Being “career-ready” means that students have developed a range of skills that they can transfer to different settings once they graduate.
Students are often unsure or unaware of the many career readiness skills they are developing during their university studies. While we, as faculty, may be deft at highlighting the disciplinary knowledge and subject-specific skills students have developed, we often fail to make transparent the transferable, "career-ready" skills that are embedded in our courses. There are many reasons for this, but one concern is that if we focus on career-ready skills, it will detract from the humanistic and mission-driven part of our curricula.
We encourage you to think of highlighting career-ready skills as foundational to your curriculum and to the "whole person" education we offer our students.
This is also an issue of equitable pedagogical practice. We know that under-represented students benefit in myriad ways when transferable skills are made transparent. Moreover, the ability of our students to find meaningful work, that will pay for college and allow them to be stewards of our mission, hinges on their ability to recognize the skills they have gained.
To help you make the career readiness of your own programs transparent to your students, the Center for Faculty Development has created a course-level inventory and program-level map that faculty can complete and share so that prospective students can see what skills they’re likely to practice in their major and so that current students can reflect on those skills as they build their résumés or portfolios.
We’ve drawn on the World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs 2018, the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ 2019 graduate competencies list, and Seattle University’s own outcomes and mission to create the inventory. Conversation with our colleagues in the Career Engagement Office has led to further refinements.
Below you’ll find guidance for faculty on how to use the course-level inventory and program-level map, followed by a list of the various skills and their descriptions.
Holly Slay Ferraro, David A Green, & Katherine Raichle | Center for Faculty Development | July 2020
You should not expect students to be practicing ALL the skills in every course! They have a years-long education with both curricular and co-curricular activities, all of which provide opportunities to develop and hone these skills. You are not responsible for this on your own.
In all likelihood, students are already practicing many skills in your course, so the purpose of this project is to make this work transparent to students, not to create additional work for faculty.
If you and your colleagues in your program decide to work on career readiness at the program level, you can use this Career readiness program map - template to create a bird's-eye view. Here are some suggestions on how to go about that:
If you would like to discuss anything related to this career readiness project, please request a consultation using this quick online form or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Identify the assumptions that frame thinking and analyze them for accuracy and validity.
Analyze and monitor/assess your own performance, or that of other individuals or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Use logic and reasoning to evaluate alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches.
Apply mathematical and quantitative reasoning to propose or evaluate solutions.
Determine how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Identify measures or indicators of system effectiveness and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
Consider the relative virtues and drawbacks of potential actions to choose and justify a contextually appropriate decision.
Communicate effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Present to or talk with others to convey information as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Work within a team structure and negotiate and manage conflict.
Build mutually rewarding relationships with colleagues and partners
Reach across silos to gather and share information, especially with people who are different from us (e.g. demographically, politically, functionally, disciplinarily)
Acknowledge the harm of systemic and personal racism, affirm the experiences of people of color, and act to dismantle racist systems and practices.
Value and learn from diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations, religions, and other human differences.
Demonstrate openness and humility in interacting across cultural, demographic, and positional differences.
Inspire others toward a common goal or vision, offering direction and opinions as needed.
Advocate for and encourage value-driven change.
Facilitate dialogue to reconcile differences.
Present evidence and argumentation to encourage others to consider alternative positions.
Exercise sensitivity to others' needs and feelings.
Present your most constructive, open-minded self in group settings in order to reach a common goal.
Attend to others' reactions and adapt your behavior in response.
Engage with community members in the shared responsibility for social change.
Fulfill obligations by being reliable, responsible, and dependable.
Act responsibly and consistently with the interests of the larger community in mind.
Review, revise, and complete tasks thoroughly and carefully.
Adapt to differing contexts, personalities, and tasks.
Be aware of and express emotions in ways that invite yourself and others to entertain alternative perspectives.
Adapt to experience of difficulty or critical feedback by reflecting carefully and making appropriate behavioral adjustments.
Manage your own time to align with priorities.
Adjust actions in relation to others' actions and respect their time.
Integrate new information with prior knowledge and experience and transfer it to new realms.
Select and use learning methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
Fully attend to what others say, reflect on points or on critical feedback, and ask questions as appropriate.
Make meaning out of experiences, ideas, and contexts through thoughtful consideration, self-exploration, and discernment.
Generate unique ideas and interpretations or adapt them to new settings.
Devise unusual or imaginative ideas about a topic or situation.
Show willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Take responsibility for your own learning with little supervision.
Generate or adapt equipment and technology to serve user needs.
Write computer programs for various purposes.