Scaling Career Services Task Force

Background:

Well over 60% of Cal State East Bay are the first in their families to attend college and earn a degree. These same individuals will also be first-generation professionals who likely do not have the professional networks and social capital that students from more privileged backgrounds have. If our mission includes enhancing the social and economic mobility of our students, then ensuring all students have access to robust career information and career placement support is part of our mission as well. Positioning our students for success in post-graduation job placement will have lifetime economic benefits for our graduates and will solidify Cal State East Bay’s role in supporting the regional workforce.

Cal State East Bay currently has a career services unit, combined with our lower division academic advising unit (Academic Advising and Career Education or AACE). Some degree programs require a practicum as part of the curriculum and are well-established (e.g., Teacher Education, Nursing, Speech, Language and Hearing). In addition, some of our colleges and departments help to coordinate relationships with employers, provide career information and organize academic and paid internships for their students. In short, career services at Cal State East Bay are distributed across many individual units, services have been provided through more traditional, in-person methods, and not all students have equitable access these important services.

To learn more about current best practices in providing university career services, the Office of the President retained the Career Leadership Collective consulting firm to provide an assessment and recommendations for scaling career services at our university. That report has been delivered. In addition, a donor has paid for structured interview-based research with employers and hiring managers to gain a deeper understanding about how potential employers perceive job applicants from Cal State East Bay.

Task Force Members:

  • Ashmita Ahluwalia, Student
  • Jennifer Aure, College of Business and Economics 
  • Evelyn Buchanan, Co-chair, University Advancement
  • Steven Cleveland, Ethnic Studies and History
  • Bridget Ford, History
  • Cathey Hurtt, ITS Enterprise Information Services
  • Balvinder Kumar, Co-chair, Office of the President
  • Mazie Mauricio, Institute for STEM Education
  • Kathryn Palmieri, Academic Advising and Career Education
  • Farzad Shahbodaghlou, Engineering
  • Krystle Tonga, Student Life and Leadership

Charge:

The charge to this Task Force is to review options for scaling career services and recommending a path forward to substantially increase provision of career services so that every Cal State East Bay student will benefit throughout their time at Cal State East Bay. An ancillary benefit should be to grow and strengthen relationships with major employers in the region. Task Force members should proactively address our equity and anti-racism goals throughout the process.

Specific elements to consider include:

  • Review Career Leadership Collective recommendations to create a virtual Career Services Hub and determine how we can move forward with this recommendation
  • Review career services at peer institutions to identify best practices
  • Survey students to assess their current knowledge of, current use of, perceived need for career services and how those should be provided
  • Identify key services to be offered in our career services unit throughout the student lifecycle
  • Describe the current state of career services at Cal State East Bay and propose ideas for coordinating career advice and services offered at the college and departmental level
  • Identify any technology supports/platforms needed to streamline and provide greater access to career services
  • Make recommendations on how to increase and deepen relationships with key employers in the Bay Area, including our own alumni, to benefit students
  • Make recommendations on where within the university organization this unit might report. (Common reporting structures include Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, or Alumni Services.)
  • Identification of any additional issues to address in implementing this change

In addition, this Task Force will work with the president’s office to provide ongoing updates as well as sponsor open forums and retreats as needed to engage the Cal State East Bay community in this initiative.

Besides the assessments and research already completed, members are encouraged to access other experts and consultants within the university (e.g., Institutional Effectiveness and Research) to assist in this work. A preliminary report of findings is anticipated by the end of spring semester 2023 so we can begin to implement initial changes during the summer of 2023.

With these efforts, the hope is that Cal State East Bay can become well-known to potential students as the place in the Bay Area to obtain a valuable degree AND immediate career readiness and well-known by employers as the place to go for educated and work-ready employees.