The author of this article is Nicole Poff, MA, a Career Services Specialist and Online Associate Faculty member at Ashford University San Diego, California. As a Career Services Specialist, Nicole works collaboratively across the university to embed career service components into the classroom
At a recent conference, a fellow attendee complained: “Our students are so over-programmed with university initiatives that our department can’t compete for attention.”
Another attendee responded, “Well, you should consider yourself lucky – we have such a small department that our calendars are completely booked with student appointments, so we have no time to create programming.” Over the next hour, counsellors from across the country shared their career services dilemmas. One small complaint created a domino effect of career counsellors revealing their strongest pain points. Beyond just over-programming and a small department, some of the most common issues were: lack of student engagement, limited funds, low workshop attendance, unprepared students, and overzealous students who expect to become CEOs upon graduation.
Uncertain about how my peers would respond, I anxiously raised my hand and said: “We don’t have a huge budget; we have a pretty small team in comparison to our massive student and alumni population; our engagement is frequently subpar, but we have found that integrating career components into existing courses is working very well for us. In fact, we have successfully integrated career service components into a lot of our education courses, and we are seeing great success.” At that moment, I was met with both curiosity and resistance as other counsellors asked, “Would curriculum integration work for us? If so, how?” Read more