their philosophy, but trained to pragmatically drive processes that bridge the gap between idea and product. We are grateful for our partners at OCAD U for helping us drive innovation," he said.

In 2019, OCAD U was one of 14 institutions and their industry partners to receive eCampusOntario support for its first micro-credential, Empathy + Social Insight for Human-Centred Design.

In 2020, OCAD U was one of 22 institutions and their industry partners to receive eCampusOntario support for OCAD U’s second micro-credential, Ideation + Prototyping for Human Centred Design.