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Fall 2013 Conference Keynote Presentation-Dr. Linda Gross
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Fall 2013 Conference Keynote Presentation-Dr. Linda Gross


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  • 1. Linda Gross, Ph.D What Placement Means, How to Claim it with Integrity, and Build Metrics to Support Your Work September 13, 2013 Valparasio, Indiana © 2013
  • 2. 1. Data a. Downer b. Dread c. Distress d. Delight 2. Placement a. Panic b. Phobia c. Paranoia d. Pleasure 3. Statistics a. Stress b. Suffering c. Sweat d. Sensational 4. Annual Report a. Angst b. Anxiety c. Apprehension d. Amusement A little self assessment
  • 3. An Ostrich Lesson
  • 4. Contexts & Challenges
  • 5. Complaints about college ROI rise as a YouTube genre
  • 6. • Return on investment (ROI) concerns – How can we measure the value of a college education? • Economic pressures – Rapid tuition and fee inflation – Erosion of public funding for state institutions – Rising institutional costs (health care) – Market competitiveness • Increased need for public accountability – Student debt load and loan default – Completion rates – Gainful employment – High profile scandals both public, private and for profit What is driving the placement data obsession?
  • 7. New York Times, May 3, 2013 Are college graduates more likely to be unemployed?
  • 8. What may begin as an honest error, however, has a way of evolving through almost imperceptible steps from self-delusion to fraud. The line between foolishness and fraud is thin. Because it is not always easy to tell when that line is crossed, I use the term voodoo science to cover them all… (Page 10) Is placement data Voodoo Science?
  • 9. The Problems with “Placement” • Antiquated Terminology • Methodology – Contrived formulas designed to yield the highest placement rate – No consistency between institutions – Even the NCES has been reluctant to define a universal methodology • Fraud – Career Education Corporation $10.3 million fraud settlement for inflating job placement data – ATI Enterprises (a career training company) will pay the federal government $3.7 million to resolve compliance issues with federal aid and job placement data
  • 10. Toward a Better Paradigm
  • 11. • Methodology • Clear definition of the survey population • Response rates • Practicality – data mining and ethical judgment • Timing • Clear definition of terms – What is placed? – What is unplaced? – What about those we can’t resolve The Power of Transparency
  • 12. Michigan State University Destination Survey A Case Example
  • 13. Owning our knowledge What goes into a student’s post-graduation destination?
  • 14. Study Abroad Supervised civic engagement Leadership in a non- professional organization Scholarly research with faculty Internationa Internship Faculty supervised applied research project with company Leadership in a professional organization Internships What counts with employers? Gardner, P. (2011) Recruiting Trends, Collegiate Employment Research Institute, Michigan State University
  • 15. Student Activities Academics Service Internships Work Daily living stuff Social life Family Finances Study Abroad
  • 16. Reflective Learning Model • Academic courses • Internships, co-ops, practica, service • Leadership experiences • Study abroad • Life events & relationships LEARNING CATALYSTS • Self awareness • Skill identification • Critical thinking • Decision-making • Learning REFLECTION • Articulating growth & skill development • Boundary spanning problem solving • Ability to contribute • Transition awareness INTEGRATION Gross, L. (2000) Michigan State University
  • 17. We are stewards of student experiences
  • 18. Spanning boundaries with purpose and integrity Passionate people take risks.
  • 19. • Insight into what students find meaningful • Working knowledge of employer expectations for new graduates • Ability to identify gaps in student preparation for their destination upon graduation We have unique assets to integrate, innovate and advance higher education
  • 20. Harnessing the Power of Big Data
  • 21. What kind of data are you sitting on? • Student usage of career services – Counseling – Workshops – Career fair attendance – Interviews – Information sessions – Job applications • Student employment data – Hours worked – Level of responsibility – Pay rates – Work study – Internships • Student destination data
  • 22. College or Department Career Counseling Career Assessment Workshops Career Fairs Job Listings Job Applications Interviews Arts Business Education Engineering Health Sciences Social Sciences Practical Accountability – Real Time
  • 23. • Institutional student information systems – Student demographics – Academic data – Retention data – Financial need – Academic internship courses – Civic engagement participation – Study abroad participation – Undergraduate research What data do you have/need access to?
  • 24. A Model for Multidimensional Measures Multidimensional Measures for College Outcomes Aggregate Student Data Warehouse Student Interactions Counseling,Workshops, Career Fairs, Interviews, Career Assessments Student Experiences Student Employment, Leadership, Civic Engagement, Research, Internships, Co-ops, StudyAbroad Student Learning Outcomes Curricular , Co-Curricular and support services Student Academic and Demographic Data (Institutional Student Information Systems) Student Destination Data Follow up Alumni Data © Gross, L. (2013)
  • 25. ADVOCATE! Colleges and universities MUST be more explicit about co-curricular learning expectations
  • 26. The Ostrich Revisited
  • 27. Linda Gross, Ph.D. Career Services Network Michigan State University Discussion
  • 28. • MSU Destination Survey online: – options/destination-survey.html – Includes latest full report as .pdf and links to sections of the report including methodology, survey pool, timing, and terms definitions. • MSU Collegiate Employment Research Institute – – Publications include the “high states internship” and “unpacking” Resources