Data Collection Toward a 100 Percent Knowledge Rate

BlessVaiBless Vaidian, Director, Career Counseling for Pace Career Services – Westchester, and Founder, Career Transitions Guide
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/blessvaidian
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BlessCareers
Blog: http://careertransitionsguide.com

Is a 100 percent knowledge rate possible with a first-destination survey? That’s to be determined each year and with each effort. Due-diligence requires universities to extend maximum effort to try to achieve a 100 percent knowledge rate for all our students. The task of collecting and reporting data is a huge undertaking trusted to many career offices. Whether you are trying to meet the NACE deadline for data collection or your own office deadline, creating a systematic approach and incorporating “best practices” into your labor makes capturing career outcomes more manageable.

Lay the Foundation

Its essential to be able to analyze data with ease, as well as know ahead of time what questions to include in your outreach attempts to students. Follow the suggestions outlined by NACE in your database fields and match it to your first destination surveys. Bring in your school’s technology department to help create the database, as well as the electronic surveys that capture the responses fed into it. Once that’s done, a time line for when, where, and how you will collect data can be drawn out. Cap and Gown surveys, employer surveys, surveys to the campus community, classroom visits, social media searches, follow-up student surveys, calls and e-mails have to be systematically laid out on a timeline. Learn assessment best practices by attending conferences and events to know how others are capturing information. Make sure you use the NACE links on the topic and talk to Ed Koc, NACE’s Director of Research, Public Policy, and Legislative Affairs or his great team if you have questions. Koc is offering a webinar on the first-destination initiative in early January for NACE members. A solid foundation and plan of action will serve you well in the long run.

Designate a Point Person

If the college community knows that career outcome information has to be sent to a designated individual within their school, then more outcomes can be captured. Often university staff members possess career outcome information and never pass it onto career services. The human resources and admissions departments within your school may have first-destination information on numerous students who were hired or went onto graduate school at your institution. The designated point person should monitor the first destination survey numbers, solicit information from university sources consistently, and create a strategy for follow-up with graduates. It takes many people, numerous efforts, and even call-centers to capture data for bigger schools. But designate an expert to manage the whole process, set the timeline, and be the “face” of the initiative in order to drive the results.

It’s Not a Career Services Issue, It’s a University Issue

Helping students find opportunities and creating a path for successful outcomes is not just a career services goal. Higher education is a partnership of many units working collaboratively to ensure retention and capture every student’s career outcome. Long before first-destination surveys go out, building relationships with the campus community is where data collection really starts for career services. Meetings with the university community to build bridges, foster relationships, and outline the process is crucial. Students share career outcome information with professors, academic advisers, financial aid representatives, leaders of student organizations, and college staff. These sources become vital in the collection process and have to be included in the journey.

Keep the Community Vested

It is essential to make survey efforts and progress visible to the campus community. Every dean, faculty member, and university staff  member should know what the career office does. Career outcome and knowledge rate information should be displayed in infographics, charts, and reports on a regular basis with college partners. If others understand what goes on behind the scenes and where the numbers are, then they will be more apt to assist with first-destination information. It also keeps departments interested and looking forward to the next update.

Mandate Attendance 

Universities that promote, encourage, or even mandate attendance at career service events and one-to-one meetings with a career counselor can create more successful outcomes. Students that have worked with career offices feel more comfortable sharing career outcomes, and should be told that post-graduate follow-up will take place after graduation. Career services also helps students find pre-professional experience through internships that build resumes and lead to full-time offers. They offer networking opportunities with employers and alumni that have job leads every semester. Increased student engagement with career centers increases the “knowledge rate,” and also increases “outcomes.” Its a simple formula.

Multiple out-reach efforts to capture information throughout the year are made to graduating seniors, college partners, and employers to track career outcomes. I would love to hear your school’s best practices and ideas to reach that “100 percent knowledge rate.” Wishing each of you success in reaching your university’s goal and capturing outcomes. 

Best Practices for Live Tweeting at #NACE13

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

The days of high brow, intellectual conversation at conferences are over.

Well, maybe not over, but thanks to social media platforms like Twitter, things are getting a little more fun and dynamic. 

 

Live tweeting allows attendees to stay engaged by live tweeting their thoughts on speakers and content throughout different workshops. This both builds connections within those at the conference, and also includes the twitterverse as a whole in the conversation.

Although Emily Post did not provide us with insight into proper live tweetng etiquette, Twitter Media provides a good guide. I figured I would also give you my two cents on effective live tweeting. Whether you’re a first time tweeter, or a veteran, in anticipation of #NACE13, these are my…

Top 5 Live Tweeting Best Practices 

1. Save #NACE13 so you can see what’s happening  Hootsuite.com is my platform of choice for organizing social networks. I call it my control station because the site allows you to view multiple social networks and save streams. Save #NACE13 as a stream so you can view all of the fabulous insight your peers share throughout the conference.

 

 2. When it comes to Hashtags, It’s Quality Not Quantity  #Feel #like #you #see #hashtags #everywhere? The “pound sign,” as my mother calls it, is a great way to build community, see what’s trending, host contests and facilitate Twitter chats. If used strategically (and not excessively), a hashtag expands engagement amongst followers, and even increases your number of followers. For our purposes, we will discuss how to use hashtags while live Tweeting at the upcoming NACE conference. You’ll want to use the designated event hashtag, #NACE13 for any tweets relating to the conference. During the conference, you can use the #NACE13 when tweeting about the different workshops, networking opportunities, or delicious meals that occur over the course of the event. You can also think of using other relevant hashtags along with it. 

Not to tweet:

Why not tweet this? First, it looks like a 13-year-old girl wrote it. Second, only two of these hashtags serve any relevance to us as grownup professionals who can eat ice cream for dinner if they feel like it.
To Tweet:

This is a great tweet because it is short, includes two relevant hashtags, and speaks kindly of me. A+. 

3. Now that we’re friends, expand your network For introverts like me, cyberspace is a great place to start making connections (not in a creepy way). By viewing what others are saying within the #NACE13 stream, you can engage by retweeting (RT), or relpying. A few tips when engaging in a live tweet: 

If you modify someone’s tweet, make sure to change the RT to Modified Tweet (MT) to indicate you changed content within the tweet.

If you are mentioning someone and you want all of Twitter to know, make sure that you put their handle in the middle of the tweet. If it’s at the beginning only those who are following both of you will see the tweet.

A tweet heard around the Twitterverse:

 Just me, you, and our mutual followers:

4. Don’t be “that” person You know the type. It’s the same person who doesn’t realize you’re sleeping with your eyes open while they tell the story about their epic trip to Vegas 10 years ago for the seven thousandth time. Don’t be that guy or gal. Make sure you aren’t taking up the Twitterverse with all your tweets and there’s variety in the stream. Within your tweets, keep it interesting and throw in a picture, or even a Vine! No one likes to read anymore, just ask college students.

5. Take the conversation offline Introversion aside, we know that we live in an extroverted world. It’s important that we are not only extremely charming and engaging in the online space, but that we also talk to people in real life. I encourage you to join the Tweetup, sponsored by Macy’s, on Tuesday from 9-10pm where you will meet the tweeps you’ve been tweeting with in the real world (I know, terrifying).

Overall, live tweeting is just one of the many ways to enrich your experience and be an active participant at #NACE13! I look forward to seeing everyone in a few weeks!