Designing Programs for the Millennial Workforce—Implementation Toolkit
September 17, 2015
Certificates and other non-degree programs are especially critical to serving the nation’s 80 million Millennials, a generation burdened with student loan debt and expected to change jobs once every three years. This toolkit, a supplement to our study Designing Programs for the Millennial Workforce, helps members design, launch, and maintain non-degree programs that exceed enrollment targets and cater to the needs of this diverse population.
Use the resources below to enhance your non-degree offerings throughout the program development lifecycle—from market validation to alumni follow-up.
Download the full toolkit
New Program Launch and Implementation Template
Proposal templates standardize and speed up the new program development process by requiring all new programs provide plans for design and implementation. However, programs rarely require program directors to demonstrate the workforce need and employment outcomes associated with a proposed program.
The New Program Launch and Implementation Template empowers faculty and program directors to quantify a program’s economic impact, resulting in proposals that are better aligned with local and regional training needs.
Access the tool
6 ways to improve campus career centers
Engage students in career preparation
October 4, 2016
According to a 2014 survey by Barnes & Noble College, only 25% of juniors and seniors ever interacted with their school's career center.
In response, career centers are experimenting with new ways to get students in the door and prepare them for today's workforce. Writing for University Business, Melissa Ezarik rounds up six innovative strategies from college career offices.
1. Reflection courses
To successfully interview with employers, students must be comfortable reflecting on their strengths, weaknesses, and skills. By providing for-credit courses on self-reflection, Ezarik says career centers can help foster the confidence needed to articulate answers to introspective interview questions.
She points to Wake Forest University's (WFU) College-To-Career courses, which include assignments on identifying personal values and asking mentors for feedback. Among other things, the classes prepare students to answer that infamous interview question, "tell me about yourself."
South Dakota School of Mines & Technology similarly offers its Mines Advantage course, which features 30 exercises in areas such as career preparation, diversity, community, involvement, personal development, and leadership/ teamwork, and communication.
2. Professional outfits
Business clothing is expensive, and many students cannot afford to buy a new suit for interviewing. Recognizing this, some career centers are offering suit closets so that students can dress professionally for interviews and networking events. The free clothing alleviates financial stress for students and boosts their confidence, while also giving community donors an opportunity to help students.
At Missouri University of Science and Technology, articles donated by faculty and staff were used almost 600 times this past year.
"It helps to talk to someone at school rather than trying to navigate J.C. Penney or Kohl's," says Christian Lehman, the closet's manager.
3. Holistic support
Career decisions can create anxiety and depression that bleed over into other parts of students' lives, and pre-existing mental health issues can make career preparation more complicated.
Some schools are tackling this vicious cycle by bringing counseling services and career services under one roof.
Co-locating the two kinds of support can also reduce stigma and make it easier for students to seek help.
At Howard Community College in Maryland, the same staff members at the Counseling and Career Services provide both services. By helping students through personal crises, the department's counselors build relationships with the students that can help during discussions about majors and careers.
4. Meaningful internships
Career centers are hiring students for internships as early as sophomore year—but not just the making-copies-all-day kind. Real-world work experience increases students' future marketability.
University of Indianapolis partnered with the nonprofit USA Funds to create a comprehensive internship program. The program, called coLAB, works with academically strong freshmen from the start to develop skills they will need in the workplace. By the end of the year, these freshmen are placed in various internships with select employers. At the end of the internships, employers then provide valuable feedback on the students' areas that might need work.
Also see: Transform student employment into meaningful career development
5. Funded trips to big cities
For students to successfully land jobs, they must be able to physically visit companies and attend interviews. These opportunities should not be limited to students who can afford travel, which is why career centers are leading funded trips to big cities.
At WFU, the Career Treks program frequently brings students to New York; Washington, D.C.; and San Francisco.
Mercy Eyadiel, the associate vice president for career development, says the program is in part about getting the students excited about career preparation. "Do we do résumés? Absolutely. But we've taken it up a few notches because we want students to be motivated about this process."
6. Mobile technology
For career services to become more central to their schools' missions, they must successfully reach their target audience: the students. According to Robert Angulo, CEO of AfterCollege, this means going mobile.
"New technology needs to be mobile-enabled... Students don't always put in the effort when it comes to starting their career. Technology that serves them where they are is better than technology that forces them to go somewhere," says Angulo. "Virtual is the way to go" (Ezarik, University Business, 9/30).
Retaining faculty can help you retain students
Experts say reducing turnover can save money, improve student success
October 4, 2016
A recent survey shows that employee recruitment and retention are major challenges for colleges and universities, Leila Meyer reports for Campus Technology.
The survey was conducted by Human Capital Media Research and Advisory Group in collaboration with Cornerstone OnDemand and Ellucian. Researchers collected responses from more than 450 faculty and staff members representing both public and private colleges and universities.
