Career Services Self Study for Standard 3 Subcommittee for Accreditation Submitted by Janet Sekijima, Career Specialist Mission and Who We Serve
Career Services’ mission is to assist all North’s students and graduates to develop, evaluate and plan or implement their career and employment decisions, plans and goals. Career Services assists a wide range of students across disciplines, programs of study, special grant-funded programs such as Career Link, Running Start, WorkFirst and Worker Retraining, as well as students in International Student Programs. Career Services also serves prospective students who are researching training programs, and members of the community by facilitating a monthly 3-hour long workshop called “Knowing Yourself” at the WorkSource North Seattle. This is part of the college’s partnership with a consortium of agencies, including Employment Security and other CBOs. These activities serve an outreach function for the college by introducing the general public to the college and sometimes drawing in new students. Consequently, Career Services’ mission supports the college’s mission and strategic plan for the following strategic directions: 1) Fostering student success; and 2) Developing a realistic student enrollment base that is sustainable.
Organizational Placement and Structure
Career Services is a unit within Instruction and falls under the umbrella of Workforce Education. Workforce Education is comprised of Career Services, the Internship Program, the Worker Retraining Program, and the WorkFirst Program. As of July 1, 2006, Career Services will report to the Director of Workforce Education who reports to the Interim Vice President of Instruction, Mary Ellen O’Keeffe. Career Services meets monthly with the entire Workforce Education staff.
Career Services Budget -- 061-3D08, state-funded CWS/JLD Budget -- 161-3N39, 10% of North’s Federal Work Study grant to develop part-time jobs Career Events Budget -- 063-3D27, a revenue-generating budget funded by registration fees for job fairs [See Appendix A, Budget]
Staffing and Location
Presently, Career Services is staffed by a Career Specialist, a part-time temporary Program Assistant, and 1-2 part-time Work Study employees (when available). The Career Specialist assists students individually by appointment, on a walk-in basis, in small group workshops, on an as-needed basis in the Career Services Lab and in classroom presentations. Considerable communication occurs on a daily basis via the phone and by email with prospective students, currently enrolled students, graduates and employers. The Program Assistant provides office support such as orienting students to the unit, assisting students in the Career Services Lab, creating correspondence, tracking and reporting, preparing marketing materials, and providing assistance in planning, organizing and staging career events. [See Appendix B, Staff Position Descriptions]
All Workforce Education staff “share” a full-time Program Assistant. The Program Assistant greets and screens visitors/callers and provides information, answers questions, schedules appointment and directs individuals to the appropriate staff person. The staff also assists in monitoring the Career Services Lab which is immediately adjacent to the main reception area where the staff is located. Career Specialist is located in CC 2344B, right next door to CC2343A where the Program Assistant is located. The Program Assistant supports both Career Services and the Internship Program. This arrangement is functional in that Career Services plans and coordinates its services in close collaboration with the Internship Program as the services of these two units are closely linked. Directly across the hall from the Career Specialist’s office is the Career Services Lab. Career Services is on the 2nd floor of College Center, northwest wing. Nearby are Worker Retraining, WorkFirst, Women’s Center, Counseling, and the Educational Access Center. [See Appendix C, Career Services Brochure] Online Presence -- Career Services Website: Career Services maintains a website with separate sections for students, employers, and faculty. There are online resources that include recommended job search/career information links and job/internship listing sites available on the Internet. [See career.northseattle.edu]
Resources and Services Offered
Career Information: Students can drop in the Career Services Lab, open M-F, 9:00-4:30 pm, to use seven computers with Internet access. Each work station is equipped with career/occupational software programs such as: Washington Occupational Information System, Choices, Choices Explorer, and Choices Abilities Profiler. These programs are offered on a self-service basis for students to research career and occupational information, labor market information, and colleges and college major information. Students can take inventories of their transferable skills, interests, abilities, work values to investigate what types of career and employment possibilities best match their profile. [See Appendix D, Career Services Lab Reference Sheets] Students may also meet individually by appointment with the Career Specialist. Career Services regularly refers students for career counseling and standardized career assessment (e.g., MBTI, Strong Interest Inventory) to Counseling, which is staffed by two PhD-level counselors Counseling routinely refers students to Career Services to further explore career and occupational information in the Career Services Lab. Job Search Skills Training: Career Services provides students with the tools to successfully market and present themselves for internships and employment. Toward this end, Career Services facilitates an ongoing series of job search workshops which typically include the following topics: Resume and Cover Letter Writing Job Search Strategies Interviewing Techniques Practice Interviewing Salary Negotiations Applying Online and Other Basic Job Search Skills
