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.
EEQ Certification, also known as “EEQ CERT” is equal parts professional development, program enhancement, and student services. As much as the process inspires ideas for curricular and co-curricular enhancements, EEQ CERT helps draw out and highlight the activities and exercises within the curriculum that already develop employability skills.
Awareness matters. The work helps faculty (and then students) understand what Essential Employability Qualities are, recognize why they are important to employers, and articulate how they have developed them through their academic or training program. Faculty and instructors attain an Employability Education certification, and learners earn digital Employability Skills badges based on specific activities within the program’s curricula.
Learners earn digital Employability Skills badges based on specific activities within an academic or training program’s curricula or through work-based learning experiences. These badges help learners connect the dots between their education and employment, represent their employability skills in a job interview, and be more attuned to workplace culture and expectations once in a job. Badges are offered through the Credly platform.
A range of professional development offerings are available, tailored to the needs of your faculty, instructors, and staff.
Synchronous sessions are interactive in nature, with facilitated discussion in addition to lectures. Unique exercises get participants thinking out of the box with respect to embedding Essential Employability Qualities (EEQs) into curricula, effectively engaging employers, designing effective work-based learning experiences, understanding the latest thinking around skills and the future of work, and ensuring all learners are reaping the benefits of a program’s offerings.
Support and guidance are provided to address challenges, provide project support, and/or achieve specific goals or tasks. Examples of recent work include the development of a Noncredit Quality Assurance process for a university and a future-focused Labor Market Analysis for a community college.
QA Commons provides third-party evaluating services (often for grant-funded projects). Both formative and summative evaluations can be delivered.
QA Commons also provides tailored evaluations that assess an institution’s current performance with respect to preparing students for post-completion success. These evaluations determine gaps, prioritize needs, and suggest solutions that will elevate learners’ preparedness for a career.
“Workforce demand can lead some institutions to teach students the skills needed for today’s entry-level jobs. But those tools may well be obsolete five or ten years from now.”
2017 Chronicle of Higher Education
“Employers are telling us what they look for and need in their employees. [EEQ CERT] builds bridges from the classroom to the workplace to fulfill those needs, while adding significantly more value to the degrees our students earn by their ability to thrive in a rapidly changing workplace over the duration of their careers.”
Aaron Thompson, President, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education
“I feel like the students will be inspired to do better if we can get them to understand what these essential qualities are and what they mean for future employment.”
Program Director, EEQ Certified (Advanced Manufacturing Degree) Program
“EEQ CERT is valuable for programs across the board. It really pushes the program to take a look at the quality of the program and the skills they are teaching.”
Program Director, EEQ Certified (Medical Assisting Degree) Program
“While institutions have a responsibility to prepare students for careers, it is the faculty who have access and opportunity to fulfill that responsibility. The Faculty Fellows have built projects that maximize their voice, access, and opportunity to improve the academic experiences of students.”
Janna Vice, Director, the QA Commons (and Provost Emeritus, Eastern Kentucky University)
“It is an honor to be able to help other institutions/programs, and also learn from them. We are stronger together.”
2019-20 EEQ CERT Reviewer
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