Who to Meet at NACE14 in San Antonio!

Marc Goldman, Executive Director, Career Center, Yeshiva University

Marc Goldman, Executive Director, Career Center, Yeshiva University

Twitter: @MarcGoldmanNYC

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/marcjgoldman

The NACE Annual Conference is less than a week away. My flights and hotel are booked. Soon, I will bid my family and co-workers adieu for a brief time. They will be missed, but I look forward to a great event in San Antonio. I have been attending these professional association conferences since Las Vegas 2001. And I will always recall fondly the 2007 program in New York City, the one and likely only time the conference will occur in the Big Apple. In light of all of my conference attendance, I write this blog post with some simple suggestions of people to make sure you try to connect with during your time in Texas. Go for it! Have a blast!

Dan Black
Dan Black

 Dan Black – It is hard to believe that his term as NACE President is almost complete. If you get a chance to shake this man’s hand and have a brief chat, you will not soon forget him. Part Energizer Bunny, part club comic, part shy accountant (Okay, maybe not so shy!), part cool wingman, part high-stakes gambler, part bacon lover. I know. I know. Sounds like a true bromance here! I certainly do appreciate him as a NACE brother from another mother of sorts. And he is a treasure trove of information, an advocate for our profession, and an all-around great guy.

Chaim Shapiro

Chaim Shapiro

Someone With a Cool Twitter Handle – When Amber MacArthur presented about social media trends at a recent NACE conference, there was a big question mark as to Twitter’s longevity. Well, a few years later, more and more people are getting into the Twitterverse. Many career services and campus recruiting professionals, universities, companies, and, of course, celebrities (Yes, Chaim Shapiro, I am speaking of you!) have taken to the art of the tweet. I try, but I am more of a reader and re-tweeter compared to many of my colleagues who are providing original content. If you want to learn more, just look for someone with a ribbon that has an “@” symbol followed by a catchy nickname or funky turn of phrase like @nyuwasserboss, @PWRecruit4EH, or @MarcGoldmanNYC (That one’s me. How creative!) for example.

Katrina Zaremba

Katrina Zaremba

Katrina Zaremba – Katarina Witt will be there? Not quite. But this NACE conference newbie from the University of Kansas has made one fantastic video about why she is thrilled to attend her first annual conference. Check it out at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EFr39KOeVs and then welcome her to the NACE gathering with open arms and a “Howdy partner!”

Great Ideas Showcase

An Award Winner or Finalist – As co-chair of this year’s Honors and Awards Committee, I know how talented and accomplished this year’s pool of finalists and winners truly are. They should be recognized, congratulated, and most importantly, probed for knowledge and advice. You can meet them in passing by noticing their respective ribbons dangling from their name badges, or you can see them all at the Great Ideas Showcase on Tuesday, June 10, from 5:00-6:30 p.m. (I had to throw in that shameless plug!)

Megan Ogden

Megan Ogden

Megan Ogden – If you want a fun game at #NACE14, just play this variation of “Where’s Waldo?” and try to find Megan Ogden. As the behind-the-scenes guru of the NACE conference planning and implementation, she is the engineer that makes this massive career services/campus recruiting locomotive stay on track at full steam ahead. But don’t expect to see her settled in any one place at the conference for more than a few seconds because there is always the next important puzzle piece for her to handle or fix. If you do luck out and spot the Nessie of NACE 2014, give her a great big hug and say, “Thank you!”

An ExhibitorThe Exhibition Hall is a must for any conference attendee. It is sometimes hard to squeeze in a visit if you have a packed agenda of programs, meetings, meals, and pool time. But enough about me! There are some amazing resources out there, and NACE offers a one-stop-shopping opportunity to check out the latest and greatest. I recall meeting two bright young lads with a start-up idea at a NACE conference a decade or so ago. They were just starting out, but I was curious and listened to their story. The rest was history. Today, their R2-D2/dalek (sci-fi geekin’ out here) kiosk product has evolved into InterviewStream!

Someone You’ve Never Talked to Before – Not only is the NACE conference a wonderful place to hear about new trends, discover new resources, and spend a few days away from the office (while still checking in via several modes of communication throughout the entire trip), but also it is a fabulous chance to network with people you know. However, I dare you to introduce yourself to people you don’t know, which for most of us (other than perhaps conference co-chair Fred Burke) is a much larger pool of potential colleagues. You never know what can arise from these initial conversations.

