A Career Exploration Model for La Salle University Students
Freshman Year Fact Sheet
“Exploration” and “Engagement” were identified by the Integrated Marketing Task Force as Lasallian “unifying themes” that inspire students’ academic, personal, and social growth. The IMTF report further states that a Lasallian education must be “a preparation for life.” Explore U was initiated in response to the subsequent request from the Provost and the Council of Deans that a career exploration model be developed that actively engages all students in exploring and/or deciding their choices of major, as well as potential educational and career paths.Explore U aspires to actively engage all students in exploring their values, interests, skills, and goals as these relate to their choice of majors and career paths and thus their future. The goal is to deepen investment in their educational experience as preparation for their future.
- Explore U is designed to engage students throughout their undergraduate experience at La Salle (and beyond) in an exploratory, experiential process that will help inform their academic and extracurricular choices, thus making these intentional and internally motivated.
- A multidisciplinary committee made up of the Dean of Students, Associate Dean of Students (Counseling and Health), Director of Career Services, Career Services staff members, and representatives from Alumni Relations, the College of Professional and Continuing Studies, and University Advancement began building this model in the summer of 2006. The goal, approved by the Provost and the Council of Deans, was to develop the first stage to be ready for implementation by Fall 2007.
- The “Freshman Year” stage of the model (“Explore your Potential”) is ready to be piloted in Fall 2007 on “undecided Arts and Sciences” freshmen with the goal in 2008 to involve all freshmen. Development has commenced on the subsequent stages of the Explore U model (Sophomore Year, “Explore Your Possibilities”; Junior Year, “Explore Through Performance”; Senior Year, “ Explore The Paths to your Future”; Alumni status, “Explore Always”).
Freshman Year – Explore Your Potential
- Accurately assess values interests and skills.
- Actively engage in University Experiences and with University resources.
- Understand exploration as a process and one that requires active learning.
- Reflect and plan.
Student Action Plan:
- Within the first four weeks of the freshman year, the student will take the Self-Directed Search (SDS) – a self administered assessment instrument to help guide educational and career decision making – in the FYO class.
- The student will be required as part of the FYO class to write a reaction paper that explores his/her SDS results and the process of taking the self-assessment.
- The student will take this essay to his/her Freshman Advisor and discuss action steps 1 and 2 as well as the Web Ct* checklists for student requirements (* technology for the model is still being worked out).
- Based on this discussion, the student who is unclear about his/her educational or vocational choices will be encouraged by the Freshman Advisor to make an appointment with the Student Counseling Center for self exploration or to the Career Services Center for further assessment and guidance.
- Student will make a second appointment to discuss with the Freshman Advisor choices regarding pre-registration for Spring Semester. This discussion will be informed by action steps 1 – 4.
- Pre- register for Spring Semester
- The Student meets with the Freshmen Advisor to discuss first semester experience. Advisor will make additional recommendations as to referrals to the Student Counseling Center for self-exploration or to the Career Services Center for further assessment and guidance.
- The student meets with the Freshmen Advisor to pre-register for his/her Sophomore Fall classes.
- Pre-register for Fall Semester.
FYO Instructor Role (with respect to Explore U):
- Schedule staff members from either Career Services Center or Student Counseling Center to come to FYO section within the first 4 – 6 weeks of class to administer the Self Directed Search.
- Assign essay to facilitate the student’s reflection on their results and the experience of taking the self-assessment.
- Samples of essay questions:
- What are three things I learned about myself?
- Elaborate on anything that surprised you about your results or about taking the assessment.
- How do your results relate to potential majors you are considering?
- What are some potential careers that your results suggest to you and what are your thoughts about these?
- What activities on or off campus can I get involved in that relate to possible future career paths?
- Samples of essay questions:
- Grade essay based on quality of thinking that went into the essay, as opposed to the degree of decision-making.
Freshman Advisor Role (with respect to Explore U):
- Meet with student after he/she has taken the SDS and written the essay.
- Discuss with student results of SDS and refer to Student Counseling Center for self-exploration or to Career Services Center for further assessment and guidance (training will be provided to Freshman Advisors as to when, where, and why to make a referral).
- Discuss with student Web Ct* check lists for student requirements (* technology requirements still being worked out. See attached list of “essential” [required] steps students must complete as well “enrichment” [recommended] actions.).
- Meet again with student regarding pre-registration for Spring Semester. Follow up on results of above referrals. Use this information to help student make informed decisions about choices of courses for Spring Semester related to potential majors.
- Meet with student to review Fall Semester experience within first month of Spring Semester. Make additional recommendations and referrals based on the former to prepare for decisions that will need to be made for Spring pre-registration.
- Meet with student prior to pre-registration to help student select courses for the following Fall semester. Discuss extracurricular activities that can help student gain more life experiences that may be relevant to future career, vocational and/or educational choices.