A new form of higher and post-secondary education quality assurance (QA) that certifies programs that prepare graduates with the Essential Employability Qualities (EEQs)


For Higher Ed

The 21st century workplace has changed dramatically — as have the needs of society for an educated citizenry. New QA approaches are needed to respond that:

  • Evaluate demonstrable learning outcomes
  • Ensure quality for the variety of credentials offered
  • Recognize that standards and criteria must continually evolve to meet changing needs

For Employers

Enhancing strategic connections among post-secondary and higher education institutions, academic programs, and employers is vital. Actions can include:

  • Convening Stakeholder Councils that comprise employers, academic leadership, government, and students that can help guide goals and outcomes
  • Ensuring employers that learning institutions take their needs seriously
  • Demonstrating to employers seeking capable career candidates that graduating students have the skills and competencies needed to succeed in the workplace
  • Increasing the extent to which employers are engaged in the design, development, and evaluation of programs

For Students

Students are increasingly diverse in terms of age, preparation, racial and ethnic backgrounds, socio-economic status, and attendance patterns. Higher education can:

  • Assure that graduates are prepared for work and life in 21st century, especially helping more graduates feel their college experience has helped prepare them for a career
  • Serve under-represented student populations effectively
  • Demonstrate learning gains for more college graduates

Pilot Program

Research and results from our EEQ Pilot Program developed criteria to certify practices that support EEQ development, which entails the “cognitive and social development of learners as individuals, professionals, and social citizens.”

  • What? The EEQ Pilot
  • Who? The QA Commons and 27 programs from 14 higher education institutions
  • Why? To assure students and prospective employers that a program of study provides quality preparation for employability
  • How? Explored and co-designed viable ways to assess and affirm the presence of evidence-based practices and outcomes that support EEQ development
  • When? During the 2017–2018 academic year

Learn more about what our participants said about the experience

If you’re interested in learning more about our work, please contact

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