Academic Excellence Is Not Enough.

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What must institutions do to prepare their graduates for success?

Many of us were taught that if you study hard and get good grades, then you will get a good job after school. That is no longer a reality. Students are finding that to be competitive in the job market, they need much more than a diploma. The new workforce readiness study* by McGraw-Hill Education reports that most students are not prepared for life after college. Nearly three quarters of college students reported that planning for a career while in college is “extremely important.” Higher education institutions are expected to ensure students graduate having developed the skills, work experience, and professional network necessary to succeed in today’s competitive job market.

Given that the national student loan debt exceeds $1.3 trillion**, how can you provide students with the career preparation services they need without adding to the crippling financial burden facing most college graduates? The solution is not expensive or complicated. In fact, for less than the average cost of a chemistry textbook, Emerge Education’s four-stage program provides students with the career services they need while differentiating your institution as a leader not only for academic excellence, but also workforce readiness.

Stage 1: Initial Interview Each new student (traditional, adult, and online) receives an in-depth, one-on-one interview with a Career Planner in their first semester that focuses on their selected major, desired location of employment, first-year salary expectations, as well as the projected local and national employment trends in their field. Each student will work with their Career Planner to establish quarterly touch points and milestones throughout the entire academic program.

Stage 2: Building the Résumé Working with their Career Planner, students begin to develop a portfolio of experience based on prior work history, volunteer & extracurricular activities, academic & industry networks, internships, and demonstrated technical skills. The Career Planner will also assist the student in developing effective résumé-writing skills.

Stage 3: Job Search Career Planners help coordinate an aggressive and targeted job search campaign for every student in their final academic year as well as one year after graduation. The Career Planner works directly with the nation’s leading staffing agencies as well as local hospitals, school districts, law enforcement departments, and regional businesses. Prior to graduation, the Career Planner actively searches for open positions and works with human resource departments to arrange interviews for up to one year after graduation.

Stage 4: Outcomes Assessment Through surveys, check-in calls, and email reminders, Career Planners track each student’s progress throughout their academic career and the institution receives quarterly updates on each student for their own tracking purposes. The Career Planners work directly with the institution to monitor the progress of each graduate for up to one full year following graduation.

We believe that starting well is the key to finishing well. Students need to start their academic program with graduation in mind and our Career Planners help them do just that. Contact me today to discuss how your students can benefit from Emerge Education’s Career Planning & Placement Services.

James M. Hunter, PhD

Jim has 20 years of experience at the administration level within higher education institutions. He now uses that experience to help connect higher ed institutions with solutions that allow them to move from surviving to thriving as the Chief Academic Officer and Executive Vice President for Business Development at Emerge Education.

*McGraw-Hill Education’s third annual Workforce Readiness
**US News & World Report