Marc Goldman, Executive Director, Career Center, Yeshiva University

Use this picture to find Marc!

Me! – Find me. Introduce yourself. I am somewhat subdued and introverted, so it might take you awhile to draw me out of my shell, but please do attempt it. (The NACE staff is certainly cracking up or rolling their eyes as they read that last bit.) I’ll be easy to find because I have this awful habit of trying to collect as many ribbons for my name badge as possible each year. It is like collecting Olympic pins in a way I guess, and it is really just a big joke between me and the amazing NACE team at this point. I cannot wait to see y’all in June!

Find Marc Goldman—or another member of the NACE Blog Team—and take a selfie! A selfie with a blogger is one of the 10 items to collect in the #NACE14 Scavenger Hunt!

Introverts Guide to #NACE14

Chris Carlson

Christopher Carlson, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition, Booz Allen Hamilton
Twitter: @cciCarlson
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/ccicrc

Taking a break from my social recruiting series to share some thoughts for my fellow introverts attending #NACE14.

On most tests, I am an “off-the-charts” introvert who takes after his father. There are people who write “don’t eat alone” and who encourage you to network, network, network. Not me. I don’t know about my fellow introverts, but I like a little quiet time to recharge the batteries before going back into a room of hundreds of people. I eat alone quite often, especially when I have been around a lot of people. It helps me relax and renew.

So, here are my introverted best practices for conference survival:

  1. Schedule quiet time throughout the dayGo to the NACE Conference Scheduler and pick out your absolute must-attend workshops and see if you can carve out some quality time for yourself in between those sessions.
  2. Be selective with your networking timeDon’t try to meet everyone, but in good introvert style, get to know a few individuals really well; connect with someone you want to get to know better.
  3. Don’t be afraid to find quiet corners at a receptionTry to entice someone to speak with you one-on-one rather than insert yourself in a circle of individuals talking. If you want, you can talk to me as I am usually quietly positioned in a corner.
  4. GO BIG at least once during the conferenceGrab a group of friends and get out on that dance floor and dance, I say, dance!
  5. Spend more time networking one-on-oneIt is easier to strike up a conversation with someone sitting next to you before/after a workshop than in a big networking session, so start there. Make a point to meet at least one new person and get to know him/her really well each day.
  6. Get outside and take a walkThe Riverwalk is an introvert’s dream come true, as there are many stretches with beautiful scenery and not a lot of people. I know from experience. It can be a very calming and relaxing spot.
  7. Above all else, spend time learning and connecting.  As introverts, we don’t have to meet everyone, just a few people who we will get to know very well.

Looking forward to seeing you all at #NACE14 in San Antonio! Look for me in a corner or at a table by myself and come say hello. Stay tuned for more insights into my journey into social recruiting as well as observations from the conference.

Don’t forget, I am presenting on Tuesday. The session is entitled “Everyone is a Recruiter” and will look at building social recruiting practices and engaging your employee base to help ensure success. (“Everyone Is a Recruiter” will be presented on Tuesday, June 10, at 3:30 p.m. See the #NACE14 Itinerary Builder for details.)

Attend Christopher Carlson’s session and take a selfie with him! A selfie with a session presenter is one of the 10 items to collect in the #NACE14 Scavenger Hunt!

 

Feed Your Career at NACE14

Cindy Billington

Cindy Billington, Associate Director, MBA Career Education Graduate Business Career Services, Texas A&M University
Twitter: @cindybillington
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/cindybillington

It is that time of year!  Once again, we are less than a month away from the NACE Conference & Expo, and this year it will be held in beautiful San Antonio, TX.  I look forward to this conference every year as an opportunity to reconnect with and meet new colleagues and friends.

Each year, I find myself returning from the conference recharged and ready for an innovative and successful year of career coaching at Texas A&M.  If you have not registered to attend this “can’t miss” professional development opportunity, I urge you to visit naceweb.org immediately.  If you are like me, then your career is probably begging you for some nourishment.  Don’t ever neglect your career nourishment folks.

