The QA Commons’ program-level quality assurance approach, the Essential Employability Qualities Certification — or EEQ CERT — was recently featured in this CHEA white paper (see pages 12-13): New Approaches to Judging Quality
We just added a few new resources to our Resource Library. This one in particular will be of interest to programs and institutions looking to redesign their curricular approach and partner with employers to better address the Essential Employability Qualities in their educational programs.
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:
In early June, The QA Commons concluded the Essential Employability Qualities Certification (EEQ CERT) Pilot, in which we partnered with 27 programs from 14 colleges and universities to co-design a new approach to assuring that graduates are prepared for the 21st century world of work. Key aspects of this initiative include addressing quality as well as equity gaps in learning and preparation:
We know that high-quality credentials beyond high school can transform lives — that they open doors to economic opportunity and social mobility and help individuals flourish in a challenging world. But we also know that not everyone who pursues learning beyond high school actually gets a high-quality experience. Too few even get to the finish line and earn a credential. And some who do, still struggle to find employment and succeed in today’s workplace.
Quality Assurance Commons and the EEQs will help address this gap. They also will help institutions make good on an equally urgent promise of closing equity gaps in access to quality experiences and in post-graduation outcomes. QA Commons pilot efforts and other research show that far too few institutions gather and use enough good data on how well their students learn and how they fare after graduation. Moreover, even when collecting data, far too few institutions disaggregate their data to uncover hidden inequities in access to quality experiences — especially across different racial/ethnic groups.
Read the full article by Debra Humphreys HERE.
We are grateful to Lumina Foundation for its wonderful support of this initiative.
The QA Commons team and several EEQ CERT pilot partners have been on the road, presenting at conferences and getting the word out about our Essential Employability Qualities Certification pilot and our initial findings.
Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education Student Success Summit – with Niesha Ziehmke, Guttman Community College and Joan Cook, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater
Distance Education Accrediting Commission Conference – with Kimberley Winfield and Christine Jax, Ashworth College
WASC Senior College & University Commission – with Laurie Dodge, Brandman University
In response to growing interest in teaching “21st century skills” at the postsecondary level, Matt Hora (author of Beyond the Skills Gap) has developed an online 7-week survey course at UW-Madison’s Division of Continuing Studies on the topic.
Check out the course info HERE.
The course is designed to give faculty and instructors an introduction to the research behind four skills – communication, teamwork, self-regulated learning, and critical thinking – and practical tips on how to integrate them into college courses. The course also takes a critical look at the skills discourse surrounding 21st century skills, and emphasizes disciplinary approaches to curriculum design and instruction. Through video-taped lectures, course readings, online annotation, and case study problems, the goal of the course is to help learners transform an existing lesson plan or course syllabus to prominently feature one of the four skills. They hope that the course will be a valuable resource for faculty developers, instructors hoping to improve their teaching, and for anyone interested in skills-related issues.
The employABILITY Initiative is led by Professor Dawn Bennett from Curtin University, Australia. Dawn makes the link between employability and higher education through her work on “employABILITY thinking”: students’ cognitive and social development as capable and informed individuals, professionals, and social citizens. You can read more on this thinking in her recent post.
EmployABILITY educator guides, student resources, and a self-assessment tool are available without charge to all higher education teachers and students. Professor Bennett emphasises that embedding employABILITY thinking in post-secondary classrooms means doing things a little differently, rather than doing more.
Students begin by creating a personalised profile using an online profile tool. Most programs incorporate the profile tool as a required task or reading, or in some cases as an in-class activity. The profile report gives students multiple opportunities to engage with their development and underpins career- and self-development activities in class. Student advisers and teachers can trial the tool by entering ‘test’ where it asks for the student number; Dawn recommends 15 – 20 minutes for this task.
For more information and a short introduction to the model and validated measure, visit the educator website. Registration is quick and will give you access to all resources, events and articles. You can also access the student site to explore the student resources.
We’ve added another new Resource: The 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.
The report’s recommendations are grouped in 6 areas:
Two new resources have been added over on our Resources page – check them out:
Developing EmployABILITY: 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.
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.
The QA Commons recently co-presented with Jeff King from University of Central Oklahoma and Niesha Ziehmke from Charles and Stella Guttman Community College (two of our 27 EEQ CERT co-design partners) about the EEQ CERT co-design process and transformative learning at the 2018 Transformative Learning Conference, March 8 and 9, 2018, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Here are our slides:
And HERE is the extended abstract of our presentation.