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sarahklionsky2016

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Presentation at 2016 Massachusetts Sustainable Campuses and Communities Conference

Published in: Environment
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sarahklionsky2016

  1. 1. Sarah Klionsky Cooperative Education Faculty Member Northeastern University College of Science s.klionsky@neu.edu Transition from College to Career: the role of experiential education Massachusetts Sustainable Campuses Conference 15 April 2016
  2. 2. Cooperative Education (Co-op) An educational model that integrates long-term internships into students’ curricula • 6 month, full-time co-ops • Most students complete 2 or 3 co-ops • Dedicated co-op faculty members for each major work with students and employers • Includes reflection and assessment
  3. 3. Perspective • Co-op faculty – Approach co-op from an educational perspective, not just job placement – Teach students in the classroom – Meet with each student before each co-op, often >1 time – Lead reflection activities – Read student and employer assessments – Work with employers to develop positions – Visit work sites – Maintain employer relationships and receive feedback on program • Track outcomes over time
  4. 4. Experience Matters • Coursework is important but experience differentiates students • Learn how to apply skills and knowledge • Gain new skills • Experience informs academics & vice versa
  5. 5. Experiences • Jobs & internships • Volunteer positions • Working with professors – Research – Other projects • Clubs – Especially leadership positions
  6. 6. Work up to Goals • Focus on content of positions, not titles • Qualifications are the sum of experiences • Learn what you like and don’t like • Develop a professional network
  7. 7. Employers Value • Consistent hard work • Interest in learning • Problem solving & critical thinking • Willingness to take on exciting and less exciting tasks • Written and verbal communication skills • Eagerness to improve & ability to accept criticism • Technical skills
  8. 8. Sustainability • Many faceted, multi- disciplinary field • Many available roles/professions • Internships introduce new applications and dimensions • Think broadly
  9. 9. Opportunities • Companies, organizations, agencies, institutions – Campus sustainability – Sustainable living – Environmental remediation/restoration – Sustainable food systems – Environmental health – Environmental advocacy, policy, and law – City planning – Scientific research – Socially responsible investing – Corporate Social/Environmental responsibility (triple bottom line) – Renewable energy & energy assessment – Conservation – Community organizing – Environmental education
  10. 10. Student Testimonial “Northeastern’s coop program provided me with the opportunity to travel throughout the country- and the world- experiencing a vast variety of subjects in all different work environments. From working at a winery in Napa, CA, to volunteering on organic farms in New Zealand, and finally working at a solar energy developer right outside of Boston, every single job has taught me something new and changed me as an individual. Working outside of the classroom allows you to apply things that you learn in class and integrate them into your studies as well as your life. Coop is the best thing that I could have done at college, I feel prepared for the post-college world and am confident in my abilities to land a job.”
  11. 11. Student Testimonial “My coop experience at Heart Capital in Cape Town, South Africa involved putting together an impact measurement system to help Heart's entrepreneurs track and measure their social and environmental impact using specific indicators. It was a formative experience for me, giving me confidence in tackling and organizing my own project. I look back on that coop as my favorite one due to the position, the wonderful team and company, the gorgeous setting, and its distance from my comfort zone back home.”
  12. 12. Student Testimonial "The co-op program has helped me figure out my strengths and skills, and let me gain work experience in different fields. I found my passion for research though my second co-op at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and I learned valuable laboratory skills and critical thinking skills that will help me as I move on to graduate school in the future.“ “Co-op was the greatest asset in the success of my career. Without my internships in both clinical and research fields, I would never have had the competitive edge necessary to be admitted to veterinary school. “
  13. 13. Student Testimonial “There are days that I miss the energy of having an on-campus network at my disposal. However, although I’m not taking classes, I’m learning more than ever here. In just a few months, I’ve built tons of mini-knowledge bases, of public relations software, of mine excavation work, of questions in interviews that don’t have immediate responses, of environmental health, public health and income inequality coalescing. I am grateful. Here, I have many teachers.
  14. 14. Questions?

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