Many respondents reveal that their institutions struggle with employee recruitment and retention:
- 69% struggle to retain high-performing staff;
- 62% struggle to source top staff;
- 61% struggle to source top faculty; and
- 59% struggle to retain high-performing faculty.
Respondents largely agree that doing a better job engaging faculty and staff could improve retention, but many say that engagement is a challenge. About 41% report high turnover among staff and 27% report high turnover among faculty. Around 39% say they do not offer any employee engagement opportunities, including professional development, mentoring, or flexible work options.
Mike Bollinger, global AVP of thought leadership and advisory services for Cornerstone OnDemand, says, "One definite conclusion we can draw from the results of this survey is the need for continuous learning and development for higher education employees."
Though the main focus in higher ed institutions has to do with engagement and retention of students rather than faculty and staff, Bollinger says that it's important to recognize that the faculty and staff "create the student experience" (Meyer, Campus Technology, 9/22).
To retain top talent, managers matter
2016 Nobel Prize in medicine honors research with implications for Alzheimer's, cancer
Ohsumi's work enabled researchers to fully understand autophagy's importance
October 4, 2016
Japanese biologist Yoshinori Ohsumi on Monday was awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in in Physiology or Medicine for his work in understanding autophagy, the process by which cells break down and recycle waste products.
According to the Nobel Prize Committee, scientists have been aware of autophagy for more than half a century, but Ohsumi's work in the 1990s enabled researchers to fully understand its importance.
Ohsumi used mutated baker's yeast to identify the genes essential for autophagy, as well as to analyze the mechanisms of the process. He identified 15 genes essential for autophagy in yeast, a process that is remarkably similar to what takes place in human cells.
"Ohsumi's discoveries led to a new paradigm in our understanding of how the cell recycles its content," the Nobel committee said. "His discoveries opened the path to understanding the fundamental importance of autophagy in many physiological processes, such as in the adaptation to starvation or response to infection." In addition, Ohsumi's work made the little-known autophagy "one of the most intensely studied areas of biomedical research," according to the Nobel Assembly.
Several diseases, including cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson's, have now been linked to cells' inability to correctly undergo autophagy.
Industry partnerships become more important for keeping research afloat
Ohsumi's research "may be useful in developing treatments for such conditions as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson's disease and cancer," David Gauthier-Villars and Peter Landers write for the Wall Street Journal.
Ohsumi will receive $930,000 in prize money at an award ceremony in December. He said that despite recent progress in the field, much of autophagy is yet to be understood. "There is no finish line for science," Ohsumi said. "When I find an answer to one question, another question comes up. I have never thought I have solved all the questions" (Nobel Prize release, 10/3, Kolata/Chan, New York Times, 10/3; Eunjung Cha/Fifield, "To Your Health," Washington Post, 10/3; Gauthier-Villars/Landers, Wall Street Journal, 10/3; Ritter, AP/ABC News, 10/3).
Who's leading the nation in research? It depends on who you ask.
4 productive things you can accomplish in 15 minutes
Running to-do lists are distracting, not helpful
October 4, 2016
You can accomplish much more than you think during a 15-minute break if you use your time wisely, Lisa Rabasca Roepe writes for Fast Company.
Roepe suggests four valuable pieces of advice for making the most of your time waiting in line at lunch or regrouping between meetings.
1. Divide your to-do list into tasks and projects
According to Kathy Lee, a productivity tech expert and owner of DoubleSpaces, a task is something that you can do in five to 10 minutes.
Once you've sorted the tasks from the projects, it helps to write down the tasks that you won't be able to complete until later, such as picking up groceries after work.
Storing your to-do list in your mind without writing it down "is actually one of the biggest distractions," says May Wang, a productivity expert, coach, and consultant. Writing down your tasks relieves that stress.
Once your list is complete, you can focus on actually doing some of those five- to 10-minute tasks, such as unsubscribing from unnecessary emails, searching for dinner recipes, or calling to book appointments.
2. Make your to-do lists actionable
Maura Thomas, productivity expert, author, and founder of Regain Your Time, says that vague language in a to-do list can make you less productive.
Thomas suggests writing your to-do list down using actionable words and specific details describing how you are going to complete each task.
Rather than writing "pay bill," for instance, you might consider writing "pay college tuition bill via online payment system."
Lisa Woodruff, productivity expert and owner of Organize 365, also suggests categorizing to-do lists into four sections: work, family, home, and "me." She encourages people to focus intensively on one section at a time.
3. Audit your use of social media
Scanning social media and emails during 15-minute breaks is fine, but Woodruff says it's only productive if you're looking at it for the purpose of moving forward.
Only answer emails, for instance, that will help a stuck client move forward or provide someone with direction. Save the longer emails or inspirational quotes for later.
4. Let your mind wander... on purpose
Studies show that a wandering mind can actually help sort through problems. "Being productive is a function of being focused and working from the state of peace of mind," says Wang.