For those of you who have already registered, don’t wait until you arrive in San Antonio to prepare.  I recommend following these steps in order to make the most out of #NACE14:

1. Begin your networking ahead of time.

2.  Plan your schedule.

  • NACE has implemented a new tool called NACE14 Itinerary Builder.  Where have you been all of my life?  This tool has allowed me create a tailored agenda just for me.  I love things that are made just for me.  I feel special, don’t you?
  • Research the keynote presenters.  If you are like me, you buy every book available. Be familiar with who is speaking ahead of the conference and reach out to say hello. Welcome any and all guests to our “FAMILY REUNION.”

3.  Brush on your networking skills.

  • One of my favorite books on networking is Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi.  Keith actually spoke at a NACE conference a few years ago.  I urge you to never break bread alone at a conference.  Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner with someone else attending the conference.  Great friendships are made over coffee.  I promise.

4.  Follow up after the event.

  • As you travel away from San Antonio, don’t let your experience become a distant memory.  Return to your office and immediate send thank-you notes to speakers NACE staff and president, and the amazing #NACE14 co-chairs.  Pull out those business cards you received and connect with those folks on LinkedIn or Twitter.

5.  Implement what you learned.

  • Be very careful not to let your conference notes get dusty.  We all have a tendency to return to work after a conference and immediately jump back into old habits and the surge of e-mail.
  • Host a lunch and share what you learned with your office mates.  Ignite energy in those who work with you based on what you learned.
  • Start a conversation on the NACE LinkedIn Group page to keep those relationships and ideas growing.

I cannot wait to meet all of you at #NACE14.  Register today and get ready for a great time in San Anton.  And don’t forget to pack your proper attire for the Diamonds and Denim Celebration on Tuesday evening.

Black Friday…In April?

Chaim Shapiro

Chaim Shapiro
http://chaimshapiro.com/
http://www.linkedin.com/in/chaimshapiro
https://twitter.com/chaimshapiro

I know what you are thinking. It is finally April and that means baseball, warmer weather, taxes, and Black Friday.

Black Friday? No. You are not having a flashback to packed stores and stampedes the day after Thanksgiving and this isn’t an April Fool’s joke. I am talking about the #NACEBlackFriday chat with NACE President Dan Black scheduled for Friday, April 4th from 1-2 p.m. (ET) on Twitter.

Once again, Dan will lend his ears—and his last name—to a Twitter chat about all things NACE. Do you have questions or ideas? Are there any thoughts that you want to share about the conference or the future of the profession? This is your chance to bring them right to the top!

This time, you can e-mail your questions in advance to callen@naceweb.org or just show up and surprise Dan during the open forum portion of the chat (any guesses as to what I plan to do?).

So pull out that extra Black-Friday-Sale iPad you didn’t need and some of the  left-over turkey you don’t want to admit is still hiding in the back of your freezer and join us for #NACEBlackFriday because there are only  268 shopping days until Christmas (and 259 until Chanukah)!

 

 

100 Days Until #NACE14!

Chaim ShapiroChaim Shapiro
Website: http://chaimshapiro.com/
Twitter: @chaimshapiro
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/chaimshapiro

People seem to like even numbers. Logically, there is no reason why people feel a stronger connection to 100 versus 99 or 101, but no matter, because today marks 100 days until the NACE 2014 Conference in San Antonio.  If you are like me, you already have your countdown timer set (see here: http://bit.ly/NACE14_Countdown ) but, if you haven’t, what are you waiting for?

The conference is YOUR opportunity to take an active role in charting the future of our profession.  It is your chance to engage and provide your feedback on all the major issues facing our profession (someone once made a GREAT video about that: http://youtu.be/wT1hxrz64R4).  There is also NO better time to meet your colleagues than at the conference.  It is the BEST networking event of the year. You can look for me, I will be wearing a VERY special hat in honor of my workshop: “Be the Davy Crockett of the LinkedIn Frontier! (My workshop focuses on what you need to know to empower your students to harness the full power of LinkedIn. Learn the inside tricks and tips to identify and engage decision makers who can act as the crucial link to sourcing and employment opportunities for your students.)

You might not want to tell your boss, but having attended numerous conferences, I can also attest that they are a LOT of fun, and there are plenty of opportunities to take in the local sights (although I hope my Chicago Blackhawks will be back in the Stanley Cup Championship, keeping me tethered to the TV at night).

