Spotlight for Career Services ProfessionalsAugust 6, 2014by Kevin Gaw, Ph.D.
Students can express their personal and work values with clarity.
Career services practitioners know that when a candidate uses his or her personal and work values when applying for career opportunities, the likelihood of a congruent match between candidate and opportunity is significantly higher, increasing the authenticity of the application. Employers look for and appreciate a match, and, therefore, a student's ability to express his or her personal and work values with clarity is an important aspect of career planning. Further, when an employee’s values match the work environment, job satisfaction increases, as does organizational affiliation and productivity.
This SLO can be broken into two parts for measurement:
Using a values assessment method (card sort, worksheet, or formal assessment), have students identify and rank their values based on what is most important to them as a person. Then have them work through the above three strategies in sequence, for each expressed value. Most values have a personal story, and it is this story that creates the meaning for the student. If many values are listed, focus on the core values and instruct the students they should do this for all the ranked values. This can be done by journaling or speaking with the counselor. The counselor’s role is to help facilitate the associations, understandings, and organizational connections by asking questions that foster insight and understanding.
Because this is a student-by-student SLO, the primary measurement is by the number of students able to complete this task: frequencies. That is, the practitioner documents the number of students who can express their personal and work values with clarity, as defined by the above three strategies. Ideally, when a student can’t do this, the practitioner will work with the student until he or she can.
If you set this as one of your SLOs, all students with whom you work should be able to express their personal and work values clearly. Since a values list could be rather long, a realistic amount for this SLO assessment could be that the student can do this for their top three or five personal values and top three or five work values.
Kevin Gaw is senior director at university career services, Georgia State University.
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