Educational Programming


Employability and Post-Completion Quality Assurance

Post-completion outcomes are a critical measure of program quality, but have not historically been given the same attention as completion and “student success.” That is changing, with increasing scrutiny from policymakers and the public around post-secondary return-on-investment. Attention to employability is relevant to every field of study.

In this session, we will explore elements of of QA Commons’ Employability Framework, with noteworthy practices and examples within each of the framework’s five standards of care:

  • Development of Essential Employability Qualities
  • Career and Integrated Support Services
  • Employer Engagement
  • Student and Alumni Engagement
  • Public Information

Dialogue is welcome and encouraged. Time will be dedicated to a Q&A session.

Register for Webinar Here


Dr. Chris Mayer

Associate Professor and Acting Department Head of the Department of English & Philosophy

United States Military Academy, West Point

Dr. (Colonel) Mayer develop the Army’s future leaders by preparing them think and communicate critically, creatively, and effectively and to clearly assess the implications of complex ethical questions. This development primarily occurs through philosophy, literature, and composition coursework, but it also happens in many other ways inside and outside of the classroom.

The intersecting and uncertain futures of higher education, work, and leadership have created challenges and opportunities for people and organizations. His work focuses on preparing people and organizations to thrive in this uncertainty.

Dr. Mayer serves as an evaluator for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and a reviewer for the Quality Assurance Commons. He is also a senior editor for Visionarium: International Journal of Emerging and Disruptive Innovation in Education and an Association of Professional Futurists Emerging Fellow.

Dr. Mayer holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, an M.A. from Virginia Tech, an M.P.A. from Murray State University, and a B.S. from the United States Military Academy.

Dr. Laura Ken Hoffman

Professor of Animal Health Technology

Murray State University

Dr. Hoffman is a full-time professor in the Pre-Vet/Animal Health Technology Program and also takes shifts at the Murray Animal Hospital. At Murray State, she is focused on preparing students for vet school, as well as engaging them in experiential learning and hands-on opportunities in the community.

Dr. Hoffman holds a Ph.D. in Veterinary Medicine from Auburn University and a B.S. in Agriculture from Murray State University. She is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association.

Michelle Deasy

Vice President

Quality Assurance Commons (QA Commons)

Ms. Deasy leads all Employability projects for the QA Commons, an organization dedicated to ensuring all learners are prepared for the changing dynamics of the workforce and economy. She has held several roles in corporate America (Merrill Lynch, Oracle Corporation, Atlas Capital Advisors), as well as with the Research and Planning Group for the California Community Colleges.

Ms. Deasy holds an M.A. in Demography from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.S. in Development Sociology from Cornell University.

Dr. Tiffany Rodriguez

Chief Academic Officer

American College of Healthcare Sciences

Over the last decade Tiffany’s work has focused on supporting institutions in the areas of Institutional Effectiveness, programmatic and regional accreditation, new product development, and strategic planning. Prior to being appointed Chief Academic Officer at ACHS, she spent 15 years in Institutional Research roles. As a faculty member, she has taught courses in Research Methods, Motor Neuroscience, and Biomechanics.

Dr. Rodriguez a Ph.D. in Biomechanics and B.S. in Health and Kinesiology from Texas A&M University. She also earned a certificate from the WSCUC Assessment Leadership Academy focused on student learning outcomes assessment, program review, and higher education leadership.



Creating Capacity for Quality and Equitable Digital Learning

A Professional Development Workshop Series for Faculty, Staff and Administrators at NWCCU Institutions


Amidst the backdrop of the global pandemic and social unrest, educators across the country are grappling with the ways in which they might move towards building sustainable foundations for inclusive access to a quality and equitable education for all learners. With the knowledge that all stakeholders within the online learning community must be a part of this solutions work, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities has established a new initiative to provide comprehensive professional learning and strategic support for educators at their institutions around the topic of high impact, equitable practices for online, blended, and digital learning.

In partnership with the Online Learning Consortium (OLC) and Every Learner Everywhere (ELE) and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, this free workshop series provides in-depth preparation on quality online course design, facilitation, and assessment to ensure their students receive a high-quality education, regardless of modality.

Learn more about the workshop series below, which will open to NWCCU institutions this summer to help educators increase their capacity for designing and delivering quality online education that centers on student access and equity-mindedness.

About the Workshop Series

This series of customized trainings on equitable online education is designed for educators of different roles and across discipline groups to engage in a series of topics related to the development and facilitation of quality instruction offered in digital learning environments. The trainings are broken down into three discrete workshops tailored to the following respective populations:

  1. Train the Trainer: Educators who might serve as mentors to faculty responsible for the design and facilitation of online courses
  2. Faculty Focus: Educators who are seeking resources and support for designing, facilitating, and assessing quality online instruction within inclusive digital learning environments
  3. Leadership Focus: Institutional leaders and decision makers responsible for leading and scaling quality digital learning that equitably supports educational success
Registration Opens July 13, 2022
Workshops Open August 1, 2022
Registration Closes Mid-October 2022
Workshops Close November 30, 2022

How are the workshops structured?

Each workshop is designed to be taken completely asynchronously within a fully-online and self-paced environment. The workshops can be completed on your own time and should take you about 10 hours to complete the core content, with options to dig deeper into critical topics that may be of interest based on your unique goals and needs. Additionally, the workshops include facilitator guides that offer ways in which you might complete these trainings as a cohort of colleagues within your institution, providing suggestions for how you can create a small community of practice around the self-paced instruction.

Which workshop(s) should I take?

