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Using Experiential Learning to Help Liberal Arts Students Determine a Career Path Lakeisha Mathews, GCDF, CPCC, CPRW Assistant Director, Career Services, University of MD University College
The NeedLiberal Arts Students:• Often complain about career services…• Have a passion for their field...• Choose liberal arts majors as a default or plan B…• Do not think about career planning or job searching…• Do not obtain internship opportunities…• Do not realize or research their options…• Can be annoying (Advil anyone)… 2
Goals• To challenge career center professionals to develop programs for liberal arts majors that aid in career exploration.• To start a discussion among career development professionals concerning liberal arts students engagement with experiential learning for career exploration. 3
Objective• Discuss differences in career decision making for liberal arts and business students.• Explore how experiential learning opportunities can assist liberal arts students with selecting a major and career path.• Discuss how to market career services to liberal arts majors. 4
Liberal Arts Education What is a Liberal Arts Education? According to the Association of American Colleges and Universities: “Liberal Education is an approach to learning that empowers individuals and prepares them to deal with complexity, diversity, and change. It provides students with broadknowledge of the wider world (e.g. science, culture, and society) as well as in-depth study in a specific area of interest” 5
Liberal Arts In The NewsBoston “…academic major is the biggest factor in determining who gets a job offer beforeUniversity graduation.” Accounting, business, computer science, engineering, and social sciences majors led the field in both the number of jobs offered and pay levels”The Chronicle "It does matter what you major in.“ And the differences are striking: For workers whoseof Higher highest degree is a bachelors, median incomes ranged from $29,000 for counseling-Education psychology majors to $120,000 for petroleum-engineering majors. The data also revealed earnings differences within groups of similar majors. Within the category of business majors, for instance, business-economics majors had the highest median pay, $75,000.Daily Finance "Sometimes liberal-arts majors struggle a bit more than other majors when launching their(AOL Money careers, but the evidence shows that they tend to advance farther and be more sought out byand Finance) CEOs for high-level jobs,"
More Views About Liberal Arts"You know what? They need to get education in areas where they can get jobs…I want to spend our dollars giving people science, technology, engineering, math degrees…Those type of degrees. So when they get out of school, they can get a job.“ --Senator Rick Scott“The liberal arts help one to think and understand the world; they also foster creativeproblem solving. Students gain intellectual independence, develop a sense of morality and ethics and learn the responsibilities of citizenship.” --Steve Jobs
The Christian Science Monitor: July 25, 2011• As David Kearns, the late Xerox chief executive officer once noted, "The only education that prepares us for change is a liberal education.“• “most college students today arent buying it…This preoccupation with the short term, unfortunately, is based on an old labor-market model that presumes job specialization is the key to success. This model doesnt work in a modern economy where adaptability is the key.• New Liberal Arts Model – Every aspect of student’s life integrated – Acceptance of experiential learning opportunity 8
Debunk the MythsMAJOR ≠ CAREER Major Job Career Different meanings: Business Admin Payroll Clerk HR Analyst Major Hotel Mgmt. Front Desk Staff Event Planner Job Communication Customer Service Rep. Call Center Director Career English Advisor Higher Ed. LIBERAL ARTS Marketing Salesperson BuyerMAJOR ≠ NO JOB 9
A New Framework• It’s our job as career practitioners to take hold of this new philosophy and help bridge the gap between academia and the world of work.• A New Framework: – Technical programs, some business degrees and professional degrees focus on specialized skills. This make it easy for the companies to come to the students. – Liberal arts degree have a broad focus requiring a different approach to the career development process including the job search. • Instead of waiting for employers to approach them, liberal arts students must aggressively explore their career options and approach companies.
