The Oakwood University Career Connections Center (OUCCC), scheduled to open later this year, will create a comprehensive, holistic, integrated pathway leading students to successful entry into graduate school, and careers that will enable them to serve God and humanity. The goal is to ensure that students who complete matriculation at Oakwood will be able to enter into graduate or professional school, can be employed as an entrepreneur or their employee, or can be profitably engaged in community service in their desired career field within 12 months of graduation.
The three main areas of the OUCCC’s focus: implementing a process designed to actively engage every student in developing and using their individualized “Career Map” and Career Transcript; strengthening employer relationships designed to increase shadowing, internships, and post-exit placement; and monitoring placement and job retention rates.
The desired outcome of participation is gainful employment for all students within 12 months of graduation. Gainful employment includes industry jobs, community service engagement, entrepreneurship, and graduate and professional schools. By fall of 2022, 100 percent of the students will be “career technology literate.”
Career technology literate is defined as students who are fluent in using technology to find and use accurate and up-to-date information regarding the following:
- Market trends
- Posting resumes
- Searching and applying for target jobs that align with past work experiences and skill set
- Generic job hunting websites such as Monster, askalo, or Indeed
- Government websites such as usajobs.gov
- Signing up on networking site/apps i.e. LinkedIn & GemConnect
- Removing or burying negative social media or search engine hits
- Creating your own professional blog or website
- Watching out for hiring scams
This new and exciting initiative will allow students to create a “Career Transcript” and a “Career Map” plan. The Career Transcript will include evidences of a student’s awards, skills, quantifiable accomplishments using numbers/data, education, work experience, professional development, leadership activities, and special recognition from teachers and employers.
The Career Map consists of comprehensive assessments outlining each student’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities; threats (SWOT) analysis; and a skill development plan. These, along with GEMConnect (a custom application introduced fall 2017), allow students to take career assessments, build a digital career portfolio, communicate with their advisors, and be linked to a mentor. All of these strategies will help to ensure that the students reach their career goals.
This initiative constitutes a significant change in the functioning of Career Services. A career connection team will be introduced, which will consist of a center coordinator, two career development specialists, and one office assistant, all motivated to ensure a successful outcome. Each team member is tasked with ensuring that students are assigned to their own career specialist, and with enhancing all career-related activities. The students’ success is Oakwood’s success!
Oakwood University | May 2018