September 2018 newsletter
Learn how Bethel University is redefining the role student employment plays in career development, and then read an excerpt from the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ report A Vision for Equity on the importance of access to educational excellence for all students.
While work study is an important part of financially supporting college students, many Minnesota Private Colleges are also working to redefine the role of student employment in career development.
“When employers are hiring for a position many are working off a behavior-based philosophy, which is predicated on work history,” said Dave Broza, director of the Office of Career Development and Calling at Bethel University. “The best prediction for an employee’s success is their past experience and this includes work study.”
Minnesota Private Colleges have 3,609 students accessing federal work study and many more accessing institutional and state work study programs. These students are doing a variety of jobs, including marketing, customer service and facilities management. And they are gaining important work experience that can help them enter the workforce.
Work study is a combination of federal and institution aid set aside to provide part-time on-campus jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need. Colleges use work study to fill part-time roles, keep students engaged on campus and connect students to more resources.
Bethel houses its work study program in the human resources department, which ensures that there’s an emphasis on students gaining professional experiences. The institution has implemented a system to help students better understand what employers are looking for and is working to integrate those desired experiences into student employment.
“One of the things we offer students is a portfolio style system so they can connect their experiences with attributes that employers are looking for,” Broza said. “We’re working with human resources so work study managers can contribute to the portfolio and help students connect their current work with their future career.”
There are a lot of important skills learned in work study and these can translate directly into the work force. There are also opportunities for students to try out a specific field to see whether they enjoy that work — giving them the chance to grow and potentially fail in an educational environment rather than their first job out of college.
One of the challenges with work study is changing the culture around how students describe their experiences. It’s important for students to understand what they’re learning in student employment and not to think it’s “just work study.”
“Articulation of experience is huge for translating past work experience into future work,” Broza said. “We use the tool R.E.A.L. Experience to help students demonstrate the value of their skills and experiences. It’s designed to help students understand how to articulate their experiences and gain employment after graduation.”
Work study managers have different types of relationships with students and can teach them a unique set of skills. “We often hear from managers that student employment is teaching students a different type of accountability,” Broza said. “What does is look like to be on time? How do you complete a task in a given amount of time? How are you balancing a complicated schedule? These are all questions we see addressed by student employment.”
Career preparation is baked into what is happening throughout a student’s college education, in particular tied to what happens in the classroom, Broza said. But work study is a great opportunity to supplement those other experiences and help students prepare for what’s next.
By Tom Lancaster
The most significant challenge facing higher education today is a growing economic and racial segregation, and the incorporation of equity as one of AAC&U’s foundational principles reflects the ideal that access to educational excellence for all students is critical, not only for our nation’s economy but, more importantly, for the preservation of our democratic society. The equity imperative takes on new import given the emergence of industry-led earn-and-learn programs that would allow institutions to outsource the entirety of a student’s academic program to unaccredited education providers. Within the context of a growing emphasis on vocational education and competency-based programs, such maneuvers run the risk of creating an intellectual oligarchy where only the richest have access to liberal arts traditions.
In a globally interdependent, rapidly changing world, the best education that colleges and universities can offer is one in which students are prepared to think critically, communicate effectively, engage in ethical decision making, and work in diverse teams to address the complex, unscripted problems of the future. Indeed, economic growth in a postindustrial, knowledge-based global economy will require implementing curricular changes that ensure all students have equal access to high-impact practices that prepare them to thrive in the workplace and in life. These practices include first-year seminars, learning communities, writing-intensive courses, collaborative projects, undergraduate research, internships, community-based learning, capstone courses, immersion in long-term projects, and engagement with educational mentors inside and outside of the classroom. Such experiences have a disparately positive impact on underserved students with respect to self-reported gains, GPA, and retention (Finley and McNair 2013; Vande Zande, n.d.). Moreover, within-group comparisons of the relationship between participation in multiple high-impact practices and perceptions of learning indicate significant benefits among first-generation and transfer students that include gains in deep learning, practical competence, and personal and social development (Kinzie 2012).