The Early Bird Special ends on March 1.  February is that sneaky month with 28 days, so remember that March 1 is tomorrow!  Remember the Alamo and sign up today! http://naceweb.org/ConferenceExpo/register.htm

Debrief of #NACE13: Day 1

Sarah MartinA post by Guest Blogger, Sarah Martin, College Relations and Social Media Recruiter, Garmin International
Twitter: @workatgarmin
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/SarahMartin1I had the privilege to attend 3 workshops on Day 1: Setting Standards for the Candidate Experience, Professional Standards for University Relations and Recruiting, and Effectively Utilizing Mobile Technologies. Conferences tend to be information overload, so I’d like to share my quick take-a-ways from each workshop.

Setting Standards for the Candidate Experience:
• Build your own business case with numbers and dollars
• Audit yourself
• It’s critical to seek feedback from your candidates (and not just those you end up hiring)
• Match your medium to your audience
• Be truthful when answering candidate questions
• Deliver what you promise
*Presenter: Gerry Crispin, CareerXroads

Professional Standards for University Relations and Recruiting:
How many of you knew there were URR standards published in 1976? Did you realize those standards were recently updated for the first time?! Thank you #NACE13! The updated standards are currently available through the NACE13 app and will be on the NACE web site within the next couple of weeks. I’m impressed that 40+ individuals came together to “get it right.” This document is sure to help employers across the country assess the current state of their College Recruitment programs, as well as, provide guidance for a lasting, successful future. I’m eager to take a closer look at the details!
*Presenter: Jeff Goodman

Effectively Utilizing Mobile Technologies:
Not surprising: Nearly half of all 18-29 year-olds who access the Internet on their phones, do the majority of their online browsing on their mobile device. Surprising: Many companies utilize text messaging as a successful medium for recruitment. We have a list of avenues in which we intend to reach out to our candidates, but text messaging hasn’t even been on our radar. The numbers don’t lie, though. The case studies presented in this workshop provided insight to several successful campaigns. The biggest take-a-way for me: mobile is where the action is! If you don’t have your hat in the ring, you are missing out on quality candidates. When communicating with candidates through mobile technologies, it’s essential that you are concise, relevant, and professional. We are all aware that we have a very short period of time to make an impression on our candidates… and mobile technology shortens that timeframe even further. Now, time to strategize and get a plan in place.
*Presenters: Lindsay Stanton, Job Search Television Network and Jay Floersch, PeopleScout Inc.

Overall… a very impressive Day 1!

Social Media Bridges the Gap in Communication and Engages Constituents in NYU Wasserman Center’s Award-winning #iamlimitless campaign

Heather TranenA post by Guest Blogger, Heather Tranen
Associate Director, Global Communications & Strategic Outreach, NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development
Twitter: @htranen
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/heathertranen

 

What do President Obama, Spike Lee, Macy’s College Recruiting, and Italy have in common? They were all an integral part of NYU Wasserman Center’s  NACE Innovation Excellence Award-winning#iamlimitless global social media student engagement campaign (don’t try saying that ten times fast).

photo (3).jpg

We were all excited about our big win at the awards ceremony, but I was still nervous about people actually showing up to the presentation the following day. I figured maybe 30 people would show up – half of which would hail from our own institution. When the room filled up and people were lined up outside of the door, I thought maybe everyone would leave once they realized Justin Bieber wasn’t performing.

A few awkward jokes and flubbed video showing later, the crowd still remained to hear myself and Sneh share NYU’s #iamlimitless campaign. No pressure, right?

Nerves aside, it was incredibly exciting to see so many people interested in what our campaign offered students and other constituents. This blog post serves to provide an overview of the campaign and share the resources and best practices you can adopt to create a campaign of your own.

What is #iamlimitless?

Sneh asked the audience.

“I am limitless. Say it out loud. It Feels good, right?”

And it does. #iamlimitless empowers students to tell their career story to their peers through the powerful tool of social media.

