Colorado State University is putting in more effort to improve the current and future careers of students.
Starting July 1 of this year, CSU moved some components of student employment from the Office of Financial Aid to the Career Center to better help students with employment successes, said Summer Shaffer, senior associate director of communications outreach and technology for the Career Center.
The Career Center used to mainly focus on helping students with writing their resumes and job applications, but is now able to expand to help students even further, Shaffer said.
“We have a great expanse of student development,” Shaffer said. “Now what they can do is meet with a career educator or they can meet with one of our career education specialists to talk more holistically about (their future).”
The Career Center now hosts job postings and job development, employer resources and consultations, student training and programs and student advising. Part of the job development at the Career Center includes JobX, an online job posting service for part-time and full-time positions for on and off campus jobs, and Handshake, an online job posting service focused on industry careers after graduation.
New hire paperwork for students, the actual awarding of need-based and non-need-based work study, and the Oracle functions of student employment are still located at the Office of Financial Aid.
The goal of this transition is to create more holistic career development within college jobs and the student’s educational experience, said Katie Flint, director of employer connections and operations for the Career Center.
“Specifically for us, we have envisioned goals of … doing more work with those students to help them make those connections,” Flint said. “Now with actually having it housed here, our hope is that we’re going to see even more students coming in.”
Already, this transition has been really positive for us, because we have seen a lot students that didn’t even know we were here. So that’s really reassuring that this is a positive move that will help support student development.” Summer Shaffer, senior associate director of communications outreach and technology for the Career Center
This discussion of this started almost a year ago, with a suggestion from the Office of Financial Aid Director Tom Biedscheid. The Office of Financial Aid originally had only a few employees that aided in student job searches, like looking for work-study positions. The Office of Financial Aid was lacking in their ability to support students with their future to the extent they wanted to, Biedscheid said.
Without the ability to expand staffing to support student employment, Biedscheid looked to the Career Center, which he said was already better equipped for this task. Connecting to the Career Center, who specialize in interviewing, resume writing and cover letters just made sense, Biedscheid said.
“That’s when I thought, ‘hey wait, we’ve got an entire department on campus that’s committed to helping students find jobs,'” Biedscheid said. “And wouldn’t it make sense if we connected with them too, not only to help students find jobs but to connect students with the career center at a much earlier stage versus ‘hey I’m going to graduate really quick and I need to find a job.'”
The transfer of student employment components to the Career Center wouldn’t impact the school financially, Biedscheid said.
Biedscheid’s main focus for this transition is helping students find work-study positions that would aide to the advancement of students’ careers after their education by matching students with on-campus employers that understand being a student comes first and by providing a network at the University to support the students.
Job resources offered through the Career Center:
JobX: postings of part-time on and off campus jobs
Handshake: resource for internships and after-education careers
Student Advising for finding part-time on and off-campus jobs.
Student Training and Programming, such as future employment-focused events and “Student Employee of the Year.”
The Office of Financial Aid hopes that this movement of student employment functions to increases the awareness of work-study opportunities and on-campus jobs, especially with the benefits of on-campus job opportunities.
“We’re definitely elevating the awareness around work study, with the Career Center being engaged now,” Biedscheid said. “I think there’s going to be a great opportunity there to elevate the importance of work study, and hopefully work towards additional funding.”
Although this transition is new, the Career Center and the Office of Financial Aid hope that this change increases student engagement in their future careers during their college education.
“Already, this transition has been really positive for us, because we have seen a lot students that didn’t even know we were here,” Shaffer said. “So that’s really reassuring that this is a positive move that will help support student development. Even though we used to help with applications, we’ve always advertised that in orientation, we’re seeing students for the first time coming in.”
Collegian reporter Julia Trowbridge can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @chapin_jules.