June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
College Industry Partnerships
The development of employment search skills is critical for engineering students to obtain high-quality employment. Most schools offer resources to assist in this skill development through their career centers, and a few schools offer either required or elective courses which focus on the main employment search skills of resume development, interviewing, etc. However, engineering students often do not recognize the importance of developing employment search skills or may procrastinate their search for internships and full-time employment. These students may fail to utilize career-center services, and such career-center services may not be focused specifically on obtaining engineering jobs. Moreover, many schools do not have space in their engineering curricula to add courses or the resources to offer engineering-focused courses to assist their students in the development of employment search skills. If engineering students do not develop the necessary skills to obtain employment, they may struggle to obtain their first job or obtain a subpar position that is not conducive to a strong start to their career. Additionally, the placement rate of the engineering program may suffer. The College of Engineering at Valparaiso University has developed an employment search skill development program to help students develop the necessary skills to obtain high-quality employment. Once deployed, this program requires minimal resources to administer and no new courses in the engineering curriculum. The program consists of stand-alone online learning modules for sophomore, junior, and senior engineering students in all disciplines. These Blackboard modules are administered by one person and associated with required courses in each discipline. The modules are comprehensive, consisting of multiple skill development sessions in each skill area, and each session consists of video instruction, a Blackboard quiz, and potentially an assignment. Upon completion of each of the Blackboard modules, each student’s grades for the program contribute to the final grades in the associated discipline courses, thus providing the students with the required motivation to complete the employment search skill development program. Student surveys and focus groups were completed to assess the employment search skill development program and to determine suggestions for improvement.
Duncan, G. S., & Will, J., & Wertz, R. E. H., & Cath, T. (2019, June), A Program to Prepare Engineering Students to Obtain High-Quality Employment Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://www.jee.org/31984
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