If your institution is like most, assessment might be a big push these days in your efforts with student.
What are the learning objectives for our programs? Is what we are doing meeting our goals? Should we rethink how we are doing things? These are all daily questions that are important to ask ourselves as we go forward with our office’s mission and operations.
I work in an office that utilizes a lot of student help. We have graduate students to assist with advising and programming efforts. Also, there are media students to contribute to publicity and marketing. We also have Career Educators to help out with resume reviews, workshops and general office assistance.
I was lucky enough to take on the role as the Coordinator of the Career Educator program the first year after an updated assessment plan had been implemented for the program. The previous CE Coordinator and the Graduate Assistant for Assessment met last year and developed course competencies for our program (Cognitive Complexity and Knowledge, Interpersonal Competence, Self-Efficacy, and Professionalism) and also created objectives underneath each competency. These competencies and learning objectives are the driving force behind the Career Educator’s professional development sessions each week. Our professional development sessions are meant to serve the Career Educator’s student development. We cover a variety of topics such as multiculturalism, conflict resolution, active listening, and professional resources and tools.
Career and Academic Planning is doing a full assessment cycle this year. We started with pre-assessment before our summer training and completed a mid-year benchmark survey in December. We’ll then complete a final survey at the end of the school year. We hope to be able to see how much the Career Educators have grown in the competencies of the program. We will see if we should reassess how we are operating as it relates to our learning objectives.
If you’re beginning to look at how you’re currently doing assessment with student employees, I highly suggest collaborating with a specialist at your institution.
Assessment is rewarding, but it can feel overwhelming at first. It is important to talk over each step thoroughly to check for understanding and an overall connection to your program. There’s nothing more rewarding than knowing what you are doing is working well. Assessment can be the driving force behind this discovery.
This post is part of our #SACareer series, addressing careers in student affairs, careers outside of student affairs, and the work of career services professionals. Read more about the series in Jake Nelko’s intro post. Each post is a contribution by a member or friend of the Commission for Career Services from ACPA. Our organization exists to benefit the careers of career services professionals, student affairs professionals, and anyone supporting students in the career endeavors. For more information about how to get involved with the Commission for Career Services or the #SACareer blog series, contact Cristina Lawson at firstname.lastname@example.org.