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Work in Progress: Career Ready... or Not? A Career-Readiness Activity for Senior Chemical Engineering Students

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Work-In-Progress Postcard Session

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Daniel D. Anastasio Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Daniel Anastasio is an assistant professor at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. He received a B.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Connecticut in 2009 and 2015, respectively. His primary areas of research are game-based learning in engineering courses and membrane separations for desalination and water purification.

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Elizabeth R. Morehouse Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Liz Morehouse is an assistant director in Career Services & Employer Relations at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. She received a B.A. in Spanish and M.S. in Community Counseling from Northern Kentucky University in 2007 and 2009, respectively. She is an award-winning curriculum designer with significant experience providing leadership and career development opportunities for college students.

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The likely goal for many engineering students is to find a job and enter the workforce post-graduation. However, many students express concerns and often feel anxiety about the job search process, often not having a good sense of what employers are seeking in new hires. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has identified eight core competencies for career readiness in college graduates based on feedback from employers. Some of these competencies, such as problem solving and teamwork, come naturally within chemical engineering curricula. Other competencies, such as career management and global/intercultural fluency, may take more effort for some students to develop. However, it is critical for graduating students to recognize these competencies are valued by employers. Using this knowledge, they can be better prepared to make their applications stand out and interview successfully.

This paper describes an activity that can be conducted within one class period that will help activate student awareness of the NACE competencies. The goal of the activity is to generate examples of student expressions of these competencies while suggesting possible actions students could take in their senior year to develop their weaker competencies. Students were asked to complete a pre-class survey where they ranked their relative strengths and provided personal examples of demonstrations of each competency. As a part of the activity, students worked in groups to discuss the different competencies and set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based (SMART) goals associated with strengthening weaker competencies. A post-class survey was administered to determine if students felt more knowledgeable and confident in their ability to demonstrate these competencies to employers.

This activity was conducted in a senior-level chemical engineering professional practice course. At this stage, preliminary data shows that students generally became more aware of the eight competencies while finding the activity useful to at least some extent. As a work-in-progress, the authors are looking for feedback on the activity before a more in-depth assessment takes place.

Anastasio, D. D., & Morehouse, E. R. (2019, June), Work in Progress: Career Ready... or Not? A Career-Readiness Activity for Senior Chemical Engineering Students Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33599

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