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By Dorothy Hayden, Virginia Military Institute
Why do we assess our programs? There are plenty of jargon laden reasons that we can give to explain why we assess. When I started to explore the topic of assessment in career services about 5 years ago, I desperately searched for a document that would tell me why such diverse stakeholders were wanting learning outcomes, survey results, and first-destination data in rapid succession. My research allowed me to understand just how diverse our stakeholder groups are, but my research was not giving me a good reason why I should assess.
What motivates you to assess your programs, your advising appointments, or other work? I kept reading book after book on assessment and evaluation looking for my answer. Nothing. Finally, I came across the idea of iteration assessment. Iteration assessment requires that the process include building, operationalizing, reflecting on, and improving the process. The word reflect stood out to me. I had always considered that assessment was a purely quantitative analytical process. When I viewed assessment from the lens of reflection, I found a meaningful connection between assessing programs and leading programs when I read Marilee Bresciani Ludvik’s 2006 book, entitled, “Outcomes-Based Academic and Co-Curricular Program Review: A Compilation of Institutional Good Practices.” I took a step back and thought about a few of my office’s most recent assessments. What was the common goal? Why take the time to do pre and post testing? What did this assessment help us achieve? I realized that the common underlying theme of all of this work was to help our students.
Fast forward to today and I now have developed a set of questions which helps me to concurrently build my program and its assessment.
- How does this program benefit our students? As my colleague Dr. Alicia Monroe so aptly says, “It’s all about the students.” We need to ask ourselves when we begin to develop an idea how our students benefit from this action. In offices that are frequently understaffed; every program and every assessment needs to have a purpose. Our goal in career services is to serve our students.
- How will the time invested in evaluating X help you to answer questions previously unanswered? Whether you’re running a pilot program or a career fair for the 100th time, you need to be clear on what you are hoping to assess. Do not collect data for the sake of collecting data.
- When during the iteration process will I evaluate (reflect) on the process? If you don’t identify targeted times to stop and review, you probably won’t assess until June. Set time aside to review your program, the evaluation tool, and preliminary results. This process could be as simple as meeting with your team to review the results collected during a certain amount of time.
- How can we improve this process for the future? The iteration process is intended to be a continuous cycle. Evaluate how the process from idea development to outcomes review can be simplified, more efficient, and more effective. All of this sounds nice, but you need to know that your assessment efforts will fail. Even if you are an expert at program assessment, your tools and measures will at some point be flawed, provide inadequate information, or provide no significant results. Just like the iteration process, you need to develop the time and space to reflect on what you are doing with the intent to improve for the future.
In my learning about assessment, I realized that assessing in career services is about leadership (regardless of our position). We need to be willing to develop a vision, build a plan, run the plan, and take a careful look at the results to consider our outcomes and to improve for the future.
Once you have taken all of these steps, consider sharing what you’ve learned and share your knowledge with others. Did you know that EACE has an Assessment Resource Center for members to share and review assessment resources? If you find yourself stuck on an assessment issue or want to try something new, consider checking out the Assessment Resource Center. It’s free for members, and your contributions can help professionals throughout our region. Another item that has helped me to learn about different program ideas and assessment topics is EACE’s Twitter Chats. I have learned a lot about technology, assessment, program development, and received some great ideas from attending these chats. The chats are held the second Tuesday of each month. Learn more here.
Dorothy Hayden is the Assistant Director of Career Services at Virginia Military Institute. Dorothy enjoys reading about new ideas, programming, and design. When Dorothy is not at work, you’ll likely find her volunteering, cooking, or creating something artistic.
By Sam Ratcliffe
It is with profound sadness that we inform EACE members of the passing of Dr. Marianne Tramelli on March 15, 2018 at age 61. Marianne was EACE President in 2003-2004 and a recipient of the Distinguished Leadership Award in 2013.
