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.
Ruth Bridgstock(2009)The graduate attributes we’ve overlooked: enhancing graduate employability through career management skills,Higher Education Research & Development,28:1,31-44,DOI: 10.1080/07294360802444347
Abstract: Recent shifts in education and labour market policy have resulted in universities being placed under increasing pressure to produce employable graduates. However, contention exists regarding exactly what constitutes employability and which graduate attributes are required to foster employability in tertiary students. This paper argues that in the context of a rapidly changing information‐ and knowledge‐intensive economy, employability involves far more than possession of the generic skills listed by graduate employers as attractive. Rather, for optimal economic and social outcomes, graduates must be able to proactively navigate the world of work and self‐manage the career building process. A model of desirable graduate attributes that acknowledges the importance of self‐management and career building skills to lifelong career management and enhanced employability is presented. Some important considerations for the implementation of effective university career management programs are then outlined.
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
The Center for Research on College-Workforce Transitions is hosting a National Symposium on College Internship Research.
Friday September 28th, 9:00am – 6:00pm
Pyle Center Vandeberg Auditorium, 121
The goals of the inaugural College Internship Symposium are as follows:
To convey and discuss the current state of empirical research on college internships.
To cultivate a community of scholars, practitioners, and policymakers involved in studying and implementing college internships in order to provide networking and collaborative opportunities.
To provide a venue for in-depth discussions regarding critical design, legal, and institutionalization issues related to college internships.
To catalyze changes in how colleges, universities, and employers design internships so that they are equitable and high-quality for all students.
To put student interests and welfare at the center of debates and policymaking regarding college internships.
Panels at the Symposium will also highlight the voices of students and employers who have recently been involved with internship programs, the value of translational or applied research to make empirical findings actionable and useable, and recommendations for future research, policy, and practice.
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.
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.
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:
Effective Use of Labor Market Data and Intelligence
Targeted Higher Education-Industry Partnerships
Planning, Advising and Career Services
Work-integrated, Cooperative and Internship-based Learning
Beyond the Skills Gap: Preparing College Students for Life and Work just received the Ness Book Award at the 2018 AAC&U conference. I attended the authors’ session at the conference and learned quite a bit about their research and work in Wisconsin, and the connections to the Essential Employability Qualities Certification that we are developing. It was an informative and provocative session, with some critical considerations for higher educational programs seeking to make sure their graduates are prepared not just for their first jobs, but for a lifetime of employability in the changing world of work they will encounter.
Beyond the Skills Gap: Preparing College Students for Life and Work explores how educators can ensure that graduates are adequately prepared for the future, challenging the argument that sluggish economic growth is due to a higher education system insufficiently attuned to workplace needs, with the solution being more specialized technical training and fewer liberal arts graduates. The book’s authors challenge this conception of the “skills gap,” highlighting instead the value of broader twenty-first-century skills in postsecondary education. In the book, the authors advocate for a system in which employers share responsibility along with the education sector to serve the collective needs of the economy, society, and students. Beyond the Skills Gap emphasizes the critical role of educational practice and design in preparing students for the workforce and ensuring that future employees develop robust technical expertise, cultivate problem-solving and communication skills, transfer abstract knowledge to real-world situations, and foster a lifelong aptitude for self-directed learning.
HERE is a link to the session slides posted by Matt Hora, one of the book’s authors and the key presenter at the session. Take a look at slide #14 about classroom methods. Also, check out the “Six things we need to do” at the end. Many of these actions align to our Draft Criteria for Certification – Version 2. What do you think?