Spending 15 minutes practicing mindfulness will give the brain time to regroup. Marie Levey-Pabst, founder of Create Balance, suggests writing down two things in your life that you're thankful for. "Taking time to remember what you are grateful for will boost your mood, outlook, and focus," she says (Roepe, Fast Company, 9/30).
How to communicate with Generation Z
Tips for meaningful marketing toward college-age students
March 9, 2016
Marketing aimed at college-age students must provide consumers a genuine experience from a people-first perspective, Clare Lane writes for Ragan's PR Daily.
Lane speaks with Therese Caruso, managing director for strategy and insights at the Zeno Group communications agency, about the unique challenges in marketing toward the 18-to-25-year-old age group known as Generation Z.
Data from Zeno Group's "The Human Project" study show that while Generation Z consumers "are tech driven ... they are also more inclined to unplug from their devices," Lane says. Therefore, Caruso says, marketing aimed at this group must "offer a solution that's not just engaging and entertaining, but that enhances their everyday lives more holistically."
Lane offers two insights from Caruso about connecting with this demographic.
One: Be human
Look at your consumers for the people they are, not simply as "targets." Take a comprehensive approach when considering a young consumer's needs to best tailor your marketing message. "Examin[e] the values, the hopes, the fears, and the motivating behaviors across multiple lifestyle categories," Caruso says.
How strong is your student communications strategy? Take this free diagnostic to find out
Two: Recognize shared values
Think about the values that you and your consumers both hold in high regard to establish the common ground for a marketing strategy. If you understand those values, you'll have a more meaningful connection with your audience. "When you understand people in this way you can build trust and loyalty; this will ultimately [lead to] people evangelizing your brand," Caruso says (Lane, Ragan's PR Daily, 3/7).
Your guide to the student mind
10 schools with excellent student outcomes
Student outcome measures are tied to graduation rates, financial success, and academic reputation
October 3, 2016
The Wall Street Journal partnered with Times Higher Education (THE) in its joint inaugural rankings of U.S. colleges, focusing on institutions that place a high value on student outcomes.
Results are based on 100,000 student responses as well as government data, surveys from THE, and Elsevier. Students responded to seven questions regarding their experience with professors, whether they were encouraged to think critically, and other measures of excellence.
The rankings are based on 15 factors across four categories:
- Student outcomes (40%);
- Institutional resources (30%);
- Student engagement (20%); and
- Learning environment (10%).
"College is about opening the door to economic independence," says Anthony Carnevale, director of Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce. "You're going to have to have a career someday. You're going to do this for four or five years, but what you're going to do for the next 45 years is intimately linked to that."
8 questions to ask when evaluating the impact of student success programs
The top 10 institutions with the highest overall scores are:
1. Stanford University
2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
3. Columbia University
4. University of Pennsylvania
5. Yale University
6. Harvard University
7. Duke University
8. Princeton University
9. Cornell University
10. California Institute of Technology
The publication also released sub-rankings in each category that contributed to the final score: student outcomes, institutional resources, student engagement, and learning environment.
Most of the institutions with the highest overall scores also were among the highest rankings in the student outcomes category. The student outcomes category contributes most to each school's overall score and is based on:
- Graduation rates;
- Value added to salary 10 years after graduation;
- Value added to graduates' ability to repay student debt; and
- Academic reputation.
The 10 institutions with the highest scores for student outcomes were:
1. Yale University
2. Princeton University (tie)
2. Stanford University (tie)
4. Columbia University (tie)
4. Duke University (tie)
6. California Institute of Technology (tie)
6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (tie)
8. University of Chicago
9. University of Pennsylvania
10. Vanderbilt University
(Korn, Wall Street Journal, 9/27; Korn/Belkin, Wall Street Journal, 9/27; Times Higher Education, 9/16).
3 key ingredients for a recipe to improve student outcomes
Around the industry: Stanford to pay students to attend its business school, with one catch
Bite-sized college and higher education industry news
October 4, 2016
California: Stanford University's Graduate School of Business is launching a program that will cover tuition and fees for MBA students who work in the Midwest after graduating. The Stanford USA MBA Fellowship will give about $160,000 over two years to each of three students who show financial need and "strong ties to the Midwest." Within two years of graduating, fellows must find work in the Midwest, where they are expected to help boost economic development in the region for at least two years (Robinson, Business Insider, 9/27).
Connecticut: A porch that collapsed last month, injuring 32 Trinity College students, had "flaws in construction," according to a recent report. Trinity officials say the college did not inspect the off-campus house with the faulty porch when the school purchased it in 2011. All the students injured in the porch collapse have returned to campus to attend classes (Altimari/Vella, Hartford Courant, 9/29).
Massachusetts: Harvard University has appointed Columbia University's N.P. Narvekar as its new endowment manager. Narvekar served as the chief executive of Columbia's Investment Management Company. The announcement follows Harvard's recent report that its endowment lost 2% on investments in the first half of 2016 (Picker, New York Times, 9/29).