Student Attitudes And Opinions Regarding The Services Provided By A University Career Center

Submitted By philgray
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An Exploratory Study of Faculty and Student Attitudes and Opinions Regarding the Services Provided by a University Career Center.
Philip Gray
Gonzaga University

Executive Summary

University career centers serve as a vital link between graduating students and employers. Increased demand for career center services due to a soft job market and challenged by reduced student discretionary time and increased technology require broader and more innovative service delivery. The purpose of the research was to find out which type of career center services and service delivery best serves Gonzaga students preparing for entry into the job market.
Utilizing an exploratory design, attitudes and opinions of university faculty and third-and forth-year students regarding career center services, the data collected and analyzed shed light on the lack of awareness of Gonzaga’s Career Center and especially it’s Alumni Mentoring Program. The major theme established in the research was that there was much needed improvement in the way the career center marketed itself towards students and in the career center’s overall communication with the students themselves. Some of the key recommendations brought forth through research were that the career center should cater to the needs of more than just the business school, provide more guest speakers for the students, and to possibly implement mandatory career advisor meetings in the future for students.

The problem surrounding Gonzaga University’s Career Center is that there has been a recent increase in demand for services provided by the career center but students have less time to spend walking around physically looking for these services. With increased technology, the career center is looking for more efficient marketing and more innovative service delivery to students
This study focuses on findings that could potentially be useful to career center administrators in service delivery that best prepares and serves students entering the job market. Data for this study was collected through a personal interview type focus group with a total of four third-and fourth-year student participants as well as an in-depth interview with a member of the faculty. The data was analyzed using a thematic analysis of both transcripts for the focus group and the in-depth interview. There were no major problems encountered during the collection of data other than the lack of previous knowledge of career center services and GAMP, which resulted in a lack of participation by some of the focus group participants.
The importance of this study involves the future of Gonzaga University and the success of its future graduates who carry the reputation of Gonzaga University with them. This report includes all relevant information gathered and a discussion of the key information, interpretations and recommendations will be located in the later end of this report.

The Body
The hypothesis of this study was that the findings and key themes of the research would be useful for designing services that best serve students entering the job market.
The exploration of faculty and third- and fourth-year student attitudes and opinions regarding the services provided by the career center provided helpful insight to the desires of the students and faculty in regards to these services. The first major theme that was apparent in both the focus group and in-depth interview was that there was the career center was not catering to the needs of all types of majors, and there was a preconceived notion that it was mainly for the business students. Only one of the focus group participants was in the school of business and clearly had more to offer to the questions simply because they were the only participant who had actually been to the career center. The next major theme was that communication between students and the career center