Have you ever wondered what kind of impact our Career Services Center has on Walden students and alumni?
In 2014, our staff of five had more than 112,000 touchpoints, including website visitors, social media community members, OptimalResume account holders, webinar attendees, and one-on-one advising appointments. How did we achieve that?
For the past three years, we’ve been studying our mission, vision, processes and metrics under a new process called a co-curricular review. The goal of a co-curricular review is continuous improvement. We wrote a 75-page in-depth self-study including 50 pages of detailed metrics. In August, we met with two external reviewers who visited us in Minneapolis to discuss our report and interview our Career Services Center team, students, alumni, faculty and staff to evaluate what is going well and ways we might improve our services and resources. It was a very exciting opportunity for our Career Services team to gain an infusion of new insight and ideas.
Through detailed analysis of various university metrics regarding students’ career goals and usage of our services, we have implemented various improvements the past three years of our co-curricular review. We have reached more students and alumni through strengthening our website, launching new social media channels, developing our Google-search type Quick Answers, and developing more topical Skills Cafes.
Our improvement efforts have resulted in our expanding our reach with students and alumni from 102,495 touchpoints in 2013 to 112,117 touchpoints in 2014. This is an increase of 9%.
Following their visit to Minneapolis, our reviewers collaborated to write a report of strategic recommendations for our continuous improvement. Looking at our progress in reaching more students and alumni the past three years, our external reviews wrote in their report:
“We commend the Senior Director and the whole Career Services team for the excellent work that they are already doing and for their continued interest in and commitment to further improving their services to Walden’s students. The reviewers were very impressed with Walden University’s Career Services operation and in our opinion, thinks it ranks in the top 1% of career services operations of its size and type.”
Having started our Career Services Center back in January 2007, I’ve watched our Center develop and grow to our staff of five. Our team is very dedicated to supporting Walden students and alumni in meeting their career goals. It was invaluable for us to gain the fresh insights of external experts in the career development field and we appreciate the university’s support of this process. We look forward to implementing new strategies to support our students and alumni in meeting their career goals!
Written by Lisa Cook, Senior Director of Career Services