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.


Empowering Tomorrow’s Talent Pool: An EEQ Refresh

As workplace demands evolve at an unprecedented pace, QA Commons has updated its Essential Employability Qualities (EEQs) to better equip individuals with the adaptive, technical, and interpersonal skills critical for success in today’s dynamic job market. The new EEQs reflect the most current and forward-thinking approach to employability skill-building.

Reports from LinkedIn, the World Economic Forum, McKinsey, and others highlight that AI will enhance the need for human skills, which are becoming essential for complementing AI technologies and managing their implementation effectively. In the AI-driven workforce, possessing strong human skills allows today’s learners to complement and guide technology, fostering meaningful interactions, creative problem-solving, and ethical decision-making, ensuring relevance and success in an increasingly automated world. These industry analyses were used to inform the refresh.

Feedback from collaborators was also incorporated to clarify the language and better meet the needs of students and partner programs. Professor Chris Mayer, Head of the Department of English and Philosophy at the United States Military Academy at West Point, who studies the future of work and has reviewed Employability portfolios of academic programs working with QA Commons since 2019, shared: “It is important to periodically evaluate the EEQs to ensure they reflect the latest trends related to what employers are looking for and the experiences of colleges and universities currently using the EEQs to improve their students’ employability. The revised EEQs better reflect the thinking, interpersonal, and technology skills graduates need to thrive in today’s and tomorrow’s workplaces.”

It is crucial for educators to have a rich, clear, and concise set of definitions of EEQs to effectively guide students toward developing these skills and empowering learners to thrive in diverse professional environments. This refresh aims to maintain relevance by incorporating minor adjustments and updates, helping stakeholders stay current without fundamentally altering the framework.

Additionally, a “Meta EEQ,” has also been added: “Ability to articulate and explain the value of the Essential Employability Qualities!” According to QA Commons Executive Director, Michelle Deasy, “Bringing the EEQs to education and training programs over the past five years has proven yield powerful results. Through this work, we have also seen that not only is it crucial for students to develop and hone these skills, but that we must empower them to speak meaningfully about their strengths to potential employers and foster confidence in navigating the professional landscape.

QA Commons eagerly invites collaboration with education and training programs wishing to embed the EEQs in their curricula and ensure students are thoroughly prepared for the workplaces of the future.


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