Our response to COVID19

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.


The EEQs: A Draft Blueprint for Employability Competencies

Holly Zanville, from Lumina Foundation (our project’s funder), recently posted this piece titled Competency Frameworks: Blueprints for Strong Learning Structures.

In developing our draft of the Essential Employability Qualities (EEQ) Graduate Profile, we referenced numerous existing frameworks, including;

The EEQ Graduate Profile also represents current and future employer expectations as reflected in numerous studies, such as those completed by Burning Glass, LinkedIn, ACT, the Foresight Alliance, Jobs for the Future, Career Tech, the Business Roundtable, O*NET, third way, National Network of Business and Industry Associations, and the Institute for the Future, to name a few.

Of particular note about using frameworks is this paragraph from Holly’s piece:

Of course, the learning framework is only the foundation, the first step to building a strong house for all credentials, both in education and in workforce training. It’s also important to remember that blueprints can be used to design multiple houses ─ each with different features. The blueprint is a foundation, a starting point, not a rigid “cookie-cutter” tool that eliminates appropriate differences and variations among credentialing pathways.

The QA Commons’ EEQ Graduate Profile will be reviewed and refined as part of the EEQ Certification pilot in the 2017-18 academic year. We are looking forward to partnering with our pilot programs to learn how such competencies map to their existing program or course outcomes, how pilot programs address and assess them, the most compelling evidence of graduates’ readiness accordingly, and what employers and students have to say about them. From there, we hope to realize a blueprint, in the way that Holly describes, to reflect the essential employability qualities we all need to thrive in and contribute to the ever-changing 21st century world of work.


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