Through the #iamlimitless campaign, the Wasserman Center saw a drastic increase in student and employer engagement. Our previous, primarily email and print-centric campaigns left a large portion of the Gen Y student population disconnected from career events and services relevant to their needs. The #iamlimitless campaign bridged the communication gap through a targeted, incentive based initiative. The campaign brought to life the Wasserman’s “limitless” opportunities motto, encouraged students across the globe to tell their global career stories, and morphed the intimidating notion of career development into a friendly, accessible entity. Additionally, the campaign served as a brand building opportunity for employers and local businesses. Organizations ranging from Macy’s to small cafes in the Greenwich Village area sponsored our raffle prizes. At the end of each week of the fall semester, those who   used  #iamlimitless to share their career stories across social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram were entered into a raffle and winners were announced via Twitter and Facebook.

Screen Shot 2013-06-07 at 2.20.00 PM.pngScreen Shot 2013-06-07 at 2.18.07 PM.pngScreen Shot 2013-06-07 at 2.43.23 PM.png

Why Social Media?

There are so many platforms out there, and our students are all over them. To this generation, it’s almost as if things don’t actually happen unless they are filming, photographing, tweeting or status updating it. Gen Y overshares and hyperconsumes content in the online space.

“They take technology for granted. They live through social media. They want the world their way, and they want it now.” – Forbs on Gen Y

As professionals we need to navigate our communication strategies to both speak their language, and teach them the language of the professional world. The #iamlimitless campaign served as a way to engage students in the space they are comfortable with, and then lure them into our office to connect to the tangible resources they need to be successful after college – a bait and switch of sorts.

ROI: Vanity vs. Actionable Metrics

Vanity Metrics: It’s always nice to have a large following and fans to make us feel super important and liked. These vanity metrics are often how supervisors judge whether we are doing a good job. Yes, these are important. However, who are these individuals following or liking us? Are they strangers, or actually connections who are engaging and utilizing our resources?

Actionable Metrics: What really matters is whether our campaign translated into “performance” outcomes. Who retweeted us, who became more aware of our resources and came to the office to utilize them? These are the questions we should all ask when engaging with students in the social media space.

Did it work? You be the judge!

#iamlimitless was used 133% times more than the second highest hashtag used by the Wasserman Center

#iamlimitless was cited over 100 times across the Wasserman Center’s social media platforms

@NYUWasserman was mentioned 150% times more in the campaign launch month of September 2012

@NYUWasserman’s Klout score increased by 10 points!

Participation in events like our career fair and applications for our Funded Internship Award increased exponentially.

We caught the attention of the Washington Square News and an article in support of the campaign was published and disseminated to its 100k subscribers.

NEXT for NYU Wasserman Center and #iamlimitless

The Wasserman Center will launch it’s #iamlimitless Socializer campaign this fall. It will further engage a broader audience by incentivizing students who get the most likes, repins, and retweets on posts that connect their peers to the Wasserman Center’s resources. Stay tuned for the results of it!

DIY Social Media Campaigning

Start Small:  Don’t feel like you need to throw a rager for your first social media party. Think about starting small with a one-time incentive to complement an individual event.

Operate on One Platform: Use one established platform that you are comfortable with before you expand to a multi-platform approach. Our first experience with a campaign was with a Macy’s event hosted using Foursquare specials. Those who checked in during the time of the event were entered into a raffle to win prizes donated by Macy’s.

Build Buzz and Engage All Constituents: Build buzz both online leading up to the launch of your campaign, but also in person by engaging all constituents. We engaged student affairs offices, faculty, alumni and local organizations to help support the campaign.

Provide  Affordable: Incentives: You also don’t have to break the bank. Incentives don’t need to be expensive. Students love swag, but the majority of our incentives were provided by employer sponsorships, or members of the NYU surrounding businesess. You can even think of non-monetary incentives like an informational interview with one of your employer partners.

Track Impact: Using your Facebook page’s admin metrics, Hootsuite ow.ly clicks, Twitonomy metrics, and Klout score are just a few ways to see what’s working, what needs tweaking, and how effectively your office is engaging with your constituents.

Thanks again to everyone who supported the #iamlimitless campaign, and who came to our presentation and asked insightful questions. Twitter was also ablaze with #iamlimitless chatter. You can check out our Storify for more on what #NACE13 folks had to say about the #iamlimitless presentation! NACE 2013 was such an awesome experience and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year’s conference! If anyone is interested in continuing the social media conversation, hit me up on Twitter at @HTranen!

