Key Issues in Higher Education

Filed in News by on July 7, 2014

Eduventures, an industry leader in research, data, consulting, and advisor services for the higher education community, recently gave a presentation on key issues in higher education at a Career Development Center event. They found that retention is a hot strategic focus for higher education this year, particularly with the upcoming increase in the number of high school graduates. Increasing traditional enrollments and fundraising for new or improved facilities were the only two areas prioritized over retention.

So what is career development’s role in recruitment and retention? It is vital! Career preparation remains the highest rated enrollment driver for colleges and universities according to an Eduventures survey. This means that students want to attend schools they believe will set them apart once they enter the workforce. Not surprisingly, the survey found that career-focused programs were a focus among a majority of institutions’ strategic plans to meet this demand. Career service offices, including WPI’s, must continue to build relationships with internal and external constituents to deliver streamlined services that help students make the connection between their academic work and future professional lives.

Additionally, it is important to build this connection early by developing programs that target first year students. For example, WPI’s Discovering Majors and Careers course gives students the opportunity to conduct a self-assessment, research majors of interest, learn about career paths, attend academic department events, and participate in informational interviews, job shadowing, and company tours. If a student is able to speak about their career pursuits and the corresponding action items after one year of coursework, retention is bound to improve.

If you would like to get involved with the Discovering Majors and Careers course or learn more about WPI CDC programs, visit us our website. Also check out Eduventures to find out more about their survey and other resources.

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