Skip to content Skip to navigation

Providing a strong foundation through Career Assessment, Professional Development and Completion of Career Choice (Albany State University-2023)

Strategy/Project Name: 
Providing a strong foundation through Career Assessment, Professional Development and Completion of Career Choice
Momentum Area: 
Change Management
Strategy/Project Description: 

The Office of Career Services supports the following initiatives through Student Access and Success by targeting all students, specifically underrepresented students, that will benefit from informed career planning efforts, using resources such as Focus 2 Career, that can be institutionalized over the life of the grant. All students (and faculty), specifically underrepresented students, will gain access to employer and career resources using the Handshake system and other virtual networks within the Office of Career Services.

In addition to the student access and success efforts, the Office of Career Services will also support Institutional Sustainability and Responsible Stewardship. All students, specifically underrepresented students will prepare students for life skills that target their career field. Those signature events include but are not limited to: Career Fairs, Professional Development Institute, Table Talks, Employer Talks, In the Know sessions, Educators Fair, FBI Collegiate Academy Prep, Student Employment Expo, HBCU Career Fair Expo and an annual Rams in the Bush networking event which will enhance professional development prior to graduation. 

Finally, the Office of Career Services will support graduation efforts though Leadership Development and Employee Engagement by ensuring underrepresented students have direct networking opportunities with Alumni partners in the employer community facilitated by career services and internal faculty partners.

Activity Status: 
Evaluation/Assessment plan: 


Objective 1: Inform students’ career planning efforts through identification of pathways to career fields that align with majors that begin when students arrive on campus through Focus 2 Career assessment

Objective 2: Establish strong connections between campus career services and local and national/global employers that will lead to an increase in job placement within a year of graduation for underrepresented student populations

Objective 3: Develop apprenticeship, internship and externship experiences coupled with experiential learning, study abroad activities and targeted sessions led by the business/HR professionals to strengthen and improve selection opportunities for first generation college students and/or underrepresented students with national/global employers resulting in gainful employment

Objective 4: Facilitate Faculty-to-Employer Externship opportunities with local and national/global employers to reduce knowing-doing gap from academics to employment in high-need career fields to better inform student placement, work experience and employment

Objective 5: Support students’ usage and connectivity to career related resources to improve visibility with employer community

            Baseline measure (for each KPI):

Performance Indicator 1: a. At least 50% of freshmen and 50% of sophomore students will visit the Office of Career Services for assessments to align interest by self-referrals, faculty referrals, or student support department referrals for underrepresented students b. Increased student interactions in Career Services programming, by 25% annually for underrepresented students. c. Student referrals by faculty and student support departments to Career Services, by 35% annually, for underrepresented student

Performance Indicator 2: a. Increased number of relationships with local, national/global employers that have significant campus presences b. Increased number of internships of graduates that lead to employment opportunities c. Attendance at professional development events, conferences and meetings with overwhelming employer participation. d. Increased alumni participation from national/global employers on-site/electronic career resource platform events e. Collaboration with the business community to improve interpersonal and life skills of students to improve student placement f. Collaborated activities with Faculty and other offices to connect employers to ASU graduates

Performance Indicator 3: a. At least four (4) Informational sessions conducted by employer representatives to improve selection opportunities for underrepresented students (Fall, Spring) b. MOUs developed and executed with national/global employers for experiential learning events for targeted underrepresented students

Performance Indicator 4: a. Executed MOUs with Employers for Faculty externships and apprenticeships b. At least (2) Seminars held for faculty conducted by employer representatives explaining business trends and future talent management per academic year

Performance Indicator 5: a. Career Services employer portal(s) operational and utilized by (underrepresented) students at 60% of student population b. Student career support portals operational and utilized by (underrepresented) students at 60% of student population c. Media boards / equipment for employer connections operational and utilized by students in high traffic areas or designated locations

Current/most recent data

564 students classified and first-time freshmen and sophomores to complete the Focus 2 Career Assessment, which helped to align them to their proper majors. Out of those 564, there were 162 students to follow up with assessment concerns/clarity and 38 students to receive assessment debriefs. There was a total of 2,972 students enrolled during this time frame.

The Office of Career Services utilization of the Handshake platform yielded a total number of 21,424 approved and expired jobs which is accessible for all students.

