Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes encourage career professionals to ask what students should be able to know, do, demonstrate, or feel as a result of engaging in a learning experience that is provided by a career development program or service. They offer direct evidence that change has occurred as a result of participation, as they measure change in students’ behavior, knowledge, or expression of values.

Here are some sample learning outcomes assessments that our office has carried out. Note the variety from control-group statistical analysis, to pre-post outcomes statements, to simple learning statement brief reflections.

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Graduate Outcomes

Career professionals are often drawn into graduate outcomes data collection due to the unique role that they play connecting college students with employers and graduate admissions representatives. Typical graduate outcomes data relate to employment, continuing education, volunteer service, and military service, as well as whether graduates are still seeking their next destination. 

A common use of graduate outcomes data is presentation of statistics and impact numbers in annual reports to demonstrate return on investment in higher education degrees. Some institutions take a further step in creating ways for faculty, staff, students, and/or families to dynamically search data for career and major exploration. Others work to extend these data to make connections between graduate outcomes and service use, academic performance indicators (e.g., time to degree, GPA), and/or learning outcomes. 

At The Career Center, we are exploring multiple avenues of integrating graduate outcomes data into practice to enhance current students’ career exploration, demonstrate the value of career services, and to seek ways to continually improve the programs and services offered. The links below provide a glimpse of some of our work. We’re very interested in benchmarking and discussing this work with others, and continuing growth in this area. 

Please also know that all of our work in this area is reviewed by the Illinois Institutional Review Board. Confidentiality, privacy, data security, and transparency are of utmost concern in these (and all) of our assessment and research projects. 

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