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 Power of Employability Skills Badges

The college degree has a branding issue, increasingly perceived as a costly investment with uncertain returns, failing to adequately convey the value and relevance of the skills and knowledge it provides in today’s job market. QA Commons sees student employability badging as a key solution. A 2020 study by Hill et al. sheds light on the impact of displaying transferable skills badges andprovides valuable insights that support its efficacy.

The study, titled ‘They help us realize what we’re actually gaining,’ delves into the experiences of undergraduates and teaching staff involved in a transferable skills badging program. The findings reveal that badges serve as powerful motivators for students, offering tangible recognition for their skills and achievements beyond traditional academic measures. Moreover, badges provide students with a means for identifying and articulating their skills, enhancing their confidence and employability prospects.

Through a structured badging process, students can showcase their proficiency in Essential Employability Qualities (EEQs) enhancing their marketability to prospective employers. By partnering with educational institutions and industry stakeholders, QA Commons ensures that badges reflect the evolving needs of the workforce, providing students with a competitive edge in the job market. Within the Missouri Department of Corrections, Business Technology, Customer Service, Culinary Arts, and Professional Gardening CTE instructors worked with QA Commons to pull out and document the employability skill-building activities in which their students have engaged. During the Fall 2024 semester, in partnership with the American Historical Association, a cohort of college and university history programs from across the country will be doing the same. Students of all of these programs receive badges via the Credly platform.

Another key finding of the study was the positive impact of badges on teaching staff. Faculty members reported increased engagement and satisfaction in delivering skills-focused curriculum, knowing that their efforts directly contribute to students’ professional development. By integrating badge criteria into course design and assessment, instructors can align learning objectives with real-world skill demands, preparing students for the complexities of the modern workforce.

As educational institutions strive to prepare students for success in their careers, student employability badging offers a promising avenue for bridging the gap between academia and the workforce, empowering students to thrive in the ever-changing professional landscape.


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