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 Austrailian 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
The Connected Curriculum Framework: Connecting Academic Learning with Workplace Learning
PARTNERING WITH EMPLOYERS
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
Engaging Employers in a Cross-sector Postsecondary Attainment Agenda – 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)
What Graduates Need to Succeed – Colleges & Employers Weigh In – 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
International Journal of Students as Partners – 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.
- 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
Automate This: Building the Perfect 21st-Century Worker – report from third way about the four skillsets that will make people successful and resilient in the new economy.
Shift Happens – 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
GOOD READS & RESOURCES
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.
NACE’s Career Readiness Competencies and Resources – 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. Numerous resources available.
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