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Jobs for the Future Acquires Quality Assurance Framework for Education and Training Programs

Workforce and education-focused nonprofit Jobs for the Future (JFF) has announced the acquisition of Educational Quality Outcomes Standards (EQOS), a nonprofit working to establish universal, independent measures of education and training program quality. EQOS developed and maintains a framework of student outcomes and corresponding metrics (including completion rates, employment and earnings, stakeholder satisfaction and more) to help establish a consistent process for evaluating the postsecondary education and training marketplace.

Launched as an independent nonprofit in April 2020, EQOS originally grew out of the U.S. Department of Education's EQUIP (Educational Quality through Innovative Partnerships) program, a pilot that offered access to federal aid for students in non-traditional training programs while instituting quality assurance processes focused on student educational and employment outcomes. The quality standards were developed by a task force of postsecondary education leaders and policymakers, including author and higher education expert Michael Horn, former U.S. Under Secretary of Education and current American Council on Education President Ted Mitchell, former White House policy advisor John Bailey and former North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue, according to a news announcement.

The addition of EQOS to JFF's portfolio "will reinforce and expand [JFF's] longstanding focus on the testing, design and evaluation of new models of postsecondary education and training," the organization said.

"Even as the economy returns to pre-pandemic unemployment levels, there are millions of working adults in low-wage jobs who do not have access to the sort of workforce-relevant education or training to advance in their careers and navigate the complexities of a quickly changing labor market," said Maria Flynn, president and CEO of JFF, in a statement. "We need new ways to evaluate the rapidly expanding range of career-oriented credentials that exist. This work will bring more transparency to new models of education and skills training, helping learners and workers make better choices as they identify pathways to high-wage careers."

"In a constantly changing job market, understanding skill achievement and return on investment through new models of education, training, and certification brings greater benefit to both workers and employers," commented Kristin Sharp, CEO of EQOS. "As our workforce evolves with innovation and new opportunities, it's even more critical that we evaluate program success based on student outcomes and real-world results. JFF is the perfect partner to help EQOS scale this work as we move into the future."

EQOS will operate as a wholly owned 501(c)(3) nonprofit subsidiary of JFF, with JFF providing fiscal management and overseeing operations and growth. For more information and frequently asked questions, visit the JFF site.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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