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Improving the Career Center

Improving the Career Center

Suggestion/Problem/Idea:

Given the challenges of the job market today, it was decided immediate improvements to the Career Center were needed to provide more opportunities for our students and to make our students more competitive for those opportunities. A study in the spring semester of 2012 surveyed students, alumni, and parents and identified mixed opinions about the services the Career Center offered. Some criticisms were 1) The outlook of the Career Center is inconsistent with the aspirations of our students; 2) the website and web interface were dated, clumsy, and inadequate; and 3) students felt ill-prepared for life after college and could not articulate their ideal first job.

 

Update:

Several suggestions were made by the faculty, staff, and students who conducted the survey in spring 2012. The suggestions deal with addressing the college’s culture around finding one’s career and calling, as well as recognizing the importance of preparing students for life after college. Some suggestions were: 1) The college needs to state that is has high career aspirations for our students and alumni, and this must be highlighted in conversations, the college’s curriculum and co-curricular activities, printed materials, and the website; 2) The college needs to focus resources and energy on the transition to life after college; 3) The college needs to make more strategic use of technology; 4) The college needs to focus on strengthening collaborations between students, alumni, employers, the Career Center, and faculty/staff members; and 5) The college must find ways to enhance the effectiveness of career services programming, getting a larger percentage of students to engage in preparing for life after college.

Resolution:

The Career Center has achieved the following resolution: completing two new technology initiatives, including a new website and a searchable, online networking community. It has also made significant progress on changing the college’s culture around the transition to life after college by creating an advertising campaign with the theme “Colorado College Students Do Great Things” and by working to with faculty liaisons and alumni and parent volunteers to provide students with career-related programming, advice and networking suggestions, and enhanced competitiveness in pursuing post-graduate opportunities. The Career Center now has a full-time professional engaged in outreach work, enhancing relationships with about 100 important employers and graduate and professional programs.