The Accelerating Credentials of Purpose and Value (ACPV) Grant Program supports public two- and four-year institutions of higher education (IHEs) and public health-related institutions (HRIs) in Texas in the development and/or expansion of the development of short-term postsecondary credentials that incorporate skills and knowledge required by high-demand careers in three broad areas:
- Digital skills
- Data analytics
- Front-line healthcare
This effort was funded through the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) Fund which is designed to support the rapid reskilling and upskilling of the Texas workforce through the expansion of postsecondary workforce education. GEER dollars, in turn, originate from the U.S. Department of Education’s administration of the Education Stabilization Fund in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020. The University of Houston received an ACPV grant in February 2022, and UH Energy coordinated the ACPV project within the University of Houston System.
The objective of our ACPV project was to make the essential skills of data analytics more accessible to petrotechnical students, and to accelerate credentialing in this field, by integrating short-term, stackable, energy industry-specific programs in data analytics into existing graduate programs.
Our approach was based on the Upstream Energy Data Analytics micro-credential program, that we have been running since the summer of 2020. Key components of the of this program are the use of stackable badges, co-teaching by academic faculty and industry SMEs, pedagogy with real-world problems, and rigorous evaluation.
Making it happen
Four departments within the University of Houston System deployed ACPV activities:
- The Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences (EAS, at UH)
- The Department of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Houston (PE, at UH)
- The Department of Computer Science and Engineering Technology at the University of Houston Downtown (UHD)
- the Department of Computing Sciences at the University of Houston Clear Lake (UHCL)
UH Energy is maintained close contact with the departments, and with the Provost’s Office, to ensure that the ACPV objectives were achieved.
PRINCIPAL PROJECT ACTIVITIES
The activities within the project were designed to:
- Provide practical training in data analytics for petrotechnical students and professionals.
- Enable students to progress more rapidly to graduate credentials in data analytics.
- Build training capacity within the participating departments.
The main activities that were used to achieve these objectives were:
- All four participating departments delivered micro-credential programs during the summer of 2022. UHD and UHCL jointly ran the Upstream Energy Data Analytics Bronze Belt micro-credential program. The two UH departments ran versions of their own programs, with modifications to accommodate micro-credentialing
- Additional micro-credential courses were delivered during the Fall Semester. These included Badges 4 & 5 of the Upstream Energy Data Analytics Silver Belt, run jointly by UHD and UHCL, and two micro-credential programs at UH EAS
- Additional course materials were developed for future use. These included a “Gold Belt” data analytics course developed by UHCL, and a “Basic Data Analytics” course, designed as an “on ramp” for existing courses, developed by UH PE, as well as two new short courses at UH EAS
- Two servers were acquired for instructional use, to strengthen and build capacity in UH’s data analytics programs
KEY ACCOMPLISHMENTS – BY THE NUMBERS
The objective of our ACPV project was to make the essential skills of data analytics more accessible to petrotechnical students, and to accelerate credentialing in this field, by integrating short-term, stackable, energy industry-specific programs in data analytics into existing graduate programs. This is an important goal, as it simultaneously addresses the workforce needs to satisfy a rapidly growing demand in the Texas economy, while preparing students to fill key positions as rapidly as possible. Key accomplishments of our program include:
- Developed multiple mechanisms to bridge micro-credentials with course credits, including:
- Course bypasses
- Course waivers
- Restructuring existing for-credit courses to make them compatible with micro-credentials
- Using micro-credentials to incentivize professionals to enroll in in degree programs
- Using micro-credentials to expand educational options for enrolled students
- 90% completion rate for classes
- Developed new courses and built capacity to support future growth of accelerated programs
- 250 micro-credentials and 75 semester credit hours earned
- Successful collaboration of 3 institutions (UH, UHD, and UHCL)