Assessment Committee and Research Team Goals

The Career Center conducts and supports research and assessment exploring the intersections of education and career. We examine:

  • value of career services in colleges and universities
  • impact of career development programming on student learning; career exploration, decision making, and management; student engagement; retention; progress towards graduation; degree completion; and post-graduation success
  • career and education outcomes for recent college graduates

Our goal is to enhance career education experiences and outcomes of college students and graduates, at our institution and across the country.

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Description of our Assessment Committee and Research Team

Since approximately 2010, The Career Center’s assessment activities had been coordinated by an Assessment Committee which met bi-monthly to plan and discuss ongoing assessment projects in the office. The committee consisted of a representative from each unit of the office (Health Professions, Employer Relations, and Outreach), and 1 - 3 graduate assistants to assist with data collection and analysis.

In the fall of 2013, a full-time Associate Director for Assessment and Research was added to the team. This allowed for more central coordination of assessment activities, and guidance for graduate assistants to create the opportunity build research partnerships where appropriate.

With guidance and support from the Associate Director, The Assessment Committee continues to work on continuous improvement efforts across programs and services. The graduate assistants work as a Research Team and data consultants, to serve the needs of career professionals, as well as to conduct research studies that connect our work to career development theory and delve deeper into questions about career intervention outcomes.

The Assessment Committee members focus on using the resources and findings that result from studies to immediately impact students on our own campus. The Research Team focuses on presenting, publishing, and distributing our work so that a broad audience may benefit from what we are learning. Together, we work to serve the multiple missions of the large research institution in which we are situated.

Assessment Planning

Where does assessment fit in the big picture of all that we do in career services? We’ve found it helpful to map this out in several ways. Below you will find some visuals and planning guides that we use to contextualize assessment. You can see:

  • Our Assessment Model, which places assessment in the larger picture of organization values, missions, and improvement efforts.
  • A list of Assessment Types, and the types of questions that they address.
  • Our Assessment Calendar, which demonstrates assessment cycles. We do not assess everything at once. We take a small projects at a time, learn from them, and give time for changes to take hold before assessing again. Our calendar is reviewed and updated each summer, as we start a new fiscal year. 

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ABCs for TCC: Office-wide Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes are what we hope students will be able to know, do, demonstrate, or feel as a result of participating in career development programs and services. During the 2004-2005 academic year, our office underwent an extensive effort to develop a set of office-wide learning outcomes. The results were a set of affective, behavioral, and cognitive outcomes – or ABCs for TCC. You can see the final outcomes in the attachment below. For the full story on how they were developed, see our Learning Outcomes Assessment monograph. 

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