What is the value of career services? What impact do career professionals make in the lives of the clients and students we work with? How do we know?
Career professionals best advocate for our work when we have compelling responses to these questions. Program assessment is a powerful tool to help us “tell the story” of our programs, services and resources. The stories we develop demonstrate impact, providing a narrative to increasingly engage clients in effective practices, generate greater support from administrators and funders, and inform our own practice to continually enhance intervention outcomes.
This webinar series provides career professionals with the tools to clearly articulate a story of the impact of our career programs and services in students’ or clients’ lives. Session 1 explores different types of assessment strategies (e.g., needs, participation, satisfaction, outcomes) that can inform the development and enhancement of career development programs. We’ll examine clear illustrations of assessment activities that can be integrated into day-to-day practice. Session 2 invites participants to “begin with the end in mind” as we define our intended outcomes for clients. Those outcomes provide the foundation for developing assessment plans, introduced in Session 3. In this session, we strategize next steps and provide resources for implementing manageable and meaningful assessment projects.
Why Career Practitioners Should Attend:
This is a hands-on series filled with practical resources. Come to build your assessment toolbox and your confidence for exploring the impact that your career programs and services make in clients’ lives.
Webinar #1: Building a Framework for Assessment
Understand a framework for assessment in career services, including:
- Draw parallels between assessment and the familiar activity of storytelling
- Recognize various assessment approaches and the questions they address
- Gain experience using assessment data to tell the story of career service
- Reflect on areas of your own practice where you envision focusing assessment efforts (Encouraged to practice application in-between sessions. May be shared with the instructor.
- Build confidence in personal ability to engage in practitioner-engaged assessment efforts
Webinar #2: Defining Outcomes
- Gain appreciation of the value of starting assessment “with the end in mind” – beginning with your intended outcomes
- Understand a variety of types of outcomes encountered in career services practice (e.g., learning, destination, persistence/retention, psychological, behavioural)
- Experience a process to:
- write outcomes statements,
- connect outcomes to theories and professional standards, and
- use the assessment of outcomes as a tool for continuous improvement and communicating the value
- understand the relationships between developing office-wide outcomes statements and outcomes statements for specific programs/services
- write outcomes statements for your own career development services (Encouraged to practice application in-between sessions. May be shared with the instructor.)
- build confidence in personal ability to define meaningful and measurable outcomes for career services offices and programs/services.
Webinar #3: Developing a Multi-Year Assessment Plan
- Understand the value of an assessment plan
- Explore common components of an assessment plan, such as: (a) purpose and target audience; (b) intended outcomes; (c) connections to guiding documents (e.g., mission, vision, strategic plan); (d) reflections on past assessment projects; (e) future assessment plans and timelines
- Review example assessment plan templates
- Reflect on strategies for selecting appropriate assessment methods for each assessment project
- Receive resources to continue to support the assessment journey
Julia Panke Makela, PhD, serves as the Associate Director for Assessment and Research at The Career Center at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The Career Center at Illinois is a North American leader in assessment and research that enhances students’ education and career experiences at the university and beyond. The university openly shares tools and strategies to spur dialogue with other career services professionals about demonstrating the value of services, improving practice, and enhancing the career development field. Julia is a Certified Career Counselor and a National Career Development Association Fellow with more than 20 years of experience embracing counseling, research and program evaluation roles.