The Indiana University Board of Trustees heard an update from leaders across several IU campuses about strategies and initiatives aimed at integrating career advising into students’ lives.
“IU educates students for almost any career they want to pursue,” Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs John Applegate said. “Our career advising programs make that critical connection between educational experience and career pathway. Connecting students and careers is a priority for every campus and the university as a whole.”
Rebecca Torstrick, senior assistant vice president for university academic affairs and director of the Office of Completion and Student Success, described the university’s work through Career EDGE — Exploration, Development, Graduation, Employment — a Lilly-funded initiative to build career modules that faculty can embed in their coursework.
“Career EDGE is an effort to use our learning management system in a new way to bring career knowledge directly to students by allowing faculty to embed career content and skills directly into their courses if they choose,” Torstrick said. “Now, we’re in the midst of turning it into a self-enrolling version so that, regardless of whether it’s part of a course, students will be able to access it. They’re very practical modules that walk students through creating a resume, interview practices, creating a network.”
Misti Jones, assistant director of IU Southeast’s Career Development Center and a career coach/employer liaison, highlighted her campus’s work with the Advising Center for Exploratory Students, focused on ensuring beginning undergraduate students find a career path early in their academic career.
“Our statistics show that about 40 percent of beginning undergraduate students drop out in the first year if they remain undecided on a major, so it’s important to get with them early so they’ve got a clearly marked path and know why they’re here,” she said.
On the IU Southeast campus, she said, that involves a three-pronged approach that includes hosting an exploratory section at orientation, a summer workshop and, if students still haven’t declared a major by the end of their first semester, a one-credit career course in the spring that is intended to further their decision-making process.