McPherson College’s career service program was recently featured in an article published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). The article noted that 80% to 85% of McPherson College students work at any given point in the year, including academic year and breaks. The article acknowledged an initiative led by Amy Beckman, executive director of career and experiential learning, that incorporated NACE career readiness competencies into student job descriptions and supervision.
“It was a great opportunity for us to put some intentional purpose behind what we are coaching and mentoring our student employees in and finding out what our students are learning on the job,” Beckman said regarding the work done in her office to ensure students are career ready.
NACE is a professional association that connects nearly 17,000 college career services professionals, university relations, and recruiting professionals. It serves as the leading source of information on the employment of college students and forecasts hiring and trends in the job market.
The McPherson College career initiative has allowed Beckman to target mentorship programming for supervisors and training for student employees to connect the competencies to their work. She plans to add more training for supervisors about how to have high-impact practices within the work they assign to students and how to engage in reflective conversations with students about what they are learning and how they can apply that to their current work, other jobs, and schoolwork.
“We are leveling up our experiences, so we feel more confident when sending our students out into the community to do internships and to work, and we want our employers to be confident that our students are well-prepared,” Beckman said.
Last year, 80% of McPherson College’s graduates had at least one internship or field experience before graduation. Three-quarters of the class had secured a job or graduate school placement before graduating, and after six months, 99% reported having a job or working toward furthering their education.