1 1 Rethinking Success April 11-13, 2012 Wake Forest University Welcome and Overview Hatch: College is about how to think and how to choose- it allows you to make a good living and live a worthy life. In these hard economic times how do we preserve learning for learning s sake? How can we move the perspective of our faculty and staff beyond the undergraduate experiences to encompass the totality of student learning and its impact on the rest of their lives? Fetrow: Faculty have to play an increasing role in defining the value of the liberal arts 1. need to articulate the value of the liberal arts with consistency and regularity 2. intentionally instill our students with the values we talk about 3. look crtiically at our curriculum- it is accomplishing what we say it is? what we want it to? 4. partner with staff to build bridges between the classroom and the workplace The Historical Perspective Gillespie: - these two speakers showcase the duality we re wrestling with today- in and of the academic world, but also vitally connected to the public sphere Delbanco (Columbia): For many people the past of liberal arts universities looks just like the present- they perceive no change. We who are in HE know that there have been many changes, but what are the educational essentials that have remained the same? And should they continue to be the same in the future? education keeps cultural memory alive- through it we pass on our ideas and knowledge to future generations universities create and foster a collegiate community- the residential campus model American students learn from each other- outside the classroom. that s why the essential question of college admissions is What is this student s aptness to teach and learn from his peers? more education is always good HE exploded in Amer These are some of the educational ideals of American education, but there is a huge disconnect in our country today between the ideal and the reality of college- very few students are actually attending independent, small residential colleges Educational opportunities are extremely stratified
2 2 Challenges we face: - our society is no longer convinced that education is inherently valuable - not all forms of knowledge contribute to a progressive accumulation of knowledge - art, literature, etc...- Is the idea of progression really a sham? - young people are perceived as lazy partiers- how are we challenging and supporting our youth? - College no longer provides and demands that student reflection - college is meant to be a gift of self-discovery and time to explore- are we still giving this gift today? Katz (Princeton): Higher Education is always in a state of crisis and concern- our current difficulties are not a new phenomenon, but part of the history of HE- we are always re-examining ourselves Today I worry about the focus of our professors and programs. What are the questions we ask? What kind of language are we using to talk about ourselves and our work? problem: over specialization- a restrictive methodological framework and lexicon where all that counts is high-level work within a discipline-specific framework. people studying real world issues can t get tenure positions Employment and Market Data and Trends Steve Nelson (Wakefield Group): There are opportunities out there- we need to shine a spotlight on them so our students know they re there. Thinking in terms of trends or ideas here are some of the big possibilities local mobile social green cloud nano energy* environment* health and wellness* technology* *The biggest possibilities correspond with the biggest problems. Mark Zandi (Moody s Analytics, Economy.com): 1. Returns on higher education are high. They have been increasing for the past century. A college degree is now required to get most good jobs. 2. However, returns have stalled in the past few years- getting a degree is much more expensive today and jobs are not guaranteed upon graduation.
3 3 3. Colleges have to focus on their value proposition- convince companies that their students are a good buy. 4. The problem of the future will be not enough educated young people, rather than not enough jobs. Debra Humphreys (AACU): What is a liberal education providing to its students? How well are we implimenting the ideal liberal arts model in our institutions? - Companies need liberally educated professionals - LEAP (Liberal Education and America s Promise) A report on what employers want to see in recent graduates they hire. Can our students use their knowledge in the real world? Can they translate their skills into applied problem solving? board - We need to encourage relationships between businesses and education- across the Philip Gardner (Michigan State): 40% of employers are looking for new hires from any major. They want tech savvy liberal arts graduates or liberally educated technical graduates. It s all about the combination and balance between the technical and liberal/general skills. Their expectations are higher than every before. Today s entrance level expectations are yesterday s outcomes. What counts the most as employers look at students records (most to least important)? internships leadership projects with companies- applied research internal internships scholarly research study abroad civic engagement The real problem is that students don t know how to tell their own stories. They can t translate their academic, service and internship experiences into language that employers can understand. Changing our technology isn t going to solve this problem. We have to confront our identity, challenge our assumptions, our responsibilities and our purpose. Today the model is the T shaped professional
4 4 Answers to questions/last thoughts: short term- job prospects are not great, but they re improving. good models of liberal arts/business relationship wheaton- cedarville We re educating our faculty with an increasingly narrow and discipline specific framework then asking them to educate liberally. This is a problem. narrative matters- students need to tease out the skills and experiences they want to highlight then repackage them for employers. We need more big picture business thinkers and more real world, applied academics. The State of America and the Role of Higher Education, Condoleezza Rice My life is different now, as opposed to when I was in government. Every morning I read the paper; I think, how interesting, then I put it down and I go on with my day. We should all be concerned with the state of our world. America s higher education system has a huge impact on the image of America abroad. The American system is the gold standard. It s where all the elites want to educate their children. It s where they have all studied.
