Is Your College Doing The Right Thing For Students?

With so many disappointed college students graduating without good jobs, much less jobs in their areas of interest, the progressive leaders of some college are starting to pay more attention to the job search preparation needs and concerns of students. Their colleges are actively looking for ways to ensure that greater numbers of students achieve success in the job market. They are trying to do the right thing. Isn’t that what colleges should be doing?

College Leaders who are most respected and appreciated by students:

Vision – Create a Vision that defines what student employment success means to them. (Percentage of students expected to achieve their employment goals, A job in the student’s own field of interest, Acceptable starting salaries for each major and Expected amount of time it will take students to land desirable jobs, etc.)

Goals – Use their Vision Statements to set clear and specific goals with deadlines for improving student employment success.

Communication – Make the goals and expectations known to everyone in the entire college community.

Involvement – Give “absolutely everyone” in the college community a role to play in this important endeavor.

Expectations – Set high expectations for everyone involved in creating and carrying out the programs, systems, training, coaching and results that are needed for greater student employment success.

Accountability – Hold everyone accountable for their performance and the results they achieve in helping students reach their employment goals.

Leadership – Lead by example. Personally do the same things they expect others to do.

Culture – Create a culture where everyone understands and supports the Vision.

Metrics – Use numbers and statistics to track the employment success of students and to identify areas where improvement is needed.

Research – Ensure that at least one team investigates and reports on the best practices that already exist at other colleges. Assigns others to identify the best books, articles, tools and web sites for students to use.

Suggestions – Request and make it easy for anyone to submit suggestions that may help students prepare for and find success in the job market.

Alumni – Contact all recent graduates to find out how the college could have better prepared them to identify, pursue and compete for the best jobs.

Support – Regularly demonstrate their support for the objectives by speaking about them in presentations, in newspaper articles and on radio & TV shows, both on and off campus.

Focus – Keep the spotlight on the objectives and the people who are achieving or exceeding them.

Rewards – Recognize and reward people who suggest or make the changes that result in greater student employment success rates.

Improvement – Place a high value on regular and continuous improvement in the area of student employment success.

We know that the things college students want usually fall into three areas:

1. A good education

2. An enjoyable college experience

3. A good job when they graduate

With this knowledge, it should be obvious that your college can enhance its reputation with current and future students by demonstrating great concern for student success in the job market. Think about your own college and its leaders. When the conversation comes around to student employment success, what will you answer when you are asked, “Is your college doing the right thing for students?”

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