Below are the slides from our 2018 Assessment Institute presentation on Assessing Learners’ Essential Employability Qualities, featuring the experiences and practices of two of our EEQ Pilot partners – University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Joan Cook and Brandman University’s Laurie Dodge.
We just added a great new resource over on the EEQ Resources page:
Connecting Bridges: The Cocurricular Career Connections Leadership Model – by Adam Peck and Michael Preston. (NACE Journal, August 2018). The C3 model offers a structure for bridging and integrating a variety of experiences on and off campus, including 1) connecting cocurricular learning to classroom learning, 2) connecting experiential learning to learning in structured leadership development programs, and 3) connecting learning in college to learning throughout one’s career.
With this seven-module online certificate, you will learn how to teach communication, teamwork, critical thinking, and self-motivated learning—four “soft skills” strongly linked to student success. This course will provide college educators and administrators with a strong foundation in the theory, research, and practical applications of these crucial 21st-century skills. You’ll also examine skills frameworks, critiques of these frameworks, instructional design principles, and the science behind each of the four skills.
Course is taught by award-winning author and presenter Matthew Hora.
At the conclusion of the course, students will demonstrate:
an in-depth and critical understanding of 21st-century skills frameworks
a deeper understanding of the research behind teamwork, communication, critical thinking, and self-regulated learning
an understanding of how these four skills should be conceptualized and taught in their own disciplines
how to incorporate best practices for teaching these skills into their own curriculum and instruction
Employabilityisthe ability to find, create and sustain work and learning across lengthening working lives and multiple work settings.
EEQ Development & Assessment
Degree programs intentionally designed to develop, address, and assess expected EEQ exit proficiencies so there is assurance that all students will graduate from the program fully prepared.
Applied research projects designed to addresses real problems in a partner employer’s organizations.
Course-embedded community service projects that allow students to directly apply their learning to real community needs.
Specific assignments designed so that students can learn content while also practicing different EEQs (e.g., written proposals, presentations, team-based formats, etc.).
Experiential learning pathways that allow students to apply their learning in work-relevant situations at several points throughout a program.
Team-based capstone projects situated in workplaces and co-taught with employers.
Classes co-taught with employers; employers involved in directly assessing student work.
Career Development, Planning, and Support
Courses intentionally designed to support students in understanding the world of work and its expectations.
Career development programming integrated across the curriculum and over time, such as embedded career planning activities in courses.
Guest speakers from industries and organizations embedded in courses to engage students in considering industry or organization-specific career possibilities.
A cross-campus integrated approach to career preparedness through civic engagement.
Enhanced student records that convey students’ EEQ development and outcomes in visually accessible and appealing ways.
Competency-based badging practices that communicate students’ abilities in visible, verifiable ways.
Employer engagement models that go well beyond a traditional Advisory Board into authentic partnerships, or even “employer-attached” curriculum and pedagogy (where employers serve as co-faculty and assessors of student work).
Employers and programs working together to develop and test new approaches, such as badging, developing talent pipelines through partnerships, and work-integrated learning modules.
Graduate / Alumni Feedback
Use of findings from well-designed alumni surveys, which address not only program satisfaction but also graduates’ sense of preparedness for employment, graduate employment outcomes, and feedback for program improvement.
Purposeful inclusion of alumni who employ program graduates into advisory boards or other feedback mechanisms.
We’re grateful to our partner programs for their contributions to this work! Read the full EEQ CERT Pilot Finding Report HERE.
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.
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:
competency-based education, which allows learners to show what they know as soon as they know it and move quickly to the next level;
employer and industry-led models, which radically lower the opportunity costs of education by providing further training on the job;
the latest labor market intelligence tools and techniques, which provide educators with powerful insights into the changing skills marketplace;
dynamic and work-based pedagogy, to instill the critical skills needed for the future of work; and
new pathways and business models that support access and completion for learners at any point in their career and at virtually any income level.
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.
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.
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.