What are micro-credentials?

Micro-credentials are short, flexible, asynchronous learning modules designed to help participants develop the specialized, job-ready skills.

Our micro-credentials deliver 21st century innovation, design thinking, and entrepreneurship skills through in-person and online modules. Participants who successfully complete micro-credentials earn digital badges via Credly to document and share their achievements. These micro-credentials are short, competency-based recognitions and are not counted as an academic program or degree.

Meet the Instructors

Jerica Simmons

Jerica has a background in nonprofit management, trauma-informed advocacy, and human services, and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Product Development at the da Vinci center. Jerica has a knack for breaking down complex topics in an easy to understand way, creating a joyful and rich learning experience for everyone in her presence. 

Past workshops: Community Design Jam with Woodland Restoration Foundation, Global Entrepreneurship Week at Meadowbrook Academy

Connect with Jerica on LinkedIn

Cael Parker

Cael is a multidisciplinary artist, recent graduate from VCUArts, and an aspiring product developer currently pursuing a masters degree in Product Development from the da Vinci Center. Cael brings tons of energy to workshops, whether it's with middle and high schoolers or community members, and ensures everyone walks away feeling inspired.

Past workshops: SHELFIE bootcamp at the Shift Retail Lab, Henrico Student Innovation Challenge

Connect with Cael on LinkedIn

Manjari Kumarappan

Manjari is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Innovation and Human-Centered Design at the da Vinci Center, with a Master’s in Public Health. For over half a decade, Manjari has been working at the intersection of health and human-centered design research. Her current portfolio of work is centered around a desire to improve how we teach creativity and innovation across disciplines.

Past workshops: Lego Serious Play workshop at Worlds in Play 2024, Design thinking workshop for VCUHealth Radiology

Connect with Manjari on LinkedIn

Portrait of Manjari Kumarappan in front of the Shift mural.

Mason Miles

Mason is building on his marketing expertise with a Master’s of Product Innovation at the da Vinci Center. He wakes up every day with the desire to make a positive impact in his community, whether it’s through his clothing brand Dress for Yourself or mentoring K-12 students. Mason brings his innovative spirit, curiosity, and adaptability to all disciplines, from sustainability to space technology.

Past workshops: Meadowbrook Academy for Developing Entrepreneurs, Mary and Frances Youth Advisory Board

Connect with Mason on LinkedIn

Headshot of Mason Miles in front of a mural in Shift Retail Lab.

What is REAL? Relevant, Experiential, Applied Learning

VCU’s Relevant, Experiential and Applied Learning represents a promise. It’s a promise to provide students with a meaningful, career-building experience during their time at VCU, and a promise to support our faculty and staff to enable them to deliver that.

Learn more