5 5 Higher education is a breeding ground for innovation and knowledge. When young people come together with faculty with the idea that they don t HAVE to produce anything- it s amazing what they produce. This hard for the real world to understand. But I have a warning for us all today. We have to change to adapt to our environment, just like everything else. * Sometimes the most successful institutions are the last ones to adapt. How should we change? Our answer to this question must be driven by our responsibilities to our students. What are those responsibilities? 1. training- to give our students a set of skills a. rigorous writing- don t only express what you think and feel, but present a convincing argument and demonstrate why you re correct b. oral communication- state your (well informed) opinion and case with confidence c. There is a consistent cry today for good leaders. We do need young people to be leaders, but don t think that you can simply step into that role. You need to know something of value that you can bring to the table. Then you can lead with confidence and security. 2. education- a transforming process a. find a passion b. do hard things...and fail. Don t just do what you re good at. c. interact with people who are different from you- culturally, socially, economically 3. citizenship Education is a privilege. Do not fall into the trap of entitlement. View from the Top- University Presidents Teresa Sullivan (UVA): The liberal arts are experience an identity crisis. We re facing broad misconceptions about who and what we are. reductionism- we talk about what we aren t rather than what we are science and,math are part of the liberal arts too! fighting the perception that students who get general degrees can t get jobs We also cannot forget the question of quality. Our students have to have access to a good education and they have to take full advantage of it. Carol Quillen (Davidson): How can we turn around the questions we re being asked? Start to frame the discussion in our terms. Who are we? What do we do? Why does it matter? A liberal education is defined by its aim, not by the disciplines it encompasses At Davidson our goal is clear and we talk about it all the time:
6 6 The primary purpose of Davidson College is to assist students in developing humane instincts and disciplined and creative minds for lives of leadership and service. ( Our context, however, is changing. Because of globalization and the technology revolution we are living in a world of: - low communication barriers - low barriers between people and information We in higher education can no longer afford to be proprietary about what we own. Let s think instead about what we do. How are we helping and encouraging our students to develop: - exposure to computation- how do deal with disparate and massive streams of data - statistics, quant, etc... - entrepreneurial approach to problem solving- this way of thinking is shaping our world - clarity of expression- how do we communicate clearly in our multimedia world Faculty love to learn! They should be encouraged and supported to share that love of learning with their students. Don t apologize for our mission. Ask instead what carrying out that mission looks like today. David Oxtoby (Pomona): Asia is extremely interested in the liberal arts and expanding its la programs and schools, even as America cuts back How are we preparing our students for jobs? How are we framing and talking about the job process? - There are no magic bullets, no standard route into a specific job. We have to disrupt students Pomona: Focus on summer experiences- internships, etc... link these real world experiences to classroom focus on communication- practice your elevator speech, etc... use our alumni network to help our students Christopher Howard (Hampden-Sydney): - small, all male college in VA - all students take rhetoric and grammar- we re traditional and proud of it, but also flexible Leaders need to be empathetic with their constituents. Who are our constituents?