[See Appendix E, Job Search Workshops; Appendix F, Job Search Workshop Evaluation] Classroom presentations are also given upon invitation by faculty. Free job search reference handouts are available in Career Services area, information on website, and reference library (includes books, reference materials, directories, and videotapes) which can be accessed or viewed in the Lab. [See Appendix G, Reference Library Index]
Career Services emails a newsletter informing the campus community of upcoming career events and activities. The newsletter usually highlights some specific service or new development. [See Appendix H, Newsletter] Hard Copy Job Board Listings and Reference Handouts: Career Services has dedicated space for posting hard copies of employment and internship opportunities, information about career and job related events, and free reference handouts displayed on a rack in the Career Services hallway. Career Services also posts hard copies of jobs sorted by various sectors of the job market: Government, Education, PartTime, Social Services/Non-Profit, General, Technical/Skilled Trades, Business, Health/Medical, Restaurant/Hotel, Administrative Support/Clerical, Customer Service, and Volunteer. Job and Internship Listings Online Via Interfase: Career Services launched a new web-based career management system called Interfase in April, 2006, to track job and internship listings, employer and student accounts and ways to communicate with employers and students. Students can view, search and apply for jobs via this online database from any computer with Internet access. Students can also conduct keyword searches, search by job function and industry type, and create am automatic job search agent which emails the student as opportunities come in that are of interest. Students can upload various documents such as resumes and cover letters onto the system. Interfase permits employers to create a user account, enter their own employment opportunities online and to make changes, including close out old jobs and with permission, view student resumes to search for qualified candidates. Interfase allows staff to easily email students registered on the system, to track and report on the students who have registered. The system can also sort types of employers, jobs and internships entered into the system. Visit https://myinterfase.com/northseattle/student. The main drawback of Interfase is the staff time required to conduct maintenance and oversight of the job listings. [See Appendix I, Interfase Student Guide] Provide Opportunities for Students and College Community to Meet and Interact with Local Employers: Employers are both vital partners with and primary customers for Career Services. Provide employer feedback to college. Working on employer survey using online SNAP survey tool. Maximize students’ exposure to employers. Encourage interaction among employers, faculty and college administrators. Career fairs. Sponsor and host two or three job fairs per year—Fall Retail & Customer Service Job Fair, Winter Job and Internship Fair and Spring Career Fair. In Spring 2005, we hosted a firsttime combination Internship & Job Fair. This fair was a big success and we brought almost 50 companies and organizations onto campus for students to meet and interact with. The students/job seekers rated the job fair as “very good.” Participating employers indicated that the job fair was worthwhile and “very good” on the evaluations. In Spring 2006, we held our second Internship and Job Fair. Overall, the feedback was very positive from both job seekers and employers who participated. [See Appendix J, Job Seeker Evaluations; Appendix K, Employer Evaluations] Services Provided by Career Services 7/1/05 through 6/15/06 Individual Student Appointments (assistance in job search, resume, career information, job referral information) Classroom Presentations on Self Marketing and Presentation Skills (by faculty invitation) Job Search Workshop Participants Students registered on Interfase (online database of employers, jobs, internships and students) Hires Tracked to Date Number Served/Assisted 7/1/05 through 6/30/06 419
145 students 37 1082 students 115
Services Provided by Career Services 7/1/05 through 6/15/06 Jobs Posted Online on Interfase Employers on Interfase Jobs Posted on Job Board (hard copies) In-Person Visits or Meetings with Employers Fall Retail & Customer Service Job Fair, 10/11/05 Winter Internship & Job Fair, 2/23/06 WorkSource Workshops Facilitated Puget Sound Radio Broadcasting Association Job Fair
Number Served/Assisted 7/1/05 through 6/30/06 866 1164 >2000 jobs at any given time; daily postings of multiple job listings 18 on-campus visits by employers for recruitment 340 students/job seekers came 33 companies or organizations participated; 320 students attended 7 workshops presented (between 10-35 individuals attend per workshop) 8 employers and 150 individuals attended
[See Appendix L, Career Services Lab Usage; Appendix M, Quarterly Reports for Career Services] Historical Perspective 12/99 1/00-9/03 1/02 7/03 9/03 11/03 10/03 Damaris Pearson, Internship Coordinator leaves position. Janet Sekijima responsible for both Career Services and the Internship Program. Career Services Lab relocated from CC 1443 to CC 2344B, second floor of College Center. Mary Ellen O’Keeffe hired as Executive Dean for Workforce Education. eRecruiting, online career management system purchased and implemented to allow students to register with Career Services and search/apply for jobs and internships online. Kurt Simmons hired as the Internship Coordinator. Career Services Task Force convened in October, 2003 to examine Career Services role, function and level of operations and services per the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Professional Standards for College and University Career Services, 1998. Career Services report presented to Executive Team. Budget request presentation to College Council. Temporary