ORL to PHL: Luggage, Knowledge, and Appreciation

kevin grubbA post by NACE Guest Blogger, Kevin Grubb.
Assistant Director at Villanova University’s Career Center.
Twitter: @kevincgrubb
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevingrubb
Blog: “social @ edu”.

 Despite the tropical storm that made its way up the east coast on Friday, my plane arrived safely back in Philadelphia that afternoon.  What came with me on the flight from Orlando: luggage, knowledge, and appreciation – and I only had to check one of them at the gate, even though I’m sure the knowledge and appreciation weighed more.

In my previous two blog posts, I did my best to offer up what was learned in some of the sessions I attended at the NACE conference this year.  My goal was to bring you there, to save you a seat next to me and the power outlets.  For this last post, I wanted to step back from the sessions and talk a little bit “bigger picture” about the conference itself.  So, pull up a seat one more time and let’s talk.  (As I write this, I am picturing Linda Richman from “Coffee Talk” on Saturday Night Live.  “Placement Surveys are not ‘placement’ and not always ‘surveys’… Discuss.”)

For me, the NACE conference this year was about three things: bravery in uncertainty, solidifying relationships, and planning for randomness.

Bravery in Uncertainty

In my other two posts, covering the future of career services and first destination surveys, I tried to capture not only the content but the essence of those sessions: higher education & career services are changing.  That change of pace is rapid and is continuing to grow due to pressures from many of our constituents.  There are still unanswered questions and uncertain times ahead.  That is, admittedly, nerve-wracking and exciting all at once.

I am choosing to acknowledge both sides of that coin, and in the category of “practicing what I preach,” I am reminded of counseling students who are about to graduate and are not sure what lies ahead for them.  They know they are about to leave a whole world they created for themselves, and they’re not sure how much of it they can take with them.  They know change is coming swiftly, and there’s nothing they can do to stop it.  They take it head on.  And so must we.  At the NACE conference this year, it was clear to see the profession taking this change head on, and I look forward to seeing more of it in the months and years ahead.

Solidifying Relationships

It took place on plane rides, in hotel restaurants, on ottomans in the lobby, at coffee shops – everywhere there were conversations with great people.  If we’re talking MBTI types, I am almost completely an “E” for extravert (pause for stunned response), and so a conference center full of people is energizing for me.  Besides the opportunity to learn in the sessions, the greatest benefit of attending the NACE conference is the opportunity to build relationships with people.  I enjoyed the chance to connect with both career services and recruiting colleagues, new and old.  I remember at last year’s conference, a veteran in the field told me that she’s met not only great colleagues but great friends in this field.  I see why.

For me, the connections weren’t always made in the most “buttoned up” situations.  Some of the most memorable connections I made were over the following: a somewhat problematic yet hilarious story about leaky hotel rooms, the best mobile apps to help you stay in shape, whether you’d consider yourself an appetizer or dessert person (dessert all the way), and more.  By allowing ourselves to get a little more personal, we deepened the relationship.  Building trust and bonding over even silly things can translate to better business and working together.  While of course it’s important to keep things appropriate, I try to keep the personal side in mind throughout the year.  We’re professionals, yes. We have a job to do, absolutely.  But, we’re people, too.

Planning for Randomness

Back to the MBTI talk for a second, I am also quite strongly a “J” for judging.  Not to be mistaken for judgmental, the “J” translates to someone who likes structure and to make decisions.  In fact, my first guest post for the NACE blog was on how I was preparing for the conference.  So, planning ahead is a part of me, and I say this with admiration and respect for all of my “P” for perceiving friends (those who are often described as spontaneous or more flexible).

One thing I should have mentioned in that post is to make plans, but also to allow for something in the moment to change your course.  You just never know whom you’ll bump into at the conference or when a lunch conversation turns into a best practice discussion session.  I’ve heard it said and said it myself: some of the best moments of a conference are those that occur between sessions.  Perhaps there’s a professional lesson nestled in there, too.  Some days, plan for randomness.  Have lunch with someone and don’t fill the agenda.  Have a meeting with yourself and let it be your creative time.  Take a different turn or two in a walk around your building or campus.  That’s at least some of how I’m interpreting it.  Making room for chance.

And so, with empty bags, a retired out of office email auto response, and much gratitude, I say thank you to everyone who organized the NACE conference this year and everyone who was a part of it.  This includes you, blog readers.  Here’s to San Antonio in 2014!