Aggressively ExploreResearch Programming Experiential Career Learning Path 11
Develop Programs & Resources• Liberal arts career guide • Computerized exploration systems• Major declaration/exploration • FOCUS2, Discover, Kuder program • Job fairs esp. for LA• CDP (Career Development • Assessments Plans) • Strong, MBTI, CareerLeader• Career courses • CareerBookstore.com• Networking nights • St. of NJ Depart. Of Ed site• Alumni panels • Videos• Passport Program • SCE/Ambassadors
Sample Liberal Arts Career Guides SCHOOL NAME WEBSITE (LIBERAL ARTS GUIDE LINK)Miami University http://www.units.muohio.edu/careers/cds/liberalarts.pdfLoyola University MD http://www.loyola.edu/thecareercenter/documents/LiberalArtsGuide.pdfSt. Mary’s College of MD http://www.smcm.edu/careercenter/PDF/jobsearchstep.pdfMuhlenburg College http://www.muhlenberg.edu/main/aboutus/careercenter/students/job/jsg/
Case Study: Career Programs for LAI Declare • Major exploration program built around university philosophy • Collaboration with Academic Advising and academic departments • Target freshman (some sophomores) • Self-directedJob • Experiential learning programShadowing • 1-day (or half) shadowing experience (longer if possible) • Work with alumni and employer contacts • Career Coaching • Follow-up session: confirmation of majorCareer • Several job fairs in one week broken up by majors or interest areas like Liberal ArtsWeek • Allow employers to select which days they attend • Provide workshops each day relevant to the majors present
LA: Competitive Advantage• Minor (build expertise in another • Develop a job search campaign area i.e. CS, FI, AC, etc.) • Consider commission based• Consider certification options positions• Learn another language • Consider companies with strong• Gain computer expertise training programs• Obtain relevant part-time jobs • Consider large companies with• Join a professional association as a leadership development programs student 17
3 Essentials for LA• Learn persistence (Guerilla Marketing by Jay Levinson & David Perry)• Learn to market skills – Confidence in degree – 3 Strengths/3 weaknesses – Not just interest testing (personality, values, skills)• Learn to network – How to reach out 18 – How to maintain relationships
Don’t Forget About…• Professional degrees…limited internship opportunities• Business degrees…still need to explore• Graduate students…may still need guidance• Adult leaners…if possible may need to consider experiential learning 19
Professional Degrees• Professional Degrees • Strategies: - Future doctors, lawyers, dentists, – Should consider shadowing speech pathologists, et. and/or informational interviewing - Psychology, counseling seriously depending on• Challenges occupation • Limited internships – Always have a PLAN B • May have limited paid opportunities – Look into graduate admission Sophomore year • Confidentiality
Business Degrees• Business degrees • Strategies - Still need to explore by – Choose a minor - Industry – Take a career assessment - Company (Career Leader) - Occupation • Determine Interests • Determine Values – Set goals – Choose a path and determine key steps/roles
Graduate Students & Adult Learners • Graduate students…may still • Strategies need guidance - Assessments - May not have a career in mind • MBTI Career Report - Racked up debt and may need - Relevant experience a certain financial level • Internship - May be a career changer • Volunteer - May not have real “work” • Part-time job experience
Coaching Techniques• Manage expectations • Eliminate unnecessary activities• Explain the PROCESS of career • Individualize development • ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS• Make exploration appealing and provide next steps or homework easy • Don’t take on their burden• Break up steps into manageable • Let them be open to multiple pieces options (Happenstance)• Determine appropriateness 23 (maturity level, self-awareness)
Theory: Happenstance, Life-SpanHappenstance: John Krumboltz Life-Span Theory: Donald Super• The role chance plays in our career • We all have differing interests, planning abilities and values• Viewing indecision as “open- • We may be qualified for MORE mindedness” and not a problem than one occupation • A variety of occupations are available to everyoneGysbers, N., Heppner, M. and Johnston, J. (2009). Career Counseling: Contexts, Processes, and Techniques, 3rd Ed. Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association
Tools for Counseling LA• Values auction • “Why Not” game• Elevator pitch outline • Rank (Using a career report• Visualize yourself like Strong)• Create a Collage • Cards Sorts (Knowdell Card• Plus/Minus chart Sort) 25
Important Books to ReadHow to Get Any Job with Any Major by Donald AsherDiscovering Your Career in Business By Timothy Butler & James WaldroopSmart Moves for Liberal Arts Grads: Finding a Path to Your Perfect Career by Sheila Curran
Food for ThoughtWhy, then, does this false dichotomy between the liberal arts and careerismendure, and who is perpetuating it…The future of liberal education demands that we reinvent and re-imagine it, especially for those unfamiliar with it. -Robert Eisinger, Dean - School of Liberal Arts at SCAD 27
Contact Me Lakeisha Moore Mathews, CPCC, CPRW, GCDF Assistant Director, Career Services University of Maryland University College firstname.lastname@example.org LinkedIn Profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/lakeishamathews 240.684.2714President, Maryland Career Development Association (2011 – 2012)
References• Association of American Colleges and Universities: http://www.aacu.org/leap/what_is_liberal_education.cfm• http://chronicle.com/article/Whats-a-Degree-Worth-Report/127612/• The Christian Science Monitor, July 25, 2011 Monday, Liberate liberal arts from the myth of irrelevance• http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/articles/2011/10/28/4-tips-for-making-the-most-of-liberal-arts-degrees?PageNr=2• http://www2.timesdispatch.com/business/2011/dec/19/tdmbiz10-economic-impact-is-a-college-degree-worth-ar-1553262/• http://www.dailyfinance.com/2011/04/04/what-good-is-a-liberal-arts-degree-in-the-job-market/• http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-eisinger/advancing-the-liberal-arts_b_1154318.html• http://charlesdthornton.com/florida/35-capitol/615-rick-scott-to-liberal-arts-majors-drop-dead• http://www.fortwayne.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/SE/20111024/NEWS/111029772• http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/03/01/gates_tells_governors_they_might_determine_public_university_program_funding_based_on _job_creation