This page houses an ever-growing collection of good resources for higher and postsecondary educational programs that wish to focus on developing their graduates’ Essential Employability Qualities. First, we draw upon a relevant set of definitions from the Australian initiative, developing Employability:
Employability is the ability to find, create and sustain work and learning across lengthening working lives and multiple work settings.
Employability development is the process of teaching students to think. It involves the cognitive and social development of learners as individuals, professionals and social citizens.
Employability is not a job.
Our research has shown that while individual general education and disciplinary courses may address the Essential Employability Qualities, they are best developed over time and with continued attention across students’ curricular, co-curricular, and applied and work-based experiences. Generally, the qualities are developed and fostered by programs that:
- Intentionally integrate authentic, work-relevant, and applied or experiential learning activities into the curriculum and co-curriculum, such as through internships, apprenticeships, community-based and service learning activities, work-based projects, fieldwork, simulations, and leadership roles in student organizations.
- Directly address and assess these qualities in an ongoing way throughout the student’s educational pathway, recognizing qualities that learners bring with them; identifying areas where learners need more development and providing resources or interventions to support them; and engaging learners in reflecting on their own development in these areas.
- Engage deeply with employers to ensure that the programmatic and curricular approaches develop these qualities in ways that are authentic to the workplace and meet the needs of the local employment community.
Laureate Professional Assessment
The purpose of the Laureate Professional Assessment (LPA) program is to shift the importance of the academic program experience from solely academic competence to achieving both academic and workplace competence.
- White paper about the Laureate Professional Assessment
- Workplace Skills Competency Framework (English)
- Workplace Skills Competency Framework (Spanish)
DESIGNING CURRICULAR APPROACHES
A variety of faculty development, curricular development, and assessment resources for 21st century skills, including resources by sector and field and online resource modules: “These lessons are complete with instructor lesson plans, PPT presentations, funny “what not to do” videos, video assessments, and handouts. The lessons were designed for postsecondary students, adult learners, clients at workforce development organizations, and current employees.”
Merging Work and Learning to Develop the Human Skills that Matter: from Pearson and Jobs for the Future.
This report showcases promising practices from the US and UK to suggest a forward looking agenda for education and training, moving from uncertainty to the economic advancement of all learners. Some of the strategies profiled include:
- competency-based education, which allows learners to show what they know as soon as they know it and move quickly to the next level;
- employer and industry-led models, which radically lower the opportunity costs of education by providing further training on the job;
- the latest labor market intelligence tools and techniques, which provide educators with powerful insights into the changing skills marketplace;
- dynamic and work-based pedagogy, to instill the critical skills needed for the future of work; and
- new pathways and business models that support access and completion for learners at any point in their career and at virtually any income level.
A Practical Guide for Work-Integrated Learning – Effective Practices to Enhance the Educational Quality of Structured Work Experiences Offered through Colleges and Universities: from Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) and Education at Work Ontario (EWO)
A new guide from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) and Education at Work Ontario (EWO) is a resource for faculty, staff, academic leaders and educational developers to improve the quality of WIL programs. Effective, work-integrated learning opportunities enhance student learning and develop work-ready skills outside of the classroom.
Work Integrated Learning Open Module Initiative: Niagara College Canada
Work Integrated Learning (WIL) has become a core element of post-secondary instruction and a crucial means by which applied and experiential learning is infused into curriculum in highly meaningful and professionally relevant ways. This comprehensive set of 31 open access, learner-centered modules supports WIL preparedness among post-secondary students.
How to Use Labor Market Data in Academic Program Development and Curricular Design: by Burning Glass Technologies
How can your institution prepare students for the jobs they want, and set them on a path to career success? The answer can be found by using real-time labor market data. This information is the key to understanding today’s job market, because it examines the individual skills that are requested for each job.
The Connected Curriculum Framework: Connecting Academic Learning with Workplace Learning
Employability is the ability to create and sustain meaningful work across the career lifespan. This is a developmental process which students need to learn before they graduate. The Developing EmployABILITY Initiative is a collaboration involving over 20 higher education institutions and over 400 scholars internationally. Our goal is to enable and embed employABILITY thinking in the curriculum. The Initiative is led by Professor Dawn Bennett at Curtin University. New collaborators are always welcome. The Developing EmployABILITY website for educators is full of resources to support developing employability qualities in students.
IUPUI has developed numerous High Impact Practices resources, including this Internship Taxonomy
DESIGNING COCURRICULAR & HYBRID APPROACHES
This free white paper from EAB shares approaches to hybrid advising roles to align academic and career pathing guidance for students. As a result, advisors are able to work with students to ensure their classes and extracurricular activities set them up for their desired careers. Download the paper to learn how these best practices are being implemented.
Engagement and Employability Integrating Career Learning through Cocurricular Experiences in Postsecondary Education
A NASPA publication, which provides a discussion and numerous examples of how to identify, measure, and assess employability skills as an outcome of cocurricular experiences.
Connecting Bridges: The Cocurricular Career Connections Leadership Model – by Adam Peck and Michael Preston. (NACE Journal, August 2018)
The C3 model offers a structure for bridging and integrating a variety of experiences on and off campus, including 1) connecting cocurricular learning to classroom learning, 2) connecting experiential learning to learning in structured leadership development programs, and 3) connecting learning in college to learning throughout one’s career.