Learning Outcomes Assessment – A Step By Step

Doug Miller

A post by Guest Blogger, Doug Miller, faculty member and New Media Manager at DePaul University.

Douglas Lee Miller – Chicago, IL | about.me

On Twitter: @douglasLmiller

Learning Outcomes Assessment: Step by StepPresenters: Gail Rooney and Julia Panke Makela, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Nothing says real world application like a “step by step” and this one was both useful and inspiring. What follows are brief notes on a much more complete presentation about the deployment of these learning outcomes assessments in a particular context. The hope is that these notes and their brief outline of the constituent parts my inspire you to learn more.

From the presentation:

First, as a framework, it is important to define assessment as a process that is continuous. It tells a story and shares the dual function of providing continuous service and celebrating achievement.

What can we assess? We can assess needs, participation, satisfaction, and learning. There are many different desired outcomes, but learning is at the heart of what we are about in career services.

To be a part of the core function, career services needs to think of themselves as learning partners. -Rooney

Learning outcomes focus on client experiences.

We measure what clients can know, do, demonstrate or feel. How have they changed?

Rooney describes the ALOI cycle

Rooney describes the ALOI cycle

Focus in career services is too often on process and not on the change we want to see happen in our client experience. The purpose of the learning outcomes assessment is to be able to measure the changes we see in the client experience and behavior as a result of interactions with particular learning elements.

The steps below shed light on the path to deploying some learning outcomes assessments and on some of the more important questions an institution my ask while deploying them. They also illustrate the cyclical nature of the process while illustrating the need to assess and revise.

Step 1 – Defining Context

Guiding Questions: Who is the audience? What are the circumstances?

Step 2 – Brainstorming Outcomes

Guiding Questions: What do you want your audience to be able to do, demonstrate, value, or feel?

Step 3a – Writing Outcome Statements

Formula = “Intended learners who take will be able to .”

Step 3b – Writing Outcomes Statements

Useful construct = Blooms Taxonomy

Step 4 – Connect Theory to Practice

Helpful Suggestion: Look for a rubric from the field and place it in your context.

Step 5 – Prioritize Learning Outcomes

Guiding Question: If you had to pick only 3 which would be most helpful? Most important to stakeholders?

Step 6 – Evaluate the Outcomes

Helpful Suggestion: The purpose is to make a judgement. Too often we just use surveys – examine some other tools that may add dimension to the common survey. Look for demonstrable behavior changes.

Step 7 – Reflect on Results and Process

Guiding Questions: What happened that you expected? What took you by surprise?

Step 8 – Use the Assessments

Guiding Questions: What are you going to keep, modify, discontinue, explore?.

Bloggers note: The above steps were presented in a specific context – resume – that made it fairly easy to translate client behavior changes into learning outcomes. This author can imagine more than a few contexts whereby charting the behavior changes would be difficult if not problematic, especially in the areas of so called “soft skill” development. Despite this, there were some healthy and creative suggestions offered up by attendees that included everything from video taping to web analytics.

Finally, the most important advice from Rooney in the session is to start soon, start small, and to start with what you know you do well and build out from there. Making learning outcome assessments work is not easy and requires constant fine tuning – but the end results are by their very nature measurable.

A last reminder of Rooney's mantra as you set to the task of creating your own learning outcomes assessment tools: what did we help our clients to do, demonstrate, value, or feel that was different than from before we interacted with them?

In this case Rooney prompted at least this author's learning to demonstrate the outcomes assessment as a process – specifically to go home and revise my next syllabus before next quarter begins.

For more information see the story below:

The National Career Development Association | Learning Outcomes Assessment Step-By-Step: The Story Behind NCDA’s New Monograph

 

Fixated on “First Destinations”

kevin grubbA post by NACE Guest Blogger, Kevin Grubb.
Assistant Director at Villanova University’s Career Center.
Twitter: @kevincgrubb
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kevingrubb
Blog: “social @ edu”.

 That’s my official meditation for today at the NACE conference.  This morning, I attended a session hosted by the NACE First Destination Task Force where we discussed what’s been happening at the association and beyond with our increasingly critical surveys about where our graduates go after they leave our institutions.  With national attention being paid to these data and the numbers in the spotlight more often than ever, there’s no doubt this is a hot topic for career services attendees at the conference.  Here’s a breakdown of the session and some commentary by one of your faithful bloggers.

