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Thursday, October 6, 2016

Career Readiness Initiative rollout

You’ll be hearing more about the Career Readiness Initiative from our Office of Undergraduate Education in the near future. CRI is the latest version of something we discussed as “career bundles” earlier on. CRI engages students in a four-year conversation about career readiness. It is framed around core career capabilities or competencies most commonly sought by private, public, and nonprofit employers: Analytical & Critical Thinking; Applied Problem Solving; Ethical Reasoning & Decision Making; Innovation & Creativity; Oral & Written Communication; Teamwork & Leadership; Engaging Diversity; Active Citizenship & Community Engagement; Digital Literacy; and Career Management.

CRI enables students to relate competencies to their interests and goals; reflect, assess and build their own competencies through curricular and co-curricular activities; and articulate their capabilities and translate them to an employer's context. One of the virtues of CRI is that it puts students in a position
of ownership to ensure that they are receiving and developing the many qualities we attribute to a liberal arts education. Components of Pathways will include developmental curriculum (e.g., Readiness embedded in the First Year Experience course,  a career management course for second-year students, a career planning course for seniors), materials/media (e.g., a career readiness guidebook), online systems (for reflection and self-assessment on competencies as well as recommendations for future courses or co-curricular activities), increased opportunities for alumni engagement through mentoring, Strong Interest Inventory for all freshmen, and professional development for career counselors and advisors.

CRI programming is being piloted and rolled out beginning with the freshmen entering in Fall 2016. I very much appreciate the many hours of hard work that has gone into developing CRI from many individuals and offices, including a large steering committee that has developed and pushed forward the many elements of the initiative. I’d like to acknowledge Ascan Koerner, the Faculty Director of the Career Readiness Initiative; Judy Anderson, the Career Readiness Initiative Coordinator; and Gary Oehlert, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, for their leadership on this project. With CRI and our Career Services Initiative and Transfer Student Initiative, we are building a field-leading program for our students.