Indiana University Bloomington provides dedicated career services for Liberal Arts students and partners with faculty to embed career into all aspects of the student journey. In 2017, Indiana University saw a 223% increase in student participation with career workshops and programming.
Aligning Liberal Arts Degree Pathways with Career Outcomes and Advancement
See what Joe Lovejoy had to say about the vision for embedding career into the student experience.
A Curated Career Services Experience for Liberal Arts Students
The Indiana University College of Arts and Sciences is the largest school on the Bloomington campus, with 12,000 students and 900 faculty across 80 departments. The Walter Center for Career Achievement wanted to scale their impact by reaching more students – even freshmen and sophomores who otherwise wouldn’t have been seeking out career services so early in their academic journeys. Additionally, the Walter Center staff wanted an efficient way to promote news, information, and student success stories, to ultimately increase awareness and participation in their events, workshops, and career counseling services.
Joe Lovejoy and the Walter Center team began using uConnect’s marketing tools to deliver curated content to their students and stakeholders, and in their first year, saw a 44% increase in participation in career coaching sessions, and a 223% increase in student attendance at Walter Center facilitated workshops. Over 15,000 students subscribe to personalized alerts based on their personal, academic, and professional interests.
Partnering with Faculty to Build Integrated Career Communities
In April of 2016, Indiana University Arts & Sciences (IUAS) implemented uConnect to simplify engagement with career resources and services and to execute on their new career community model developed by Joe Lovejoy and his team in the Walter Center for Career Achievement.
Using uConnect, IUAS has created robust, public-facing career communities, around which they have organized content, resources, and data from their 80 academic departments into 10 distinct areas to help students connect what they are learning in the classroom to various industries and potential career pathways. Part of this strategy is to closely integrate career and academic resources, which have been historically disconnected. To do this, Joe and his team are using uConnect to provide a platform for faculty members to promote courses and share academic resources inside career communities, making a direct connection between liberal arts curriculum and career pathways. Through an integration with IU’s Symplicity Job Board, team members are able to promote employer partnerships, campus recruiting events, and relevant job postings inside the same career communities. With uConnect’s marketing tools, students receive customized alerts, relaying timely, relevant news and information from the Walter Center tailored to their academic and professional interests.
In the first year of using uConnect to facilitate this shift, it was clear that students were more engaged in career exploration and planning as student participation in career coaching sessions went up 44% over the previous year.
Promoting Career Outcomes to Inform Liberal Arts Pathways
IU’s goals go beyond increased engagement. Joe and his team envisioned a world where students were constantly leveraging career information and data to inform their academic experience and degree pathways. Beginning in 2017, Joe and his team began to develop an initiative to highlight the career pathways and outcomes of former students – with the goal of inspiring both current and future students to pursue liberal arts education. The result of this initiative led them to leverage uConnect’s Outcome Data Visualization technology (ODV) to promote aggregate, historical outcome data in a rich and dynamic format. This tool allows the team to upload their raw First Destination outcome data, and publicly promote it in a way that’s more informative, more engaging and ultimately more useful than the static infographics and PDFs they were using before.
With ODV, students and stakeholders can filter outcome data for specific programs and departments to reveal historic outcomes such as first destination information, average salary, employment industry and companies, fields of study, and more. In the most direct way, Joe and his team are able to shine a light on real career pathways and outcomes of former liberal arts students to inspire both current and prospective students and eliminate the fear that a liberal arts education does not result in a clear career path.
SHINING A LIGHT ON HISTORIC OUTCOME DATA
In the first three months of publicly promoting their outcome data in a fresh and dynamic way, over 1/3 of visits to their outcome data come from Google Search.
From an Afterthought to a Focus Point of the Institutional Brand Narrative
With a beautifully designed, highly engaging career exploration experience for Liberal Arts students, promoting career outcomes has become a major part of the College’s brand narrative. In 2017, the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences redesigned their entire website and embedded career into the fabric of the refreshed brand. From the new College homepage, visitors can easily see IU’s commitment to providing high-touch, personalized career services for Liberal Arts students. ‘Career Preparation’ features prominently in the center of the main navigation menu, navigating visitors to directly access the Walter Center’s many resources, opportunities, and events, in two clicks or less.