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / CAREER SERVICES
Free downloadable white paper bt Jeff Selingo written for Entangled Solutions.
The Career Leadership Collective is a solutions group that focuses on the practical and inspirational aspects of leadership and innovation in college and university career services arena.
NACE’s mission is to empower the community of professionals focused on the development and employment of college-educated talent with relevant data, resources, training, insights and relationships, while serving as the collective voice for the profession.
- NACE Career Readiness Competencies – The National Association of Colleges and Employers, through a task force of college career services and HR/staffing professionals, has developed a definition, based on extensive research among employers, and identified seven competencies associated with career readiness.
- NACE Career Readiness Resources – The career readiness resources offered here are designed to support your efforts in integrating career readiness into your programs and services.
- NACE Internship Resources – White papers and research reports about internships.
PARTNERING WITH EMPLOYERS
Understanding & Developing the Pathways for Beneficial University-Industry Engagement: The Partnership Continuum (2012)
This document describes The Partnership Continuum, a new way of thinking about the myriad ways in which academia, industry, and government can interact for mutual benefit, often in ways which contribute to national growth.
Guidance for Business and Higher Education Partnerships – key ideas from the 2017 CAEL Conference with CAEL’s Business Champions
Learning to Work; Working to Learn – from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
This brief from Equal Measure and Lumina Foundation discusses how to effectively and authentically engage employers and the unique ways that employers can contribute to postsecondary attainment initiatives.
Higher Education and Employability: New Models for Integrating Study and Work – by Peter Stokes (2015, Harvard Education Press)
A free downloadable report from The Chronicle of Higher Education. Employers highly value internships and experience. There is also consensus between colleges and employers that internships and work programs greatly improve the chances of becoming a successful employee. However, there is a disconnect between the number of employers and colleges that say they’ve partnered with each other to create these programs. In this report you will learn how different programs can help students find employment in today’s labor market.
ENGAGING STUDENTS IN QUALITY
The International Journal for Students as Partners (IJSaP) is a new journal about learning and teaching together in higher education. IJSaPexplores new perspectives, practices, and policies regarding how students and staff are working in partnership to enhance learning and teaching in higher education.
Bringing Student Voices to the Table: Collaborating with our Most Important Stakeholders, by Ann E. Damiano – Dean of Assessment, Utica College. NILOA Guest Viewpoint.
- Bowling Green State University Student Learning Analysts – Students are employed in the Office of Academic Assessment, taking an active role in gathering information on student learning experiences.
- University of Scranton Provost Assessment Scholars – The Provost Assessment Scholars is a new special program for undergraduate students through the Office of Educational Assessment. These student scholars investigate issues brought to them by “stakeholders” on campus by conducting student-led focus groups. They analyze the focus group data and provide a summary report and recommendations to the stakeholders on the issue.
Careers Toolbox for Undergraduate Physics Students – from American Institute of Physics
MODELS & FRAMEWORKS
Report from third way about the four skillsets that will make people successful and resilient in the new economy.
Report on the shift to competency-based learning and hiring from Innovate + Educate
PUBLIC INFORMATION ABOUT LEARNER OUTCOMES (Transparency)
NILOA’s Transparency Framework – The NILOA Transparency Framework is intended to help institutions evaluate the extent to which they are making evidence of student accomplishment readily accessible and potentially useful and meaningful to various audiences.
- Framework in the Field – example college and university websites
OTHER GOOD READS & RESOURCES
Employability in a Global Context: Evolving Policy and Practice in Employability, Work Integrated Learning, and Career Development Learning – transnational research report to answer the question “How is employability defined, driven and communicated by universities internationally?”
Building Supports for Successful Transitions Into the Workforce – Committee for Economic Development report from 2017 “listening tour” of business leaders and parents to discuss firsthand information about workplace demands and aspirations for high school graduates.
New England Board of Higher Education Learning for Life & Work Report — On March 19, 2018, the Commission on Higher Education and Employability released its final report, Learning for Life and Work. The report details 19 recommendations, as well as strategies for stakeholders to collaborate to increase the employability of the region’s graduates.
APLU Report: Ready for Jobs, Careers, and a Lifetime — A college degree matters more than ever before. In the post-recession economy, job gains have been far better for those with college degrees than for those with only a high school degree. Students are clear that a primary purpose for enrolling in college is to get a good job and to put themselves on a path to a successful career. Employers and the public increasingly feel that universities are not doing enough to prepare students for employment. Universities feel a degree must involve a broad education, though certainly many, probably most, in the public university community agree on the need to prepare students for employment. Broader education and employment preparation are not mutually exclusive goals, nor have they ever been.
Jobs for the Future – Jobs for the Future (JFF) is a national nonprofit that builds educational and economic opportunity for underserved populations in the United States. JFF develops innovative programs and public policies that increase college readiness and career success and build a more highly skilled, competitive workforce.
How Is Your Institution Preparing Students for Careers & Employability? – Reflections on Lumina Foundation’s Next Generation Work-Based Learning convening in November 2017.
If you would like to add to our resource list, please comment below, or email Melanie Booth at firstname.lastname@example.org