Career development is a crucial aspect of self-discovery. Through exploration, skill-building, developing and nourishing supportive relationships, students are more motivated and better able to connect classroom learning to their career goals. The CCWT team collaborates with colleagues across disciplines in the development of tools, materials, and methodologies that help student build wellness and career development skills.
Teaching 21st Century Skills in College Courses
One of the hottest topics in higher education is the value of competencies that are called “soft skills,” “career readiness skills,” or “21st century skills,” for students’ success in school, life, and work. Associate Professor of Adult & Higher Education Matthew Hora has developed a professional certificate program that leads faculty through the history of the skills discourse and problems with generic notions of how skills like communication, critical thinking, and self-regulated learning are deeply shaped by the professions, race/ethnicity, and gender. Participants are introduced to the “Skills as Cultural Models” approach to embedding these skills into course syllabi, lesson plans, or even in campus-wide strategic plans in a way that models sociocultural and equity-centered theories of learning.
What do we really know about internships and their impacts on student outcomes such as wages, employment status, and career satisfaction? Do internships – especially those that are unpaid – serve to reproduce inequality by limiting these “high-impact” practices to those with ample and officially sanctioned forms of financial, cultural and social capital? In addition to empirical research projects on college internships. CCWT is regularly reviewing the literature on internships across national and disciplinary boundaries.
National Survey of College Internships (NSCI)
NSCI officially launched in October of 2020. It addresses the growing international interest in internships and related forms of work-based learning (WBL), which are widely seen as “high-impact practices” (HIPs) that contribute to students’ academic, social and career success. However, no rigorous national studies on internships exist that focus on issues of access, program structure and student outcomes. In addition, few colleges or universities have the data infrastructure to closely track and understand their students’ experiences with internships, which is essential for supporting faculty, career services professionals, and campus leaderships’ data-based decisions about how to improve internships.
Tune In to Strive Out Career Wellness Program
The Tune In to Strive Out program was designed by a diverse team of students and faculty. Grounded in a radical healing framework, it’s a 5-module program that guides students through practices to preserve a stronger sense of wellness and self-determination while learning skills to navigate their career and school lives. Students have opportunities to develop community while engaging in activities to apply the skills their learning.
Tune In to Strive Out Facilitator Training
Tuned In Labs seeks to broaden the discussion of career readiness to include psycho-social skill development by training students in career development, entering and navigating the world of work, and engaging in wellness management. Our team of students and faculty co-designed a 5-module career wellness program for college students grounded in the Radical Healing framework and career development theories. The Train-the-Trainer program prepares faculty and staff to facilitate the Tune In to Strive Out modules or integrate the content into their existing curricula.
Student Networks & Cultural Assets Project (NCA)
Although Latino/a/x/e (hereafter, “Latine”) students have high aspirations for achievement in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), they remain underrepresented in the STEM workforce (Fry et al., 2021). Social support is key to STEM identity formation and sense of belonging, two important predictors of STEM persistence for historically marginalized students. The Student Networks and Cultural Assets (NCA) project uses the Community Cultural Wealth framework (CCW) – a theory focused on strengths within Communities of Color (Yosso, 2005) – to study Latine students’ social networks.
Community Cultural Wealth Framework
CCWT’s Networks & Cultural Assets (NCA) project utilizes an asset-based framework (Community Cultural Wealth) to examine the college-to-career transition for historically marginalized students. This approach builds on students’ existing strengths and reveals the centrality of familial capital in shaping students’ career pathways, the function of resistant capital in forming students’ career interests, the utility of students’ existing social capital in the job search process, and the role of counter-spaces in activating CCW for career success.
One step in our effort to cultivate a community of scholars, practitioners and students is sharing what is learned through our research. CCWT consistently publishes research, tools, and frameworks and makes them freely accessible via a searchable database on the Center’s website. This allows anyone with interest or need to access data that has been analyzed and synthesized by objective and qualified scientists.