Digital Badging

Digital Badging

Showcasing skills and accomplishments through technology.

The Foundation is excited to be at the forefront of expanding education and workforce opportunities through digital badges. Online badges provide the information employers need to make a smart hire, and are a visual way to showcase industry sector skills, career readiness, and success in internships, as a supplement to traditional data points like academic grades. 

Collecting and displaying badges

Badges are issued by organizations or communities like LaunchPath using an open standard, which means that users can collect badges from multiple sources and display them across the web on job applications and social networking websites like LinkedIn. These badges can lead to job opportunities, support lifelong learning, and unlock new possibilities. This is especially helpful for students who acquire knowledge, competencies, and skills through activities outside of a typical classroom setting.

Real-world applications

Digital badges are used in a variety of settings, including K-12, higher education, and the workforce. They offer audiences a visual way to recognize knowledge and abilities. For instance, college admissions officers and employers can utilize digital badges to evaluate whether potential students have critical knowledge and skills.

Why Badges Matter

Online badges benefit students, employers, and educators on multiple levels:

  • Establish expectations around what is required to be successful in an internship.
  • Recognize areas of growth for students. Students receive and also complete evaluations after every LaunchPath experience.
  • Make goals more tangible, including mastering workplace "soft skills" like communication, problem solving, and teamwork.
  • Give employers a visual way to understand the skillset of potential applicants at a glance.
  • Provide students with something measurable they can take away after an internship.

LaunchPath Badges

Students utilizing LaunchPath, the Foundation’s online matching and badging platform for internships, earn badges that showcase where they attend school, their academic major or focus, and success in internship experiences. LaunchPath is built on the Mozilla Open Badge ecosystem, allowing users to display their collection of badges across multiple sites.

School badges

School badges instantly identify which high school or college a student attends, allowing employers to instantly recognize a student's educational background.

Achievement badges

Achievement badges are awarded once students complete an internship, employers successfully host an intern, or after a user completes their profile. Completion badges are awarded after students and employers complete a National Academy Foundation (NAF) Assessment. NAF has worked with business, education, and workforce experts to create an internship assessment that is useful in targeting individual participant skills in the workplace and to enhance curriculum and work-based learning experiences that prepare students for the internship.

Pathway badges

For each career pathway in LaunchPath, students and schools are awarded unique pathway badges. Pathways range from Arts, Media, and Entertainment to Public Services and Manufacturing and Product Development.

21st Century Skills 

LaunchPath is in the process of developing a series of badges based on career-readiness skills. Badges will be completed in fall 2016. Learn more about this project >

Contact Us

Technology Contacts

Bryan Miller
Vice President of Communications and Technology
T: 916.498.6703

Emily Robinson
Technology and Special Projects Director
T: 916.498.6724

Program contacts

Tim Aldinger
Director of Workforce Development Services
T: 916.491.4499


21st Century Skills Badging

The 21st Century Skills Digital Badging project is developing 10 21st Century Skills Badges that will be completed in fall 2016. Learn more >

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Community Colleges

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Who we serve

The Foundation serves as the official foundation supporting the Board of Governors, Chancellor’s Office, and the entire California Community College system, including 113 colleges and 72 districts, serving 2.1 million students.

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