A member of EACE and MAPA/MAACE for many years Marianne was Director of Career Services at Columbia University Teachers College for over 20 years and served at Pace University prior to that. A lifelong learner, she earned a coveted doctorate in education from Teachers College in 2017. Her passion for our profession and her outstanding service to EACE were models to which we all can aspire.
The contributions of Marianne to EACE are legendary. Whether serving on a committee or the board, she was exemplary in her preparation, knowledge and achievement of intended outcomes. She was tireless in her leadership work and made others around her feel valued for what they did. Whenever there was a need for action on behalf of her beloved EACE, Marianne was the first to volunteer and contributed in highly meaningful ways.
EACE members who know Marianne well early in her career will also remember her husband Peter, who regularly came to conferences with her and became endeared to many people. Similar to Marianne in multiple ways, Peter fit in so well that several people called him an honorary EACE member – his very untimely death at a young age was a loss felt for many years.
As much as Marianne enjoyed her work in shaping EACE and our profession, she enjoyed life to the very fullest and was a very dear and close friend to many. She had an infectious laugh and exhibited it often, brightening the day for numerous people. Very altruistic in her approach to life, Marianne Tramelli cared deeply for other people and showed it incessantly.
Sometimes our lives intersect with that of others and we are forever changed for the better simply because of that relationship. Such was the case for those who knew Marianne and her death leaves a void in many lives. Hers was a life exceedingly well lived and our lives are much richer because of Marianne Tramelli.
By Jeanine Dames, Associate Dean, Yale College and Director, Office of Career Strategy
Don’t we all struggle to find the right way to assess what we do?
For example, how to best assess if a career fair was effective? Did it work well for the students? Was the experience easy and efficient for employers? Beyond the event, what about the registration process? Were the students adequately prepared? Was the logistical information adequate, such as parking and travel information?
When planning for our career fairs this cycle I sought help from the EACE Assessment Resource HUB to learn from our amazing colleagues. In a matter of seconds, I was thrilled to find not only a sample assessment survey for employers participating in a career fair, but also one for students – thank you colleagues from Rowan University for taking the time to post these tools!
These surveys helped me think about what we are asking – and what we aren’t, and probably should. They provided a clean and user-friendly format that could be completed in a few minutes. Not only did the Resource Hub help me rethink our assessments, it saved me time and resources to not have to start something from scratch. I was inspired by the assistance the Hub gave me and to pay it forward, I uploaded a popular resume rubric used by our office.
So, ask yourself what resources do you need to do your job better or to boost your organization’s performance? Like me, you may be looking at a specific problem and a sample document will be the answer. Or you may want a bigger-picture view of a persistent challenge, and an in-depth article by an expert may offer essential context. EACE’s collection of resources draws heavily on the broad experience and deep knowledge of the community to deliver meaningful perspectives and practical answers.
Visit this ever-growing collection of assessment resources, which will help you generate ideas and save you time. And while there, consider submitting some of your own best stuff. The Assessment Resource Center can be found at www.eace.org under the Resources tab.
Jeanine joined Yale’s Office of Career Strategy in the fall of 2011 after serving as a Director in the Career Development Office at Yale Law School, and a Senior Associate Director in the Career Development Office at the Yale School of Management. Prior to joining Yale, Jeanine worked in career services at both Fordham University School of Law and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in Manhattan. She is an active member of the National Association of Colleges and Employers and was a founding member of the Alumni Section of the Association of Legal Career Professionals. Prior to transitioning to career services, Jeanine was an attorney and practiced real estate and environmental law in New York and Connecticut. She also served as pro bono legal counsel for South Brooklyn Legal Services. She has a B.S. from Cornell University and a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law. Jeanine is an avid Greek Mythology fan and enjoys spending her free time with her husband, son and two dogs – Artemis and Atlas.
