GC joins national initiative to prepare faculty with career guidance skills

Goshen College has been chosen as one of 26 institutions across the nation to join the Consortium for Instructional Excellence and Career Guidance, a new initiative that will prepare up to 500 faculty members to use evidence-based teaching practices shown to promote student success while embedding career guidance into their existing courses.

The initiative is a partnership between the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) and the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE), and is made possible by a $1.2 million grant from Strada Education Network, a national nonprofit dedicated to strengthening America’s pathways between education and employment.

“Through the program, teaching faculty will learn how to better enhance students’ abilities in the skills employers most value in prospective employees — communication, analytical skills, teamwork, motivation and interpersonal skills,” said Jo-Ann Brant, interim vice president for academic affairs and academic dean.

A cohort of 20 Goshen faculty members will enroll in ACUE’s new course, “Career Readiness and 21st-Century Skills.” The course is based on more than 30 years of research that document the evidence-based teaching practices that have been shown to improve student outcomes while also providing course-embedded career guidance.

“The ACUE program is designed to empower faculty as teachers who focus on student success, so the ultimate goal of the grant is to improve student learning,” said Ann Vendrely, incoming vice president for academic affairs and academic dean. “I think it is an honor that Goshen was awarded this grant and the faculty selected for it will personally benefit. As they progress through this rigorous program we will look to them to share what they are learning with others on campus, and I hope that the benefits will be far-reaching and help both faculty and students.”

The cohort includes senior and junior faculty from a wide range of disciplines, and will officially begin with a kick off event on Aug. 30, 2018, where an ACUE representative will orient faulty to the program.

ACUE will debut two new modules that specifically address career readiness: Embedding Career Guidance, in which faculty members will be able to learn how to provide frequent, course-embedded information about specific careers, and Preparing Students with 21st-Century Career-Ready Skills, in which faculty members will be assisted in developing course content, assignments and assessments to help students develop “career-ready” skills.

“We intend to integrate the learnings from the ACUE program into several structures Goshen College uses now to ensure that faculty development happens each year,” Brant said. “As soon as the program begins, at each monthly teaching faculty forum, a number of participants will be invited to demonstrate particular strategies by treating the faculty as a class.”

As part of the program, graduates of the ACUE course will participate in “learning communities” organized by the faculty development leaders in the following academic year in order to share some of the strategies that they have learned. Through this mechanism, the learnings gained by the direct participants will be disseminated to a majority of the faculty. Kathy Meyer Reimer, professor of education, will facilitate this program.

By participating in the program, the faculty development leaders will also integrate aspects of the ACUE curriculum into the orientation program for new faculty, both continuing and adjunct.

“This new course prepares faculty members to develop students’ critical thinking, leadership, interpersonal, professional skills, and more, which are all crucial to success in obtaining and keeping a job,” says Dr. Penny MacCormack, ACUE’s chief academic officer. “These new modules go a step further to guide faculty members in providing specific career examples and skills assessments throughout their coursework.”

Consortium for Instructional Excellence and Career Guidance colleges:

Albertus Magnus College (CT)
Albion College (MI)
Alderson Broaddus University (WV)
Bloomfield College (NJ)
Briar Cliff University (IA)
Butler University (IN)
Concordia University Texas (TX)
Dillard University (LA)
Elmhurst College (IL)
Goshen College (IN)
Husson University (ME)
Lebanon Valley College (PA)
Lourdes University (OH)
Lynn University (FL)
Maryville College (TN)
Mills College (CA)
Mount Saint Mary’s University (CA)
Nebraska Methodist College (NE)
Regis College (MA)
Roanoke College (VA)
Sacred Heart University (CT)
Stillman College (AL)
Talladega College (AL)
Tiffin University (OH)
University of La Verne (CA)
Wesleyan College (GA)