7 7 Parents: concerned about cost, admissions and campus culture Faculty: want good students who want to be in class (to learn) Faculty are rewarded for discipline-specific work. This is not what they re students will be doing. Students: today they grow up faster and stay young longer. Perhaps need more handholding and guidance than they did in the past. We need to be very deliberate in working on career education and creating a dialogue around the career and vocational search process Companies- feeling pressure to hire people who are ready to go, don t want to invest in training people. They want colleges to do the training. We need to push back- it s the general skills and perspectives that ultimately create great leaders and employees. There are differences between short and long term training needs. - Train for what you know. Educate for what you don t know. It s that which makes us most human that makes us the most employable in the end (innovation, curiosity, empathy, etc...). Answers to questions/last thoughts: What do students not understand? modern American labor market- there are thousands of different jobs out there, most of us can only name around 20. parent-driven anxiety (peer as well) dynamics- the scene is always changing. It s hard to understand. demand-students don t have the big picture to understand where the demand for jobs is and will be How to elevate faculty perceptions of career services? being the conversation- get them engaged where is career services housed? what is its symbolic place within the unversity structure? career services need to be savvy and reach out to faculty What does a good career services leader look like? embodies the values of the liberal arts has interesting life experiences looks ahead and behind simultaneously relates to both students and businesses What do you say to a parent who asks Why should I pay this much money for my kid to study history here? Your child s education is not only about getting a good job, it s about living a good life and understanding who he is. This college degree will help him get a job in the short term, but the long term benefits are even higher View from the Liberal Arts Colleges
8 8 Stanton Green (Dean- Monmouth): - We in the liberal arts need to prepare our students for careers after graduation- we haven t quite convinced ourselves or anyone else of this People find jobs where they look for them. This means we need to know where the jobs are and advise our students about how to get there. How do we help our students translate their passions, interests and perspectives into a corporate (or other) world? It s vital to get faculty on board. - convince them that the liberal arts can be both a doorway to a well educated person and a well prepared professional What do we need to do in the classroom? - move from content to context- companies want employees with the skills necessary to learn on the job. They want to know what students can do and what they ve done. Martha O Connell (Colleges that Change Lives): People think that they have to know what they want to be before they pick a college. I m here to tell them that college is a journey, not a destination. Start with questions, not colleges: Who am I? Who do I want to learn from? Why am I going to college? Our world needs: synthesizers, explainers and adapters Mark Roche (Notre Dame): What is the value of the liberal arts? How do we engage faculty in this question? Intrinsic value: engagement with life s great questions Practical: communication skills, formulate questions, make arguments, etc... synthesize materials, interact with others, tolerate ambiguity...the list goes on Formation: develop a sense of self, establish a moral grounding, learn to live responsibly, manage time and priorities, etc... Faculty engagement is the most undervalued place on campus where all these worlds/values meet. Administrators have huge power to motivate their faculty with their vision, budget and personnel decisions. 1. Find and reward faculty who value the liberal arts and teach with a wider world perspective. Interrogate and value faculty teaching.
9 9 2. Socialize faculty more effectively- bring them into the wider school culture and give them connections beyond their department 3. Introduce support structures a. workshops, accountability, etc Provide incentives towards institutional goals Employers and Colleges: Divergent Perspectives and Roles with Serious Consequences- A.G. Lafley (Procter & Gamble) What employers are looking for: curiosity really matters- our world in complex, always changing and information-heavy suspend judgement long enough to inquire teamwork is on the rise fit and connection- many companies have already had some contact with the candidate Understanding Today s Students Christy Buchanan (WF Psychology Prof): Our students are also emerging adults- their emotional and mental wellbeing and development is highly important the need explicit permission to explore and question- to try, fail and try again our brains aren t fully developed until age 25 Neil Howe (LifeCourse Associates): Why is everyone so worried about the value of college? 1. Today s kids are different- entitled, confident, optimistic Millennials are optimistic as a generation. They believe they will all succeed which makes the pain of failure extreme. - genxers were independent. They believed that they would succeed, but their friends wouldn t. This was a peer culture that encourage resilience. When you failed it wasn t totally unexpected and it was relatively easy to keep going. - Millennials are less risky. We have seen a reduction in many risk indicators- less crime, pregnancy, alcohol, etc... - They believe that if you play by the rules you will win. 2. Economy- an immovable object. A full recovery will take years. 3. Parents Today s parents are very attached to their kids- very invested, and they are not convinced that high tuition is worth the return gen x parents don t trust the institution of higher education. They re focused on the bottom line (getting their kid employed)
10 10 Katharine Brooks (UT Austin): Our liberal arts students are like substance abusers- they re reluctant clients. In order to succeed in their mission (engage the career process) they have to change their entire culture. What then should our framework and culture as career serviced be? - Help students see this is about a lifestyle and worldview, not just about getting their first job 1. The career search follows chaos theory. It s messy, strange, complicated and it doesn t work the same way for everyone. a. aka stuff happens- you need to be aware and prepared to take advantage of the opportunities that come your way (know how to tell your story, have an elevator pitch ready, know who you are and what you love) 2. permission to explore a. give academic credit for career related exploration- legitimize the intersection of the liberal arts and vocational exploration b. pull back the curtain and show all the opportunities that are out there 3. permission to reflect- give students the space and tools to figure out the value of their education for themselves 4. practices storytelling a. the first (several) times you tell your story it won t be very good! b. your major isn t a hockey puck to pull out and sling around then put back in the closet. It s a vital part of who you are and how you see the world. Everyone on campus has the potential to be a career coach. All it takes is the right comment or question at the right time. Everyone needs to be challenged to discover the sneaky, subtle reason why he was born a person and not a chair. (A Thousand Clowns) Caroline Naughton (WF Fellow- OPCD): Insights from her interviews with WF students What keeps students from engaging with the career process? indecision- I can t go to career services until I know what I want. We all need to speak out so student know this isn t true. OPCD is there for the journey. balancing job search responsibilities- students are busy and overcommitted fear of rejection (from potential employers) What motivated students to engage? excitement about their interests and passions- How can I get more involved in...? previous experience- with the office and the world of work Parents were hugely influential in student s career engagement, and an important factor in the consistent anxiety that students expressed around the career process.