By Vivian Lanzot, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Director, Civic Engagement
Many colleges and universities are in the midst of or are getting ready for Spring Break. Although some of students are traveling and having the traditional “vacations” during spring break, many are looking for a way to make a positive impact on their communities during this time off. More and more schools have encompassed the idea of an Alternative Spring Break program to provide students with opportunities to volunteer and build experiences. At New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Alternative Spring Break was created in 2013 to assist communities in their post –Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts. During the first year of the program, over 567 college volunteers participated. Students from NJIT and 23 other colleges as well as faculty, staff and alumni helped eradicate some of the devastation from Superstorm Sandy. Over 600 registered to participate in beach sweeps and park cleanups, deconstructing homes or finishing work (painting or simple carpentry) and surveying communities.
Since 2013, Alternative Spring Break has continued as a tradition at NJIT. Each year, students sign-up for volunteer projects throughout the local Newark community as well as at non-profits across the state. Each service projects provides students with the opportunity to apply skills learned in the classroom as well as the important soft skills employers most seek such as leadership, ability to work in a team, initiative, communication skills, and interpersonal skills. To date we have had a total of 1,541 student, staff and alumni volunteers impacting communities. This year, we add 130 registered students with 16 community agencies for Alternative Spring Break 2018. With the outcome of the latest disasters, domestic and beyond, NJIT’s Alternative Spring Break will continue to engage our students in service that impacts the community and will allow them to not only have an experiential experience but to have a lesson in citizenship. It is a true part of a student’s career and civic development. As a career center, we are happy to have helped support the community and student development.
Kasey Fausak (Fordham University) has been named our Digital Champion. Here’s what her nominator had to say:
“”Kasey, is one of the most innovative users of social media and technology that I have ever met. Kasey’s raw passion for helping students discover their unique skills and interests shines through in everything she does. Whenever Kasey learns about new tools or advancements in the field, she always shares her knowledge with the Career Services community. One such way she does this is through social media — both sharing her own content as well as replying and re-tweeting others’ articles. Kasey is always up on event hashtags, Twitter Chats, and other interactive technology initiatives. What I love most about Kasey’s digital innovation is that she does everything with the primary goal of serving students — her dedication and passion is extremely motivating to everyone who works with her!”
EACE Digital Champions are selected quarterly throughout the academic year. We are seeking nominations of those who utilize technology in new or innovative ways, are new to technology, but going full-force, or those who are engaging the EACE community through exceptional social media use. If you know an EACE member who is doing great things in this digital age, we want to hear about it.
Congratulations to Mohamed L. Sesay (Binghamton University) and Jasmin Senior (CSL Behring), 2018 EACE Diversity and Inclusion Scholarship Recipients!
Scholarship in Memory of Rick McLellan: Mohamed L. Sesay
Mohamed Sesay explored career paths in education, marketing and publishing, before returning to Binghamton University as as Career Consultant. A former student staff member in the Fleishman Center, Mohamed now supervises the Senior Peer Assistants, consults students and creates career-oriented programs for university partner offices. He is goal-oriented and wants to coach students to achieve their goals and successes.
Mohamed has a Bachelor degree in English, and is currently pursing a Master of Public Administration. During his free time he enjoys traveling, museum and art exhibits, and listening to podcasts.
Scholarship in Memory of Ernie Andrews: Jasmin Senior
Jasmin Senior Bostic is the Global Manager of University Relations at CSL Behring located in King of Prussia, PA. In her role, Jasmin is responsible for the implementation and execution of University Relations and Recruitment strategy in the US, Australia, Germany, Switzerland and Hong Kong. Prior to joining CSL, Jasmin spent 10 years in Campus Recruiting and Diversity at Comcast NBCUniversal and Ernst & Young.
Jasmin is passionate about community service and mentoring youth. She very involved in the Philadelphia area having recently served as the President of NExT (Network of Extraordinary Talent) Philadelphia, an affinity group of the Urban League of Philadelphia, Advisory Board Member of PHLDiversity, The Ivy Legacy Foundation and the Drexel University Employer Advisory Board. Jasmin resides in Philadelphia with her husband Atif.
For more information on EACE Diversity and Inclusion Scholarships, including previous recipients, please visit our website.
