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Supporting Early Childhood Education Pathways with Micro-Credentials

Tuesday, February 22, 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EST

Digital Promise

Presented by Paige Holmes, Assistant Program Director, Higher Education, Tennessee Early Childhood Training Alliance (TECTA), Center of Excellence for Learning Sciences, Tennessee State University; Dr. Celeste Brown, Associate Research Director, Center of Excellence for Learning Sciences, Tennessee State University; and Tabitha Bass, Teacher/Coordinator, Woodmont Christian Preschool (TN)
Moderated by Brian Tinsley, Ph.D., Senior Research and Communications Associate, Adult Learning, Digital Promise

Hosted by Digital Promise
Sponsored by Ascendium Education Group

Watch the Recording Listen to the PodcastRead the Article

Learn more about viewing the live presentation and the recording, earning your CE certificate, and using our new accessibility features.

Can micro-credentials be used to create new pathways to social mobility for rural, urban, and suburban learners who are impacted by poverty, particularly for Black, Latino, and Indigenous people? Digital Promise joins educational leaders from Tennessee State University–the largest HBCU in the state–to highlight research on the use of micro-credentials in rural postsecondary institutions. The conversation focuses on career pathways in early childhood education. Viewers hear directly from rural postsecondary leaders and learners to understand how they are:

  • Using micro-credentials for affordable, flexible, and meaningful skill development that leads to better opportunities and higher wages
  • Increasing efforts to prioritize social mobility for poverty-impacted communities
  • Developing educator-industry partnerships to promote sustainable career pathways

This recorded edLeader Panel is intended for PreK-12 educators and school and district leaders, adult education and career service providers, higher education institutions, employers, and community leaders interested in leveraging micro-credentials to create real-time pathways toward social mobility for people in rural communities.

Digital Promise’s new report, Micro-credentials for Social Mobility in Rural Postsecondary Communities: A Landscape Report, explores the impact of earning micro-credentials on the social mobility of rural learners. In four case studies, including that of Tennessee State University’s Center of Excellence for Learning Sciences – ClearPath ECE, Digital Promise takes an in-depth look at postsecondary institutions that are using micro-credentials to create real-time career pathways for rural learners. Learn more and read the report here.


Paige HolmesAbout the Presenters

Paige Holmes is the assistant program director, higher education at Tennessee Early Childhood Training Alliance (TECTA) at the Center of Excellence for Learning Sciences at Tennessee State University. In her current role, Paige works with Tennessee colleges and universities to uphold professional standards, credentialing, and continuing education for early childhood educators. In 2020, Paige and her colleague Dr. Celeste Brown were awarded grants from the Tennessee Board of Regents and Digital Promise/Ascendium Education Group to create an online micro-learning community focusing on professional skills for early childhood educators of color as well as educators in rural communities. Paige has been an adjunct instructor of business since 2007. She also lectures on instructional design and eLearning for instructors of certificate and A.A.S. programs. She holds an MSED in learning design and technology from Purdue University, an MBA from Union University, and a BS in communication from Freed-Hardeman University.


Dr. Celeste BrownDr. Celeste Brown is the associate research director for the Center of Excellence for Learning Sciences at Tennessee State University. Throughout her career, she has conducted research in elementary science education, early childhood education, and higher education policy. Most recently, she served as Co-PI for the ClearPath ECE online learning community, a pilot project for bringing micro-learning and micro-credentialing to early educators in Tennessee.

While at the Center, Dr. Brown previously served as an associate investigator on an NSF-funded project. Later, as the media, marketing, and publications coordinator, she managed the marketing of all the Center’s programs and maintains the curriculum and manuals for training and service delivery to childcare professionals, home visitors, and family service workers. Throughout these years she has also created video and audio content and designed materials to support the Center’s training and outreach efforts. She holds a Bachelor of Science in computer science and a Master of Public Administration from Tennessee State University and a Doctor of Education degree from Lipscomb University.


Tabitha BassTabitha Bass is a teacher and coordinator at Woodmont Christian Preschool. She has an A.A.S. from Nashville State Community College in early childhood and a B.S. in interdisciplinary studies from Tennessee State University. Tabitha is currently attending Tennessee State University’s graduate school program to earn a degree in instructional leadership. She has more than 30 years of teaching experience. Tabitha has created a program called Book Club in her preschool center to help bridge the gap between the end of the school year and the beginning of the next. She takes pride in her self-improvement efforts.


Brian TinsleyAbout the Moderator

Brian Tinsley, Ph.D. is a developmental psychologist committed to the pursuit of educational equity across the life course. He has a particular interest in the impact of social and educational contexts on the socioeconomic plight of marginalized populations. Dr. Tinsley currently co-leads research on the implementation and use of micro-credentialing programs in rural communities, as well as the development of Learning and Employment Records (LERs).


Learn more about viewing the live presentation and the recording, earning your CE certificate, and using our new accessibility features.

Join the Career, Technical, and Adult Education community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edLeader Panels, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

Digital PromiseDigital Promise is a nonprofit organization that works at the intersection of researchers, entrepreneurs, and educators. Our vision is that all people, at every stage of their lives, have access to learning experiences that help them acquire the knowledge and skills they need to thrive and continuously learn in an ever-changing world.

AscendiumAscendium Education Group is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization committed to helping people reach the education and career goals that matter to them. Ascendium invests in initiatives designed to increase the number of students from low-income backgrounds who complete postsecondary degrees, certificates, and workforce training programs, with an emphasis on first-generation students, incarcerated adults, rural community members, students of color, and veterans. Ascendium’s work identifies, validates, and expands best practices to promote large-scale change at the institutional, system, and state levels, with the intention of elevating opportunity for all. For more information, visit



Tuesday, February 22, 2022
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EST
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