11 11 The Current and Future World of Work John McConnell (WF Baptist): - medical schools look with favor on nontraditional applicants- liberal arts/humanities majors, older students, etc... - allied health is a rapidly growing field- physicians can t take care of all our countries health care needs - businesses and medicine love liberal arts students with business degrees Eric Wiseman (VF Corporation): - liberal arts schools are the most important source of talent for business Also- Donna Boswell and Marc Lautenbach Real Transformational Change Sheila Curran (Curran Career Consulting): - more and more is being added to the plate of career service providers Transformational Change requires knowing where you want to go planning strategically gain institutional support and invovlement Actions to break through the wall articulate institutional values and be accountable for results align goals with resources leverage relationship Meredith Daw (Univ of Chicago): What we re doing: - class specific programming- don t send the same messages to the entire student body. The seniors are in a different place than the first years. - building links to Admissions Build on early engagement with eight new preprofessional programs 4 pillars of the programs: 1. run by industry leaders- have knowledge, legitimacy and connections 2. mentorship across campus- involve graduate programs and grad students 3. open graduate courses to undergraduates 4. build internship base- over 800 paid internship programs Over 80% of career services staff have experience outside of higher education. Things that have helped us:
12 12 invest in analytics up front- use the data you collect to build momentum be aggressive with personnel and team structuring- don t be afraid to hire and fire until you get the right fit and team alignment leverage resources- stakeholders and alumni. Maintain communications with alumni. support from campus leadership and faculty intellectual approach to preprofessional programs- continue to be critical and engage on an academic level funding funding funding Mark Smith (Wash U): Thoughts and lessons - Change is a continual process. You can never stop innovating. - Location matters. Is your office where students are already going? - student job search groups- get students interested in the same field together to talk about the search, challenges, etc... - Provide scholarships/stipends for internships and other career/vocational development Andy Chan (WF OPCD): Career Services must be aligned with the university mission. We re in the education business, not the matchmaking business- this has to be a constant refrain for career people, but everyone else forgets or doesn t believe it. Our model does not seek to bring every student into the OPCD office. Students will talk to the people they trust about their career worries and ideas. We want to ensure that everyone on the WF campus is informed and empowered to give good advice and ask good questions when students come to them. valuable tools: linkedin- career connectors, graduation statistics Answers to questions/last thoughts: How do we change the conversation on campus? - emphasize a holistic and developmental framework - collect and use data - tell your stories of success- people want to be a part of success - align your goals with those of other offices and programs on campus- get them on board How do you change the career services model? - trust your leaders - director has to use time wisely- focus on fundraising How to work effectively with faculty? - implement programs that involve them - embed skills in course materials (learning objectives)
13 13 - career/vocational competitions- use faculty as judges Keeping data is critical- where are our students going? - require students to take a survey before registering for classes or getting commencement tickets Recommended books College: What it Was, Is, and Should Be by Delbanco Culture and Commitment by Meade The Last Professors by Donoghue Leadership Jazz by Depree Why Choose the Liberal Arts by Roche You Majored in What? by Brooks Motivational Interviewing by Miller and Rollnick Bird by Bird by Lamott Race Against the Machine by Brynjolfsson and McAfee