Students gather around a professor as she points out interesting articles in the magazine "Cell."

When assessing workshops, what audiences do you think of? If you are anything like us, the first audience that comes to mind is the students who participate. Most often, that is who we ask for feedback.   But, there is another very important audience in the room. In fact, we wouldn’t even be in the room if it weren’t for them – the faculty, staff, and students who request our presence. How often do we ask, in a systematic way, what requesters think of our workshops? Are we meeting their expectations in terms of quality of workshop materials, delivery, and approach? How can we know?

In Spring 2016 we distributed a survey to our workshop requesters immediately after each workshop from February and March. One example finding from this project was that workshop requesters shared appreciation for the ways that The Career Center presenters built rapport and used their expertise to customize workshops for specific audiences; “Appreciate the services. Great delivery of materials.” This workshop assessment has influenced how the full range of our workshops are presented – we are making sure to tailor the information to students in the room and provide more a varied range of interactive activities. The Career Center is stepping up our game in our “Request a Workshop,” “Don’t Cancel that Class,” and “Integrating Career Development into Your Classroom” programs (https://www.careercenter.illinois.edu/faculty)!

In Summer 2016, we created an infographic to demonstrate the difference that faculty and staff help us make in students’ lives when they invite us to the classroom. This is shared with groups that commonly request workshops to encourage continued partnership.

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Blog entry contributed by: Jessamyn Perlus, Graduate Research Assistant at The Career Center

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