TAGS: diversity and inclusion, case study, ethics, principles
This case study illustrates key issues that career centers often face: 1) providing students with equitable access to services: Students may have obligations that hamper their ability to use career center services during “normal” hours; 2) working with employers to break down barriers to access opportunities: This includes discussion of student schedules and obligations as well as technology-related issues.
Scenario: Jamere is a first-generation commuter student who identifies as Black and is attending a predominantly white institution (PWI). His major is computer science, and he is currently in his junior year. Jamere works a 20-hour-per-week part-time job. As a rising senior, he is looking forward to applying for a summer internship with a leading technology company in hopes that it will well-position him to secure a full-time position in the highly competitive industry upon graduation.
There is excitement on campus among the students as well as the career center staff. After being sought after by the career center director (CCD) for the past three recruiting cycles, Premier Technology Company is finally recruiting on campus. To kick off the process, the company is holding an information session for students. The session will be held virtually but in real time and is scheduled for an evening during the week. The session will provide interested students insight and details on the application process.
Jamere flagged the company on his career services management (CSM) system profile. He purposely flagged the company so that he would receive immediate notifications and updates. As soon as Jamere received the announcement of the information session, he sent an email to the CCD informing him that he could not attend the information session due to a work conflict. Because of his school and work schedules as well as family responsibilities, Jamere asks to meet with a career counselor, outside of normal business hours, for assistance with navigating the application process. Jamere also mentions in the email that it is essential for him to work because his family depends on his income for financial support. He further specifies that his income pays for the internet access that he and his younger siblings need for remote learning. Jamere additionally notes his family can only afford a low-quality internet package.
Upon receiving Jamere’s email, the CCD checks the schedule of the career counselors and ascertains that all of them are booked until after Premier Technology Company’s application deadline. Considering the level of interest expressed by students in this company and the volume of appointment requests received, the CCD is reluctant to take special measures, such as meeting with Jamere himself during non-business hours, to accommodate Jamere’s request. In his response to Jamere, the CCD suggests that Jamere contact the company representative directly. After advising Jamere to contact the company representative, the CCD moved on to assist other students. The CCD did not encourage Jamere to get back in touch if he encountered problems with connecting with the company representative or any other difficulties in completing the application process; rather, the CCD assumed that Jamere’s issue was resolved.
Although Jamere made attempts to follow through with the company representative, he was unable to connect due to school, work, and family obligations. Their schedules never meshed. In order not to miss the application deadline, Jamere decided to take the AI-powered coding assessment, which is the first step in the application process, on his own. While taking the assessment at home, the spotty internet service caused lag time and delays in his responses and, in some instances, timed out, generating an incomplete assessment. This resulted in Jamere not moving on to the interview round and therefore missing out the opportunity to acquire a critical internship the summer before graduation.
Principles That Apply:
Options for Resolution:
Created by the 2020-21 Principles for Ethical Professional Practice Committee. Posted September 2021.
Percent of institutions conducting First-Destination Surveys
Median number of professional staff
Percent of career centers with employer partnership programs
Percent of staff time spent student-facing
2021-22 Career Services Benchmarks Survey