By Farouk Dey, PhD, Dean of Career Education and Associate Vice Provost
Changes in economic conditions, generational trends, and technology as well as feedback from students, alumni, and parents have spurred major paradigm shifts in the delivery of career services in higher education. Stanford’s renewed investment in career services will lead the way in transforming how career centers will support students’ academic success, professional development, and transition from college to career.
Stanford is prioritizing students’ career development by launching a new model that promises to offer specialized career development support to students and connect them to meaningful internship and employment opportunities as well as mentoring and experiential learning. Career education will become a significant element of the student experience rather than a resource that they seek when they approach graduation. Moving from a traditional transactional model of career services, Stanford Career Education will continue to offer career counseling, résumé assistance, and Venture Events (formerly known as career fairs), but will have a stronger emphasis on building connections through partnerships with employers from a variety of sectors, experiential learning, mentoring, and developing career communities of learners and networkers that will serve students and alumni for a lifetime.
Based on the recommendations of a steering committee representing diverse groups of stakeholders—including students, faculty, parents, and alumni—the new model of career connections will focus on three key elements:
When the new model of career connections is fully implemented, students will be better equipped for the transition from college to careers because of the connections they will have made, the professional experiences they will have been exposed to, and the support they will have received from career coaches and mentors at Stanford.
This shift in service delivery will also bring new measures and metrics for students’ career engagement, learning, and destination outcomes. Stanford Career Education has begun implementing a net promoter score to measure students’ loyalty and engagement in career communities, and is partnering with Institutional Research, the Registrar’s Office, and the Stanford Alumni Association to begin publishing first destinations and lifelong professional outcomes.
Stanford Career Education plans to hire additional staff to increase support for students, build stronger partnerships with employers, engage more alumni and parent volunteers as mentors, and develop experiential learning opportunities such as career treks and job shadowing. Stanford Career Education also plans to invest in additional support for underrepresented communities, including international, first-generation, LGBTQ, ethnic, and cultural student groups. Plans also include changing the name of the career center, reinventing its communication with stakeholders, and renovating its facilities to properly match the spirit of the new model of career connections.