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.
OA Commons is celebrating the certification of three new programs at Murray State University in Kentucky. Recently, Animal Technology, Music Business, and History with Social Studies Certification were all granted the EEQ CERT designation. The certification validates that each program is producing graduates equipped with the Essential Employability Qualities (EEQs) and that the QA Commons’ five (program-level) standards of care are being fulfilled. The variety of the certified programs demonstrates the relevance of EEQs to all sectors and fields of study.
The diversity of the newly certified programs also provides a view into how EEQ Certification can build on the unique opportunities already offered in a program. For example, students in the History program, which certifies educators for high school social studies, apply their learning through a range of real-life supervised teaching experiences, such as the Practicum in Secondary Schools, Student Teaching in the Secondary School, and Extended Practicum. This practical element plays a key role in developing and assessing a broad range of EEQs in the students, while participating in the EEQ Certification program allows educators and administrators to more intentionally cultivate those skills.
Meanwhile, the Music Business program provides students with numerous work-relevant projects such as creating and presenting a public relations plan to a panel of industry experts and collaborating with an artist to manage their social media portfolio. These particular experiences support the EEQs on Communication and Collaboration, giving students experience in being positive team members and in providing and receiving constructive feedback.
“The music business industry is very diverse and graduates must have essential skills in order to find employment,” said Karen Kane, instructor and music business program director at Murray State. “Through this partnership, we hope to more clearly document the success of our graduates, adapt learning outcomes so that graduates continue to thrive in employment, and actively recruit new students into our program.”
The Animal Technology program brings industry experts to speak as a part of the curriculum, giving students exposure to networking opportunities from the start of their academic career. The program also supports co-curricular activities through the 20+ clubs and organizations within the Hutson School of Agriculture, with a high level of participation. Many of these clubs and organizations provide services to the community and take part in philanthropic work. Students are actively encouraged to participate in clubs and organizations as a way to connect with their classmates, their professors, those within the community, and alumni.
Dr. Tim Todd, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, intends to build on these early successes by certifying at least one program in each academic college, thus integrating the EEQ framework into the fabric of the University. Three programs achieved EEQ Certification as a part of the inaugural cohort of EEQ CERT programs: Construction Management and Architecture, Cybersecurity and Network Management, and Occupational Safety and Health (all in the Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering, and Technology). Other programs currently undergoing the certification process are Organizational Communication and Leadership (Arthur J. Bauernfiend College of Business), Criminal Justice (College of Education and Human Services) and Agricultural Science (Huston School of Agriculture). We look forward to sharing their stories soon!
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