NACE has already released a position statement about these First Destinations surveys in July 2012, and we kicked off the session with a review of the principles laid out in this statement.  The short version of that is:

  • Post graduate success is the mission of entire institution, not just career services
  • All graduates of institutions should be tracked in these surveys
  • Career services should have central role in collecting this information
  • Outcomes should be inclusive, not just about immediate employment
  • Human subject & institutional research protocols should be observed when collecting information
  • Data may come from various reliable sources
  • Data collection should be on-going, with the final collection efforts completed by 6-9 months from graduation
  • Data should be reported in aggregate and should protect individual confidentiality
  • Outcome data should consider: response rates, academic program breakdown of data, job titles, employers, salary data, further academic study (what program and what institution)

The NACE Task Force is working on a version of a standardized first destination survey which can be used by all institutions.  The Task Force’s plan is to have all institutions be using this survey for the graduating class of 2014.  So, with that in mind, the Task Force needed to do quite a bit more beyond what has been set forth in the position statement.  Namely:

  • There would need to be a core set of questions to be asked universally and consistently
  • There would need to be establish definitions for standard measures (i.e. defining what “full-time employment” really means)
  • There would need to be an agreed upon appropriate time frame for data collection
  • There would need to be suggested response rate requirements to ensure that the data reported is statistically valid and reliable

This is all no small order.  What about entrepreneurs?  What about graduates in the summer, the fall, or schools on different academic calendars?  How can we standardize all of this?  Questions about the intricacies of this are abundant, and rightfully so.

The Task Force was ready to share a bit about where they are in the process, so here’s what was learned.

New Language for First Destination Surveys

  • Perhaps we can lay the “p” word to rest?  The suggestion is to call it “career outcomes” rather than “placement.”
  • Recognizing that information about post graduate career outcomes comes from various sources (not just our surveys), the suggestion is to consider “knowledge rates” rather than “response rates.”  For instance, say a faculty member or employer lets a career services office know a student was hired and reports job title & employer information.  That’s knowledge, not a “response.”
  • When the data collection period ends, we can “close the books.”  Ongoing data collection can and should happen after graduation, and the profession should consider counting early, mid and later in academic year graduates (not just traditional “Spring” grads).  However, knowing that spring graduation is the largest for a majority of institutions, we can consider closing the books six months after that date, which is approximately December 1.  NACE would consider reaching out for information by the end of December, and then could share aggregate data in January to legislators, those involved in public policy, and those in trends reporting.

Suggestions for type and amount of information to collect

  • The Task Force suggested a knowledge rate range between 65% and 85%.  This is to serve as an initial guidepost for us, and should help us find a workable range that is achievable, valid, and reliable.  Over time as we develop this, the suggested knowledge rate range may increase
  • The outcome measures to be provided include information such as (this is not the whole picture here): percentage of graduates employed full-time, those pursuing further study, those still seeking employment, and those not seeking employment.  While information should be collected for graduate and undergraduate students, there should also be separate information for the undergraduate and graduate levels as well
  • For the employment category, examples of information to collect include: job title, employer, salary (both base salary & guaranteed first year compensation, which includes signing bonuses)
  • For the further study category, the name of the academic program and institution name should be collected
  • If a student is working and pursuing further study, it is suggested that the data be categorized by the graduate’s primary pursuit.

A few more dimensions the Task Force is considering:

  • A way to measure a graduate’s satisfaction with their outcome?  Meaning: is this where they wanted to be?
  • For those who are reported as being employed full-time, is the employment related to their degree?
  • For now, the further study category is intended for those who are pursuing a graduate degree.  What about other types of study?  Certification programs?  Those who want to earn another undergraduate degree?

Suffice it to say, there are still many questions about this process yet to be answered.  But, I think I can safely say there is agreement that this is important work which needs doing.  It’s a challenge, no doubt.  Life doesn’t fit into defined categories easily, and so it follows that neither does one’s career plans.  At a time when many want to know, “is college worth it?,” these first destination data points can be key indicators of a piece of the puzzle that is an answer to that question.