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 CERT embraces eight Essential Employability Qualities － The qualities are not specific to any discipline, field, or industry, but are applicable to most work-based, professional environments; they represent the knowledge, skills, abilities, and experiences that help ensure that graduates are not only ready for their first job, but also support learners’ foundation for a lifetime of engaged employment and participation in the rapidly changing workplace of the 21st century.
The QA Commons work is centered on five Categories － graduate preparation, career services support, employer engagement, student & alumni engagement, and public information. Together, the eight EEQs and the five category represent a comprehensive and integrated framework for employability.
Our suite of services includes offerings at the institution, program, and faculty-levels. Please scroll down for descriptions of each.
Domain: College/University or System
Timeframe: Dependent upon scope
To assess and contribute to the development of an institution-wide culture supporting employability of all learners.
Timeframe: 3 months
With input from multiple stakeholders, the Scan provides a basis for reflection, identification of gaps, and comparison of responses with other postsecondary programs.
Timeframe: 6 months
The ESA provides a comprehensive framework for self-examination how well a program addresses the employability needs of its students.
Timeframe: Dependent upon scope
Programs interested in strengthening their graduate employability preparation may engage in an action plan with the EEQ CERT team.
Timeframe: 6-9 months
Submission of a portfolio of evidence is the paramount activity in the EEQ CERT process.
Domain: Faculty / Professional Development
Timeframe: 10 months (one academic year)
The Faculty Fellows program was designed to engage faculty more deeply in creating cultures supporting employability.
(In development for the 2020/21 academic year)
Timeframe: Designed to serve specific needs
The QA Commons is developing programs designed to work with specific teams and topics.
“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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