increase of $15,000 allocated to hire part-time hourly staff. Kava Vale hired as temporary part-time Program Assistant (17.5 hours/week). Alice Hanson, Resume Writing Consultant (Part-Time @ 8 hours/week) leaves position. Replacement for Kava Vale hired (Lisa Daly) at 17 hours/week. Workforce Education hires a new Employment Specialist, Jon Frodema, to help Worker Retraining and WorkFirst students to find employment Launched Interfase as new online job and internship database. Overall Unit Strengths In Fall 2003, a Career Services Task Force was convened to examine the level of services provided by the unit. [See Appendix N, Task Force Charter] This involved creating a 15-member group that met four times between October 2003 to March 2004. The Task Force received briefings on present services and resources and research on other Puget Sound area colleges’ career services staffing levels and services provided. The Task Force members were surveyed regarding their top priorities for Career Services, gave input and feedback and created a vision and recommendations for the unit. [See Appendix O, Task Force Vision and Recommendations] During Spring 2004, Career Specialist made a presentation to the Executive Board of the college requesting more resources/budget be allocated. An unmet need request for $15,000 to add staff was
3/04 5/04 8/04 9/04 12/04 10/05 4/06 4/06
also made to the College Council. In August 2004, Career Services was allocated an additional $19,000, $15,000 for staff and $4,000 for career-related software annual site licenses for 2004-2005. A part-time hourly Program Assistant was hired in September 2004. Career Services has made some progress in systematically tracking services provided to students and employers. Career Services also “hired” a graduate-level intern from Seattle University to help develop a survey of employers who have hired our students or graduates within the last 3 years. [See Appendix P, Employer Survey] We have started passing out a “How Are We Doing” student evaluation form [See Appendix Q] Review of these evaluations are positive. A summary of evaluation responses follows: Helpfulness/Friendliness of Staff: 16 Excellent; 2 Good Benefits/Availability of Resources: 12 Excellent; 6 Good Ease of Use/Convenience: 12 Excellent; 6 Good Did you receive the services you required in an agreeable manner? 18 Yes Based on your experience today, will you use our services again? 18 Yes What was the longest time you had to wait for staff or resources? 5 minutes at most Was this amount of time reasonable to you? Yes What did we do that was especially good? Good editing and advice. Very helpful. Everything was explained well and clearly. Took time to listen. Very patient. Advice on resume. Helping preparation for the interview. Show me the interview skills. How to answer questions. What do I dress in the interview. Explain where I can improve. Resume development, advices. Answered my resume and cover letter questions quickly and efficiently. The staff helped me to rewrite my resume in order to match the kinds of job that I am looking for. Coaching into what career will fit me. Providing professional advices. How do you feel we could have served you better? No comments Additional Comments: My resume and job search. Thanks! Janet is a helpful and friendly person, that advice you well, and help people to figure out what is their reality. I am grateful to her. Janet is very patient to explain to me and how to answer the questions. I appreciate her help. I am happy with the service that the staff served me. So far, everything is quite good. Overall Unit Challenges and Long-Term Planning Although Career Services has made some progress in becoming more visible and integrated into all students’ educational experience it remains understaffed. Career Services faces challenges in terms of the changing demographics of students who are less prepared in the areas of basic communication and computer skills.
Therefore, assisting these students on resume and cover letter writing, applying for jobs online and other job search skills is quite time and labor intensive. More students appear to have multiple barriers to employment such as being unemployed on a long-term basis, having pronounced disabilities (e.g., mental health issues and learning challenges). Career Services has developed the following 2-year Objectives and Goals. These will likely shift and evolve. Objective #1: Career services should be integrated into the educational experience of all students, from when the student first enrolls through when the student graduates and/or transfers. Goal 1: Host a panel of employers to speak about various career opportunities in their fields and allow time for students to ask questions by Winter, 2007. Objective #2: Grow Career Services Visibility and Value. Goal #2: Create a new supplemental site that links to the official existing Career Services website. Include sample resumes in various disciplines or fields in PDF format, online job search modules, and other more comprehensive resources and support by Winter, 2007. Goal #3: Create an advisory committee for Career Services by Summer, 2007. Objective #3: Improve Career Services Facilities and Space Goal #4: Space/facilities and long-term planning; involvement in Master Plan for the college, especially in conjunction with the co-location space involving DSHS and Employment Security and other community partners (ongoing activity). Objective #4: Accountability and Tracking Outcomes Goal #5: Develop systematic tracking and documentation of services and outcomes (hires); need to research the possible use of a secure shared drive to enable staff to enter data for services provided from their work station by Summer, 2007. Goal #6: Develop evaluation forms that will be sent out regularly to get input from students and employers on Career Services’ performance and responsiveness for purposes of continuous improvement by Winter, 2008.