By Ethan Selinger, Northeastern University
A major goal of career services professionals is to create and maintain vital connections with employers. It can be easy to focus on simply building an employer base with the institution. However, when working with employers, it is vital to remember that a match goes beyond just what’s best for the college. Employer relations is a two-way street. There needs to be a benefit to an employer to invest resources, such as time and money, offering positions and hiring students. According to NACE’s Job Outlook Survey (2017), 91% of employers prefer that recent graduates possess relevant work experience, and over half (56%) of employers prefer that graduates work experience come from an internship or co-op1. In other words, these experiential opportunities are important for both institutions and employers. There are a variety of reasons for employers to hire students as pre-graduates for internship/co-op opportunities, including mentorship opportunities and a talent pipeline to entry level positions in the company. However, without the necessary programs and structures in place by an institution, this connection cannot be established.
When working with employers, I always try to keep the fact that a successful partnership is a two-way street in mind. I cannot imagine my pitch to any employer being effective without a major emphasis on the benefit to the company. Before I work with any employer, I take some time to research the company, scanning their website to gain an understanding of services offered, team structures, etc. and articulate specific examples of programs offered by the college and how the skills and concepts being taught could potentially fit the hiring needs of the employer. Though my ultimate focus is on developing opportunities for my students, my emphasis is on the benefit for the employer during calls, meetings, etc.
I have also found the importance of focusing on skills and concepts over a major or program of study when working with employers. From my experience, employers are more focused on traits and abilities then the program of study itself. I mention programs we offer, but always make sure to discuss how the employer could benefit from the content of the program, or how multiple programs could be of benefit.
I am continually building on my skills in working with employers. As with interviewing, repetition is key. The more employers I work with, the more natural it becomes. Though I have only worked in the field for a couple of years, I have worked to develop a variety of opportunities with new employers that have hired my students. Seeing my students hired, and knowing I played a major role in building the relationship is immensely rewarding.
EACE members, what are your best practices for working with employers and creating new relationships? Employers, what do you hope to see from institutions and career development professionals?
1. NACE Staff, “Employers Prefer Candidates with Work Experience,” Naceweb.org, last modified April 05, 2017, http://www.naceweb.org/talent-acquisition/candidate-selection/employers-prefer-candidates-with-work-experience/
Ethan Selinger is currently a Cooperative Education (Co-op) Advisor at Northeastern University’s College of Computer and Information Science
By Zachary Saeva, Director of Public Relations & Communications, EACE
Well EACE members, it’s that wonderful time of year where we vote for the future leadership of our organization! What a great time to look at what it is like to be on the board. This is my first time serving on the board and I’m in my first term. At first I was intimidated to serve. I’ve only been working professionally for four years and I wondered how I could contribute at the board level. Working as a co-chair was rewarding and within my skill set, however I thought the board would push me more outside my comfort zone. I also feared that volunteering at this level would require a great deal of time and that I would struggle with balancing my full-time role and this responsibility. In the end, I thought it was worth taking a step of faith and I am glad I did.
Working alongside current board members has been rewarding and supportive. Getting to know my colleagues is probably my favorite part. It’s neat to hear what’s going on in their region and their organizations. I can see how we all are working toward the common goal of making EACE a better organization for our members. We discuss strategic initiatives and brag about the great innovative things our committees are doing. We challenge one another’s ideas and thoughts with the goal of progressing ideas to actionable steps. Our meetings and conference calls are productive and I feel like it is time well spent. I’ve enjoyed connecting with my co-chairs and providing them with support to reach their goals as well.
Serving on the board for EACE is a rewarding work. It does take time and energy but it has been worth it for me and I know it can be for the future board members as well. I wish you all the candidates the best of luck in this upcoming election!
The election for the 2018-2019 Board of Directors is now open. Help create the new board and support the future of EACE. All EACE members are eligible to vote by going to https://eace.memberclicks.net/2018-2019-elections. Voting closes on Friday, March 16th at 3:00 PM.
Zac Saeva is the Career Coach for Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Social Work at Nazareth College.