In response to a Provost initiative, Quinnipiac University is integrating career and academic advising to provide more holistic support for students and to scale the impact of their career center staff. Within 6 months, QU was able to increase engagement with their career and academic resources by 205%
A progressive approach to advising, that delivers results
on a Liberal Arts education
See what Rick Delveccio, Director of Career Development, had to say about the impact their integrated approach to advising is having on students and faculty.
A ‘360’ Degree View of Academic and Career Advising
Quinnipiac University College of Arts and Sciences (QUAS) is pioneering a new advising model that integrates both academic and career advising, where students can work directly with their faculty advisors to develop learning pathways informed by career goals and outcomes. In order to be successful in this approach, QUAS needed to create an environment that encompassed resources related to both. It was important that students and faculty advisors alike be able to easily access the full range of academic and career resources, in one central place. To support this effort, Mark Thompson, the Executive Vice President and Provost at the University, made the decision to first adopt the uConnect platform for students in the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS). The Director of Career Development for CAS, Rick Delvecchio, led the implementation of uConnect to design a digital experience that would bring both career and academic resources together. The new uConnect platform, implemented in the QU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, would be called CAS360, and was to be the home for this important new student success initiative.
Whether a student is looking for resources related to academics or career, CAS360 makes it easy to engage with everything specific to their interests. When students are engaged from the start of their experience, whether it’s in a self-guided way, or through a connection with faculty and academic advisors, those students are more likely to persist through degree completion.
A Solution to Cross-Train Faculty and Academic Advisors in Career
One of the biggest challenges of implementing the new hybrid model of career and academic advising was training a large group of faculty members who have historically never been required to provide any formal career support for students. Prior to launching with uConnect, some online resources were found in MyQ, the University’s main portal, however it provided a limited and lackluster experience. Students visiting the old site found what amounted to a list of links, and it was difficult to search through the information to find what was relevant, much less focused on career exploration. It also wasn’t easy for faculty advisors to tap into this information when advising students on career options.
CAS360, the uConnect platform at Quinnipiac has changed all of that. Students, faculty, advisors and other key stakeholders in the College of Arts & Sciences community can easily access the full-range of academic and career resources in CAS360 to support the development of an integrated learning pathways. Rick and his team also leverage uConnect’s technical integrations to bring together employers and jobs from their Symplicity system, faculty bios, experiential events and more, into one single place.
With easy access to all of these resources, faculty can have more meaningful conversations with students about career ambitions and are trained to do so from the start of the student’s journey at Quinnipiac. The platform is a used as a critical tool to cross-train faculty and advisors about what resources are available to help students leverage the right resources, at the right time, given their unique career ambitions. Students can work with their faculty advisors as they develop their career pathway, but CAS360 also supports those students who prefer to explore on their own.
In this way, CAS360 also enables students to be more independent as they consider their pathway. Since students have access to the same resources as their faculty advisors, they can utilize CAS360 to explore and find information on their own, at a time that is most convenient for them. Visitors to CAS360 can set their preferences so they can find relevant resources and information when they aren’t meeting with an advisor or exploring resources on their own. The uConnect platform allows for automated alerts so students (and all users of the system), can choose what content they would like to receive alerts about, and how frequently they would like to be notified. These alerts are delivered across email, social media, and mobile to reach all stakeholders according to their preferences.
After the initial launch, Rick and his team added experiential learning opportunities to CAS360 so students can utilize the platform to discover experiential learning opportunities. The platform makes it easy to see what internships, research, service learning, extra and co-curricular and study abroad opportunities exist that are supportive of their career goals.
INCREASED ACCESS TO ACADEMIC & CAREER RESOUCES BY 205%
By creating an integrated, online home for academic and career resources, Quinnipiac was able to increase engagement with their resource library by 205% in the first six months
Linking Curriculum to Career
While CAS360 was mostly instituted to serve the needs of students, faculty and staff, there is also value to serving prospective students and parents in their enrollment decisions. For anyone considering investing in a liberal arts education, a concern is often whether the promise of career will be fulfilled. Because this site is public facing and because the integrated model to academics and career is illustrated so clearly by CAS360, anyone considering a degree from the CAS at Quinnipiac can see the tie between the curriculum and career. By highlighting, not hiding their progressive approach, CAS360, also helps differentiate Quinnipiac from the other schools a prospective student may be considering.