71.46% -Job opportunities

23.7%/ - Internships

2.76%  - Fellowship

1.45%/  - Coop Education

0.32%/- Volunteer

0.24%/ - Experiential Learning

0.04%/ - On -campus student employment

0.03%)- Graduate school

In addition to job postings, messages were received by the Handshake platform in the form of an e-mail conveying employment opportunities to total 1,630 students from 320 proactive employers during this timeframe.

SteppingBlocks is an additional platform that students are able to access virtually. The platform became accessible effective January 2023. From its inception, this platform has yielded 39 new accounts from students.

Furthermore, students were able to take advantage of “in office” service opportunities such as:

Professional headshots (21 students), Resume Preparation (246 students)

Career Advisement (25 students)

Mock Interview (3 students)

Internship Assistance (69 students)

Assessments (162 students)

Assessment Debriefs (38 students)

Success Stories (37 students)

There was a total of 601 students that took advantage of in office services

For the Office of Career Services there were a total of 44 internships obtained and 6 employment gainful employment opportunities.

During this time the Office of Career Services has hosted programming events which targeted both first generation college students as well as underrepresented students with Career Chats, Workshops, Onsite Recruitments, Career Fairs, Ram in the Bush networking event with alumni, JC Penney SUIT UP event, and Professional development opportunities. The total number of student participation for these events are 2,991.

The Office of Career Services held onsite recruitment, career fairs and a resource fair to provide opportunities to better inform student placement, work experience and employment. The total of students that participated in these events are 933.

There was a total of 3,222 students who created their Handshake profiles (undergraduate 3,056/ graduate 132 and alumni 33) Undergraduate breakdown:  (Freshman 1,280/ Sophomore 627/ Junior 459/ Senior 690)

                  Goal or targets (for each KPI): October 1, 2022-September 30, 2027

                  Time period/duration: October 1, 2022-September 30, 2027

Progress and Adjustments: 

Albany State University’s Career Services department has reached monumental milestones in the form of internships obtained, professional development catered events and an increase in use through career platforms and community resources. As such, the Office of Career Services received two donations in the amount of $10,000 each from GEICO and Norfolk Southern. These organizations decided to contribute towards promoting professional development for our students on campus in the form of monetary donations.

One of our events resulted in partnering with our local JCPenney to provide exclusive shopping opportunities in the store catered specifically for our college students. The JCPenney SUIT up event provided exclusivity along with discounted prices on professional attire specifically for our students. There were 100 of our current students who were eligible to receive a $50.00 gift card to help with payment towards professional attire. Because of the donations received, we were able to observe students shop for professional attire that would be utilized for interviews and other professional development activities in the community.

Additionally, we ended up with 34 students being chosen participate in an internship opportunity with Walt Disney World, for the first time ever in Orlando, Florida. We increased student engagement with the students by rolling out our new Handshake platform which kept the students abreast with different internship opportunities available in their field. This, along with the USG mandated platform Steppingblocks, students were able to apply for internships, part-time and full-time employment opportunities in real time.

The Office of Career Services was recognized by the Office of Greek Life for working closely with Greek organizations on campus for 6-weeks to promote career development in an unconventional way. Students were given a career related topic to cover and provide workshops and/or skits to the student body resulting in an increase of knowledge with life skill development and social development in the workplace.

Finally, the Office of Career Services developed Career Action Plans that are targeted for each class (i.e. freshman, sophomore, junior, senior) as they matriculate at ASU. This will help students remain aligned with their goal of completing in 4 years and provide pertinent information on what is needed to be successful in their career paths PRIOR to graduation.

Due to limited staff of two in the Office of Career Services, creativity was pivotal. Collaborations for     the reporting period included partnerships with the Office of Student Engagement (Etiquette Ball), The Office of Greek Life (GREEK WEEK Career Development), Summer Camp targeting Middle & High school students in the Dougherty County community, Table Talk Event (community partners), Career Fairs (Community/ Industry involvement), Educators Fair (k-12 school districts), 

Plan for the Year Ahead: 

Enhance the steps already outlined in the report provided

Challenges and Support: 

Challenges: Remain fully staffed with competent individuals

Support: Collaboration – Remain Informed across the USG system of how important career services is as a department and resource on campus

Primary Contact: 
Dr. Julie Pettway, Director