As a chief admissions officer, I am convinced that the strength of career services and the programs a college offers to prepare students for life after college are more important than ever for those responsible for recruitment. Admissions officers must be equipped with the strongest-possible case for their career services, if they are going to be able to persuade increasingly skeptical students and parents.
I am really proud of what we are doing at Augustana College and feel like I am better equipped than ever before to illustrate how we do things better than others. I love our approach for the value it will have to our students and future graduates. And, as an admissions officer, I am thrilled to be able to highlight what we are doing through CORE.
This fall we launched CORE, which is outlined in detail below.
CORE is more than collection of offices and services, which many colleges have. It’s more than an acronym for Careers, Opportunities, Research and Exploration. CORE is a campus-wide re-orientation to the student experience, with a primary focus to ensure students connect experiences, information, knowledge, passions and ambitions—all with the objective of understanding and reaching their goals for success. CORE’s approach is to sit side-by-side with Augustana students throughout their four years, and guide them—in partnership with their advisor—to make sure they are ready and equipped to achieve their goals. This approach to a residential liberal arts college education is something new.
CORE’s approach is research-driven, emphasizing the experiences that have proven most effective in preparing students to be successful. It also represents a shift in how a college can prepare students to take ownership of their career path by planning ahead and making strategic connections between in- and out-of-classroom learning. The approach of meeting students in the moment enables CORE staff to equip them with the resources and opportunities to customize their education, maximize their success, and make the necessary connections that lead to meaningful learning experiences.
Like the Tredway Library and the Center for Student Life, CORE is a hub in the center of Augustana’s campus. The centralization and integration of CORE services send an important message about our campus community, and make it easier to stop in throughout the week.
Primary services and staff are in offices and services related to advising, career development, community outreach, internships, student research, study away and vocational exploration.
Viking Score—A proactive, practical way for students to ensure they are on the path to reach their post-graduate goals
Staffing levels—An increase from four career counselors to 13 professionals
Advising and vocational exploration—Advising on first-year experience, choice of academic fields, identification of skills and talents, internship and research opportunities, career and graduate school preparation, and more
Augie Choice—$2,000 for each student to fund an internship, research experience or study abroad
Faculty-led international study—We have a long history of our faculty developing and leading international study programs at Augustana. We don’t outsource our international programs to other schools, but maintain the values of Augustana by having our faculty work with students on and off campus.
CORE prepares Augustana College graduates to navigate a challenging future and complex job market with versatility, generosity and skill. In doing so, CORE positions Augustana as one of the nation’s leaders in advancing the benefits of a liberal arts education on a residential campus.
As an admissions professional, I know that more than ever before my message must focus on this aspect of the college experience and I need to be armed with a persuasive case. I believe that CORE has equipped me with that.
How are you approaching this new frontier? Has career services and programming associated with preparing students for success taken on new life for you? What do you think of the CORE approach?
W. Kent Barnds @bowtieadmission