Career Exploration and the CCSSE

On January 24, Beverly Walker from North Central State College asked listserv members about their usage of the Community College Survey of Student Engagement and if FYE students at their institution do a career exploration project.  Paul Gore mentioned a national study that he and a graduate student conducted on career exploration and assessment in FYE classes, and Marcie Pospichal, Melissa Gomez, Scott Gilbert, and Beverly Low all wrote in about career exploration activities done at their respective institutions.  Teri Walker responded that her institution uses the CCSSE.

Beverly Walker (read FYE post or send email) bwalker@NCSTATECOLLEGE.EDU
Paul Gore (read FYE post or send email) Paul.Gore@ACT.ORG
Marcie Pospichal (read FYE post or send email) mpospichal@FLSOUTHERN.EDU
Melissa Gomez (read FYE post or send email) gomezm@APSU.EDU
Scott Gilbert (read FYE post or send email) gilbe062@UMN.EDU
Beverly Low (read FYE post or send email) balow@MAIL.COLGATE.EDU
Teri Walker (read FYE post or send email) trwalker@DCCCD.EDU

January 24, 2006 11:09AM
Career Exploration CCSSE

Two questions to those of you on the listserv:

1) How many of you do some sort of Career Exploration Project in your FYE classes and how do your students respond to it?
2) Do any of you use the CCSSE (Community College Survey of Student Engagement) and how do you use it?  In what classes?  And how have the results impacted your colleges, if any (what do you do with the results)?
Thanks for any help.

Beverly Walker
Director of Retention Services
Student Success Center
North Central State College
Mansfield, OH

January 24, 2006 - 11:29AM
Re: Career Exploration CCSSE

One of my graduate students and I conducted a national study of what career exploratory and career assessment issues were discussed in FYE classes. We also asked how those issues were presented (pedagogy). The results of this study are published in a monograph distributed by the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition.  I have included a link to a description of the monograph below.

Paul A. Gore, Ph.D.
Director, Career Transitions Research
ACT, Inc.

January 24, 2006 - 11:34AM
Re: Career Exploration CCSSE

Hi Bev:

At Florida Southern College, a Career Exploration Project is a requirement of our Freshman Seminar course.  The requirement can be met in one of three ways:

(1) Most popular, students visit the FSC Career Center and engage in a scavenger hunt
(2) Students can meet one-on-one with our Career Counselors
(3) Career Center representatives provide a presentation to an individual seminar class

Our students tend to respond positively or neutrally.  Many are surprised at how useful Career Center services can be to a freshman (they have a misconception that only seniors looking for jobs need the Career Center).

To my knowledge, we do not use the CCSSE.


Marcie W. Pospichal, Ph.D.
Director, Academic Support Services
Florida Southern College
Lakeland, FL 33801

January 24, 2006 - 11:35AM
Re: Career Exploration CCSSE

At APSU we use the KUDER career search and it seems to be well received (I think the entire school system of Tennessee purchased the rights to KUDER, which I believe is why we use that method). The students complete the search and then are required to write a Career Research paper for their FYE seminar course. In that paper they include the results of their KUDER search, along w/ two other sources, Onet and Occupational Outlook Handbook. They are also required to identify, read and cite a relevant current professional trends article for this paper as well.

Melissa Gomez
Coordinator, New Student Programs
Enrollment Management and Academic Support
Austin Peay State University

January 24, 2006 - 11:36AM
Re: Career Exploration CCSSE

As part of the "Nature of Life" course at the University of Minnesota, students write three essays (one of which is on their career plans).  We do not use CCSSE.

1) I guess I would have to answer - How do students respond to any FYE assignment?  You get a broad range from resentment to enthusiasm.

2) They actually discuss the paper with their academic advisor during a freshman check back appointment.  That way the advisor has details in the students folder about where they want to go (at least at this point in time) so that they can assist in guiding the journey.

Let me know if you have any further questions or would like details on the assignment.

Scott Gilbert
Coordinator, Nature of Life


January 24, 2006 - 3:22PM
Re: Career Exploration CCSSE

At Colgate, we currently offer a series of "Life Skills Program Tracks" separate from our First Year Seminars (FSEMs) - our FSEMs are purely academic courses that fulfill a requirement in the liberal arts core curriculum.

The following is the general overview of the Program Tracks description of the Career Exploration program track, facilitated by a team of folks in our Center for Career Services:

Life Skills Program Tracks
Fall 2005
Looking for a lively and interactive way to meet other students who share your interests? Want to expand your learning outside of the formal classroom setting? Designed specifically for first-years, each of the Life Skills Program Tracks offers you an opportunity to explore an area of interest and/or challenge your way of thinking, while fulfilling one Physical Education requirement (in addition to four academic courses, you are encouraged to register for at least one Physical Education course). Common to all program tracks is a set of important skill-building exercises that will be helpful in navigating many of the issues and challenges that you will confront in the first college year.  You will work on group projects, discuss current issues, make presentations and most importantly, learn more about yourself and your community. We want our students to prepare for lives marked by personal success, develop an active life of the mind, and commit to lifelong patterns of engaged citizenship.  These program tracks are an excellent first step in enhancing your total educational experience and making the most of your time at Colgate.

Career Exploration (PHED 086A)
The Career Exploration track is a nine-session class designed to give you the resources and tools to learn more about yourself and how you can contribute at Colgate and beyond. It provides a forum to explore the world of work through hands on experiences, and to learn how to communicate the value of those experiences. The class will help you determine and define your interests, evaluate career options based upon those interests, how to go about researching these options to make intelligent career choices, and how to present yourself effectively.  Engaging in this process will help you further develop the tools and resources that are likely to be called upon and refined over your lifetimes as you make your way in the world. Through interactive discussions and reflection exercises designed to reveal and clarify your interests, preferred working style and needs, you will be in a position to develop and precisely present a strong and concise description of your interests, skills and style.  More importantly, we hope to provide students with the framework to begin to actively assess, explore and engage in the decision-making process in order to successfully manage and take advantage of all that Colgate offers. Meets October 24 to November 21 on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1:20-2:10pm, Career Services Conference Room.

Beverly A. Low
Dean of First-Year Students
116 McGregory Hall
Colgate University
13 Oak Drive
Hamilton, NY 13346
315-228-7164 fax

January 25, 2006 - 11:40AM
Re: Career Exploration CCSSE

We have used the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) twice. This spring will make the third time.  We have used this to start discussions with our faculty about how to engage students.  We pull (actually CCSSE, Austin, pulls a stratified random sample) of our classes. I would be happy to talk to you off list about the instrument.


Teri Walker
Dean of Institutional Effectiveness & Research
Room A213
3939 Valley View Lane
Farmers Branch, TX 75244