Kentucky campuses pilot employability certification for academic programs

Kentucky is the first state in the nation to pilot a certification process that ensures college graduates are ready for the workforce with essential employability skills, or the so-called “soft skills,” that employers say are often lacking in graduates.

Launched just one year ago, three programs are now certified, including two bachelor’s degree programs at Murray State University – construction engineering and technology, and occupational health and safety – and an associate degree in medical assisting at Bluegrass Community and Technical College.

The Essential Employability Qualities (EEQ) certification signals to employers that academic programs integrate essential skills into the curriculum. Essential skills include communication, thinking and problem solving, inquiry, collaboration, adaptability, learning, principles and ethics, and responsibility and professionalism.

“Employers are telling us that we do a pretty good job training our graduates in their academic area, but we don’t do as well in helping them to understand the competencies that they will need in the workplace, whether it’s showing up on time, communicating or solving problems,” said CPE President Aaron Thompson.

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