The QA Commons is mindful of the dramatic and transformational impact COVID-19 is having on all institutions of higher education. As an organization, we are adapting our services to support preparing graduates for the workplace that is now changing more precipitously than ever.
Six IT programs awarded QA Commons EEQ Certification
West Virginia’s Blue Ridge CTC’s Information Technology students have both the digital and human skills needed to succeed in the rapidly changing world of work, as affirmed through QA Commons’ Essential Employability Qualities Certification (EEQ CERT) process.
A combination of digital skills and human skills is needed for the rapidly changing workplace. By their nature, the programs (Computer Network Engineering, Cyber Security, Data Management, Digital Media Specialist, Information Technology, and Software Development Engineering) develop technical skills. QA Commons’ evaluators noted particularly strong attention to the Effective Communication, Critical Thinking, and Professionalism & Responsibility qualities within the Blue Ridge programs.
Attention to ethics (within Professionalism & Responsibility) was found to be particularly commendable. Additionally, the division’s required field experience provides a valuable opportunity for individuals to gain practical, hands-on experience in a professional setting. Bridging the gap between academic knowledge and real-world application enhances students’ skills and employability.
Equal parts professional development, program enhancement, and student services – EEQ Certification inspires ideas for curricular and co-curricular enhancements and also helps draw out and highlight the activities and exercises within the curriculum that already develop employability skills. Upon being awarded EEQ Certification, programs implement Student Employability Badging in order to bring awareness to students about the skills they have and can take into the workplace.
“This process provided an opportunity for deliberate and thoughtful reflection into program curriculum to program coordinators, and it provided insight into future opportunities that might complement our programs” said Dean of Information Technology and Math, Janet Branch.
“Working with QA Commons provides our faculty with an additional opportunity to continue developing and providing Blue Ridge CTC students with relevant curriculum and engaging learner experiences. Upon completion of these programs, our students will carry their credentials forward to pursue a new career or an advanced degree,” said Ann Shipway, Vice President for Economic and Workforce Development. Educational institutions interested in developing Essential Employability Qualities in their learners may contact QA Commons at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation around how to develop and make visible employability skills in curriculum, integrate career support services, and engage employers.
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