Is “Assessment” an Evil Word? continued
EACE contribution by Carol Crosby,Assistant Director in Career Services at Bridgewater State University.
If you have read my last three blogs, you would know that my office (Career Services at Bridgewater State University), in an evaluative and assessment process we now call the Student to Professional Project had:
- Added the learning and practicing of professional skills to our mission statement;
- Surveyed employers, faculty and staff to determine these skills;
- Established the following 28 skills as necessary for our students’ professional development:
|Verbal Communication||Professional Writing||Professional Relationships||Teamwork|
|Negotiation||Customer Service||Networking||Social Media Professionalism|
|Financial Knowledge and Skills||Time Management||Field Specific Knowledge||Field Specific Skills|
|Critical and Analytical Skills||Computer Skills||Research Skills||Organizational Ability|
|Leadership||Followership||Professional Goals||Professional Ethics|
|Independence||Advocacy||Professional Behavior||Professional Presence|
|Professional Attire||Work/Life Balance||Diversity Awareness||Global Awareness|
Now we had to figure out what to do with this new-found knowledge.
Since the entire counseling team had worked together on developing these skill categories, the next step metamorphosed all on its own. All of our counselors were now both interested and invested in the project and conversations continued around the lunch table and in spare moments during the work day. Staff began looking at the categories to see what was missing in our work with students.
“Social media came up in several responses to the survey.” said one counselor, a few days after we developed the categories. “We need to do more to make sure that our students understand and use social media appropriately.”
So, I scheduled another meeting to look at what we were doing in our office to help our students learn and practice social media skills. During our discussion – we looked at our materials, our online presence, and our programming. We realized that we were on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, but while we were adding information to these sites and responding to students, we weren’t actually providing learning and practicing opportunities. It is possible that students could learn from seeing what we did on these sites, but we needed to develop a more direct approach to skill development. So now we needed to:
- Create active learning and practicing opportunities for skill development
How did we do that? Well, my next blog posting will show you the steps we took to help students learn and practice their social media skills.
By now, I hope you realize that I have been creating very simple steps for you to develop a Student to Professional Project in your own Career Services office. I have added the steps below and will continue to include them and add to them at the bottom of my future blogs. Should you have any questions about my process or this project, please feel free to contact me.
Developing a Student to Professional Project in your own Career Services Office
- Add the learning and practicing of professional skills to your office’s mission statement;
- Survey employers, faculty and staff in your community to determine these skills;
- Create a list of skills necessary for your students’ professional development;
- Review your office’s materials, on-line presence and programming for missing opportunities for skill development.
Carol Crosby is Assistant Director in Career Services at Bridgewater State University. She has also worked in Student Affairs at Wesleyan University, University of Connecticut, and Brandeis University. She received her M.S. in College Student Personnel from University of Rhode Island and her B.A. in English from Wheaton College. You can connect with her through LinkedIn or by e-mailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.