A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n


PROGRAM NAME: Career Planning and Employment Services

LOCATION: Parkland College, Illinois

POPULATION: 10,000 students, community college


Gerry Hough
Director, Career Planning Parkland College
2400 W. Bradley Avenue
Champaign, Illinois 61821-1899
(217) 351-2536
(217) 351-2882fax

Nancy Harris
Principal Consultant
Career Guidance
Illinois Board of Education
100 N. First Street
Springfield, IL 62777-0001
(217) 782-4620
(217) 782-9224 fax

DESCRIPTION: Parkland College's Career Planning and Employment Services (CPES) is very successful in assisting students in making the transition to further education or the workplace. The Office collaborates with the faculty, administration, graduates, the local university, and business and industry to help students progress. It provides students as well as people in the community with a broad range of services including counseling, advising, testing, job placement, and other support programs designed to enhance educational experiences, promote personal growth, and supply employment assistance. The Office also collects critical data on student placements, salaries, program placements, and a variety of other information used regularly for program improvement and for guiding current and prospective students. Many human resource representatives of local business and industry list their job openings with CPES exclusively.

The community is unique because of its high technology research and development programs and companies and its ethnic diversity resulting from the presence of the University of Illinois. In addition to services to its clientele in the college, CPES staff also provide assistance to local citizens, business and industry, and agriculture and labor organizations.

Between 45 and 55% of the students are attending for career/job-related reasons; 20% to 30% of enrollees intend to transfer to a senior institution. CPES operation has been able to accommodate the needs of Parkland's large student population by forming connections with other campus units. Enhanced rapport between the CPES unit and the occupational faculty has promoted integration of employment services into career instruction.

A comprehensive set of activities, services and resources are offered by Parkland's CPES unit including: individual assistance in defining job-search strategies; on-campus interviews; videotaped mock interviews; informational booklets; announcements in job bulletin boards; on-campus employment; career planning seminars; counseling; assessment of interests, abilities, and values; self-directed computer searches; and classroom presentations. A recent innovation is the computerized job-management system including student, employer, and job databases, with job-matching capabilities that benefit employers and students/graduates.

Collaboration has enhanced/extended the CPES unit's capacity to serve its constituencies. The faculty has incorporated career planning and employment principles into the curriculum; these concepts are applied in class projects. One of the positive outcomes is the creation of an educational plan and a career plan.

PROGRAM EVALUATION: Annually, the CPES unit prepares a summary of its activities. The summary provides a concise overview of CPES operation, and examination of usage patterns facilitates projections that are valuable as a basis for program assessment and planning. Every 5 years, CPES completes a comprehensive self-study, as part of the college-wide program review processes. Conclusions are based on: the level and quality of services, demonstrated student satisfaction, recent innovations, major improvements, staffing analysis, equipment/facility needs, and cost trends.

Each year, the college conducts a follow-up study for graduates of all career programs. One component includes the graduates' level of satisfaction with Parkland's career planning and job placement functions. On a regular basis, CPES staff conduct telephone follow-up contacts with students who have utilized the JobNet and the Hiring Line.

PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS: Participation levels are recorded for structured programs and initiatives. Success stories are communicated to CPES staff anecdotally by individuals who state that a positive outcome was achieved by someone as a result of using CPES resources.

Results indicate:

-high degree of student/graduate satisfaction;
-upward trend in the number of users;
-acquisition/enhancement of planning skills;
-development of career plan and an educational plan;
-timely and convenient access to information;
-useful computerized job-management system;
-systematic services to dislocated workers;
-incorporation of career planning and employment principles into the curriculum (concepts applied in class projects);
-high degree of coordination with community groups


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