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.
The QA Commons welcomes inquiries from interested institutions and systems interested in working with the QA Commons’ employability framework.
Submission of a portfolio of evidence is the paramount activity in the QA Commons’ process. Portfolios are scored by experienced, independent reviewers, trained by the QA Commons, with feedback reports provided. The EEQ CERT process provides programs with feedback for improving their programs, whether they achieve the standard for certification or not. For those achieving certification, it is confirmation that they are equipping their students with employability qualities for life. Certified programs gain the right to use the certification to attract more students and employers to their program. They are featured on the QA Commons website. They may request notifications by the QA Commons to employers and other key stakeholders, may use the EEQ CERT logo on their website and materials, and may be included in media releases by the QA Commons upon certification.
Click HERE to see our Certified Programs.
In partnership with the Gardner Institute, QA Commons is offering an Equity in Employability & Completion Academy . The academy will guide teams of faculty and administrators from institutions of higher education through a five-week journey that addresses issues of equity in post-graduation outcomes and explores solutions for addressing those issues. The use of data from national data sets is heavily emphasized. The final deliverable is a “cabinet-ready” action plan addressing post-graduation student outcomes for implementation across campus.
The first cohort is slated for the Fall of 2022.
Beginning in the Fall of 2022, QA Commons will be partnering with the Missouri Department of Corrections on an employability initiative with the goal of reducing recidivism through gainful
Employment. Using its Employability Framework, QA Commons will engage in training and certifying MDOC’s Employability Specialists as well as updating MDOC’s employability curriculum.
QA Commons is pleased to serve as a third-party evaluator for the Pennsylvania State System for Higher Education (PASSHE)’s #Prepared4PA project. Through a contract with the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), QA Commons is evaluating the project’s pilot programs offering innovative programs and opportunities that prepare students for successful lives and careers in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Sponsored by the PASSHE Foundation, the initiative enables PASSHE to build a robust talent pipeline and develop industry-education-workforce collaboratives that encourage alignment and connections within the workforce ecosystem. #Prepared4PA is meaningfully linking education and industry by strengthening university partnerships with businesses and industries, supporting our current and future workforce.
In 2021, the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and the QA Commons announced a joint effort to evaluate how DEAC-accredited institutions prepare students for employability through the QA Commons Essential Employability Qualities Certification (EEQ CERT™) program. In this pilot, three programs, from Aspen University, Martinsburg College, and Bottega University, were awarded EEQ Certification.
In 2022, DEAC and QA Commons are engaged in a second phase of the pilot, open to existing programs at DEAC-accredited schools, but also providing a process for institutions that submit Educational Offering Reports for new program offerings through the DEAC’s Substantive Change Process to concurrently apply for Provisional EEQ Certification. This joint effort will take advantage of the overlap of DEAC and EEQ CERT standards and will provide a streamlining of processes.
With an institution-wide commitment to demonstrating the employability of graduates through third-party review, programs from each of the university’s academic colleges are participating in the Essential Employability Qualities Certification (EEQ CERT) process in 2021. Those colleges are the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, the Hutson School of Agriculture, the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business, the College of Education and Human Services, and the School of Nursing and Health Professions.
Commencing in early 2020, the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities (CSCU) will execute a partnership with The QA Commons to undertake an initial, self-assessment, phase of EEQ Certification. CSCU will use this rigorous process to build program and institutional capacity to assure the quality of credentials from an employability perspective.
27 programs from nine Connecticut colleges and universities will participate and will include both liberal arts and workforce-type disciplines. The knowledge gained from the self-assessment will contribute to the System’s building a new program review process, with thoughtful and relevant student learning outcomes as the principal element.
In response to initial findings through Kentucky’s participation in EEQ Certification, a ten month Fellowship program has been designed in order to get faculty more involved in creating cultures supporting employability. The Fellows will engage directly with regional and statewide employers and policy makers and undertake original research projects. Through this direct interaction, the goal is to enable faculty to learn first-hand Kentucky’s workforce needs, employer concerns and views of the role higher education needs to play, and at the same time, provide opportunities for faculty to share their successes and challenges in attempting to address these workforce needs.
Meet the Fellows.
Read the Impact Projects
The Kentucky EEQ Certification Initiative is ultimately intended to serve as a national model for how educators and employers can work together for student success.
To help strengthen Kentucky’s workforce, the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE), has partnered with us to develop this 18-month, statewide initiative, which launched in November of 2018. Our Stakeholder Advisory Committee convenes employers and provosts in Kentucky to link employer needs with the certification process.
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