As educators, we aim to open minds, share ideas, ignite imaginations, and guide our students toward a future we can only partially apprehend. It is good and purposeful work, made even more meaningful by the recognition that education has changed every one of us, and will continue to do so by the sheer transformational force of its possibility. Amidst increasing fragmentation and complexity, it is work that enables the students we serve to flourish fully as human beings, enriching them as individuals and as members of a community. Only by drawing attention to the persistent economic and cultural barriers that continue to undermine the equity imperative upon which the American Dream is built will we be able to fulfill the true promise of American higher education.
Excerpted with permission from A Vision for Equity: Results from AAC&U's Project "Committing to Equity and Inclusive Excellence: Campus-Based Strategies for Student Success.” Copyright 2018 by the Association of American Colleges and Universities.
With both public and private nonprofit institutions in its membership, AAC&U is focused on advancing the vitality of liberal education.
In 2016-17, women earned 47 percent of bachelor’s degrees in STEM disciplines at our institutions. That’s compared to 36 percent at the University of Minnesota and 31 percent at Minnesota State universities.
Read the full Bachelor's Degrees Granted report.
River semester students canoe the Mississippi River for 100 days
For the second time, 15 Augsburg University students are canoeing the Mississippi River and camping out along the way while learning about history, politics and the environment.
Bethel athlete makes top 30 for NCAA Woman of the Year Award
The NCAA recognizes student-athlete Annika Halverson ’18 from Bethel University for her accomplishments in academics, athletics, service, and leadership.
MCAD Board of Trustees appoints Karen Wirth as interim president
Karen Wirth will serve as interim president of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design while the college conducts a nationwide search for a new permanent president.
St. Kate's physician assistant students partner with Mille Lacs Health System to address opioid epidemic
Travis Green and Bess Kuzma, students in St. Catherine University’s physician assistant program, will conduct research and present findings to Mille Lacs Health System’s medical executives board.
Money Magazine lists Saint John’s, Saint Ben’s as top private schools in Minnesota
Saint John’s University was ranked No. 80 and the College of Saint Benedict was ranked No. 92 in the national rankings.
St. Thomas athletic director to retire
University of St. Thomas Athletic Director Steve Fritz will retire at the end of this academic year. Fritz has been a part of the university for 52 years.
Kofi Annan ‘61 remembered as consistently thoughtful, gracious, and patient
Annan’s death in August prompted many news organizations to reach out to Macalester College. A Star Tribune column called him a diplomat, peacemaker and a ping-pong legend.
St. Scholastica receives largest grant in its history for nursing education
The College of St. Scholastica has been awarded $2.76 million by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services — the largest grant in the College's 107-year history.
Examining life after conviction
October events at Hamline University’s Center for Justice and Law focus on experiences of criminal conviction. Designed to educate and inspire action, events are open to all.
Saint Mary's to inaugurate 14th president
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota will celebrate the inauguration of its new president, Father James P. Burns, on Oct. 5. Several communitywide events are planned.
Concordia St. Paul celebrates its 125th anniversary
A partner in the St. Paul community since 1893, Concordia University, St. Paul reflects on its rich history and bright future as it celebrates its 125th anniversary during the 2018-19 academic year.
Fall campus visits
There’s still time for prospective students to plan fall campus visits. Follow the link to our schedule fall visit events.
2018-19 Transfer Guide available
This handy reference for counselors and students alike offers campus-specific information about the transfer requirements at our 17 colleges and universities. View or download a free copy today.
Order copies of the new College Guide
With a one-page profile for each college, our 2018-19 College Guide can be ordered from the Council’s website. Also available is a PDF handout of our majors-minors grid.
College Knowledge Month starts in October
Efforts to help high school students think through their college options ramp up with activities taking place at more than 100 high schools statewide. As students decide where they want to apply, it is important they know that there are free application options at all Minnesota Private Colleges — as well as the state’s public systems. Details on free application options are available through the preceding link.
Embracing the uncertain, scary future — with a liberal arts degree
The Hechinger Report, Aug. 14, 2018
How college students can learn the most valuable career skill in any class
Forbes, Aug. 22, 2018
Reports: Free college programs don't benefit low-income students
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 6, 2018
A liberal education provides wonderful and needed discomfort
Calgary Herald, Sept. 4, 2018
Stop saying ‘college isn’t for everyone’
America Magazine, Sept. 10, 2018
$100 increase in maximum Pell Grant
Inside Higher Ed, Sept. 17, 2018