Education Design Lab – Propel Polk!

A pilot program to teach collaboration, creative problem-solving, and empathy to 11th and 12th graders who will receive digital micro-credentials for their resumes.

Accelerate Winner October 07, 2021

Education Design Lab is making students more competitive applicants for colleges and employers by creating credentialed programs for soft skills. The Lab’s research has found that collaboration, creative problem-solving, and empathy are in high demand by employers. In partnership with Polk County Public Schools in Florida and local business and alignment organizations (Polk Vision and Central Florida Development Council), Education Design Lab is creating a pilot program to teach 450 11th and 12th graders these skills. Participating students will receive digital micro-credentials they can include on job and college applications.

These types of digital micro-credentials and college credit for the learning and demonstration of soft skills could be a gamechanger for young people as a bridge to college and careers. The ultimate goal of this pilot is to see how the intentional teaching of these skills can increase rates of graduation, job placement, and higher education matriculation. Southern New Hampshire University is analyzing the 21st-century skills micro-credentials for the potential award of college credit.

“Education Design Lab is delighted to have identified Polk County Schools and the community of Polk County as partners in the Propel Polk! initiative. Polk County demonstrates an extensive learn-earn ecosystem with active engagement of community and business leaders in cultivation of a strong talent pipeline to drive local economic vitality.  Florida is embracing digital credentials as a means for reinforcing a rapid response to get skilled talent into high-need jobs.” – Dr. Naomi Boyer, Senior Director, Skills and Data Ecosystem, Education Design Lab

For more information about Education Design Lab, visit


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