Creating Capacity for Quality Digital Learning: Train the Trainer

This workshop is geared towards the accelerators and ambassadors of online learning at their institutions, often working closely with faculty to support them in the design and facilitation of their courses. Participants include a broad collection of digital learning leaders and advocates from the NWCCU institutions whose roles might include: 1) online learning program staff, instructional designers, faculty developers, and related Center for Teaching and Learning personnel; and 2) faculty leads, program heads, and department chairs with influence over online, blended, and digital learning

Target Audience: This workshop is developed specifically for the staff and faculty ambassadors of online teaching and learning at each of the institutions, as well as other critical stakeholders.

Outcomes – At the completion of the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Define quality online learning experiences across disciplines, contexts, and environments that are equitable and inclusive
  • Guide faculty in ensuring alignment across learning objectives, content and assessments within online courses
  • Implement evidence-based design strategies for equitable and accessible online teaching and learning
  • Facilitate effective learning experiences with inclusive, student-centered digital environments
  • Utilize frameworks and evaluation tools for assessing the equity and quality of online course design and instruction
  • Create training and mentorship opportunities for faculty designing, facilitating, and continuously improving digital learning that supports equitable student outcomes
  • Contribute to achieving educational equity and success through the support of quality digital learning

Topics Covered – The workshop is broken down into a series of topics that broadly fit within three stages of the online course lifecycle – design, facilitation, and assessment. This includes (but is not limited to) lessons and guidance on the following areas:

  • Key Characteristics of Quality Online Learning
  • Importance of Quality Standards
  • Equitable and Inclusive Design Practices
  • Backwards Design
  • Course Alignment
  • Assessment Design & Planning
  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
  • Facilitation Strategies
  • Continuous Quality Review


Creating Capacity for Quality Digital Learning: Faculty Focus

This workshop is best suited for faculty members from all disciplines charged with building and/or facilitating instruction in digital learning environments at NWCCU member institutions. Instructors can have any level of expertise with online, blended, and digital learning, including those who are brand new to quality, equitable online instruction.

Target Audience: This workshop is for faculty, staff and administrators who are new to online, blended, and digital learning, and are looking for faculty development on the essential elements of quality digital learning.

Outcomes – At the completion of the facilitated workshop or after utilizing the self-paced resource toolkit, participants will be able to:

  • Define the fundamental characteristics of a quality online course that centers equity
  • Leverage a series of techniques, resources, and tools to build an online course centered on the five pillars of quality – learning effectiveness, access, scale, faculty satisfaction, and student satisfaction
  • Employ strategies for engagement, accessibility, cultural relevance, and representation within online, blended, and digital learning environments
  • Continuously improve course design and facilitation practices using quality and equity frameworks
  • Address challenges of endemic racial and socioeconomic inequities within digital learning environments present at the course and program levels

Topics Covered – Both the facilitated workshop and the self-paced resource kit will offer foundational instruction on the key components of and approaches to quality online instruction, as well as opportunities to dig deeper into connected topics that promote engaged online learning

  • Characteristics of Quality Online Learning
  • Course Mapping and Planning
  • Instructor Presence and Student Engagement
  • Content and Assessment Design
  • Student Readiness and Expectations
  • Designing with Equity and Access in Mind
  • Continuous Improvement


Creating Capacity for Quality Digital Learning: Leadership Focus

This workshop provides instruction for those looking to advance institutional transformation through digital strategy that centers quality and equity. This workshop is tailored to Provosts, Vice Provosts, Directors, Deans, and/or any other NWCCU member institution leadership roles charged with supporting, enhancing, or building digital learning environments.

Target Audience: This program is developed specifically for the leaders responsible for digital learning at the respective NWCCU member institutions, as well as other critical stakeholders as identified by those leaders.

Outcomes – At the completion of the workshop, leaders will be able to:

  • Define quality online learning experiences across disciplines, contexts, and environments
  • Guide administrators and decision makers in creating digital strategy aligned to the organizational mission and vision
  • Operationalize institutional strategies for equitable and accessible online teaching and learning
  • Support stakeholders across the institution in the design, facilitation, and assessment of digital learning
  • Systematize training and mentorship opportunities for faculty moving online
  • Provide direction and operational continuity for assessing the efficacy and quality digital learning practices

Topics Covered – The workshop is broken down into a series of topics that encompass the creation of a framework and foundation for digital strategy across the institution that centers quality, equity, and access. The workshop curriculum focuses on institutional support and strategic actions for aligning the organization’s mission and vision to the operationalization of digital strategy. This includes (but is not limited to) lessons and guidance on the following areas:

  • Key Characteristics of Quality Online Learning
  • Importance of Quality Standards
  • Equitable and Inclusive Digital Learning
  • Organizational Capacity and Leadership for Digital Learning
  • Creating Digital Strategy for the Institution
  • Assessment Design and Planning
  • Change Management and Leadership
  • Continuous Quality Review


How do I access the workshop(s)?

Once you determine which workshop(s) works best for you, you will register for the self-paced workshop(s) to gain access to the course built in the LMS, Canvas.

How long do I have to complete the workshop(s)?

Once the workshops open, you will have open access throughout the semester. You can choose to complete the workshop(s) in a focused period of 10 hours within a week or two, or spread out your engagement with the topics throughout the semester. You will have access to these workshops until November 30, 2022.

How do I register?

To register, you will need to create an account on OLC’s website, log-in and click on the registration link below for the workshop you would like to register for:

Once you register, you will get an email with information on next steps.


For questions about this workshop series, including how to register, please feel free to contact NWCCU’s Educational Programming Coordinator, Jordan Kamai, If you need technical assistance, please contact the OLC workshop support team at