Our response to COVID19

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.


DEAC’s First EEQ Certified Programs

The QA Commons is proud to announce three new EEQ Certified programs. Nationwide, this raises the total number of programs producing graduates equipped with the Essential Employability Qualities (EEQs) employers say are most needed, and too often lacking, to 17. The following programs, all participating as part of the partnership with the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), have all been granted with the EEQ CERT™ designation:

  • Aspen University, RN to BSN, Nursing
  • Bottega University, Communications (Associate Degree)
  • Martinsburg College, Medical Assisting Certificate*

“In today’s workplaces, employability skills are critical for workers looking to build and advance in their careers,” said Mason Bishop, President of the QA Commons. “Our partnership with DEAC and EEQ program certification of these college programs represents what students are calling for—education aligned to employment.”

The DEAC project examined, through QA Commons’ EEQ CERT process, how DEAC-accredited institutions prepare students for employability. Strong alignment of the EEQs and their definitions to the DEAC standards were found – based on the requirement to promote “critical thinking, ethical reasoning, social responsibility, global citizenship, or lifelong learning.” In going through the process and applying the framework to program design, all participants came away with ideas on how to execute the identified “areas for improvement” with respect to student employability outcomes.

“Our collaborative aim was to emphasize the importance of EEQs when considering distance education and to provide a unique opportunity to students,” said Dr. Leah Matthews, DEAC Executive Director. “Partnering with QA Commons aligns with DEAC’s commitment to serving the greater social good through quality standards for distance education that ensure excellence in teaching, learning, and student outcomes.”

*  Martinsburg College’s Medical Assisting Certificate program, which began in October of 2020, was granted Provisional Certification, and will submit supplemental documentation at the end of 2021 to be evaluated for full Certification.


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