The PathwayU Client Spotlight Series gives us a glimpse into innovative ways our clients use the PathwayU platform across their campuses. It also allows us to reflect on the numerous ways PathwayU impacts the lives of students, faculty, alumni and more. We have a deep appreciation for our clients and the work they do to support learners through their journeys and prepare them for purposeful futures.
This December, we are pleased to introduce you to Ashland University.
Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university in Ashland, Ohio with total enrollment near 6,000 students. Today, the university offers nearly 70 undergraduate majors and nine pre-professional programs. The university consists of four colleges—the College of Arts and Sciences, the Schar College of Education, the Dauch College of Business and Economics, and the Schar College of Nursing and Health Sciences, including a graduate school. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Ashland University in the Top 200 National University institutions in the 2016 edition of U.S. News & World Reports’ America’s Best Colleges survey.
Responding on behalf of Ashland University is Karen Carter Hagans, MA, CCMC, CJSS, Career Coach and Life Calling Coordinator in the Dauch College of Business and Economics.
How did you first hear about jobZology and PathwayU?
“I believe Cameron [a jobZology Solutions Advocate] called our Career Services Center when I was the Executive Director. Our administrative assistant served AU for many years. She was very aware of the goals and objectives of our life calling initiative. Following her conversation with Cameron, she shared the information with me and a connection was made. We had a NetVUE grant and we obtained permission to use grant funds to see if [PathwayU] could fit our needs.”
How has PathwayU supported you in implementing the platform on your campus?
Karen noted that the jobZology team offered, “outstanding customer service” while Ashland University implemented the PathwayU platform on their campus.
In what ways do you use PathwayU on your campus?
Ashland University uses the PathwayU platform within their Occupational Life Calling course, as well as one-on-one sessions (College of Business – undergraduate and MBA) with students.
Has PathwayU helped you address gaps or improved Services at your school? If so, in what ways?
“We use PathwayU in the Occupational Life Calling classes with great results!” To give us a feel for the class experience, Karen shared a video of Spring 2018 students reflecting on the Occupational Life Calling class experience.
Did you consider other similar products or software? And, if so, why did you choose PathwayU over competitors?
“Historically in my career services work over many years – yes. PathwayU connected elements in the career exploration and decision making process that other tools did not offer in one package.”
Have you conducted any research to quantify how PathwayU is impacting students? If so, what did you find?
jobZology conducted research with Ashland University in the Fall semester of 2017, evaluating changes in students’ thoughts and feelings related to the career discernment process after using PathwayU. Case study results show that, after using the platform, Ashland students:
- Are more confident in their ability to navigate the career decision-making process
- Are more satisfied with their current levels of clarity regarding their career direction
- Better understand their own personal characteristics
- Better understand the career paths that fit them best
- Are more confident in their ability to communicate their career goals
- Think [PathwayU] is better than other career guidance tools they’ve used
- Strongly recommend the use of [PathwayU] for other students like themselves
Karen indicated that, “[At Ashland] we also do pre/post student self evaluations in each class, in addition to the AU course evaluations”. Take, for example, the 16 Week Pre/Post Evaluation of Life Calling I, Fall 2017 results compiled below. Usage of the PathwayU platform was included as part of the course.
The above results show that students’ abilities and understanding related to the eight questions below were higher at post-measurement compared to pre-measurement.
- Rate your current ability to discover and develop your career and life interests.
- Rate your current understanding of your personal strengths and how they align withyour career and personal interests.
- Rate your current understanding of how your learning style applies to your career, lifeinterests and your ability to adapt to the challenges of diverse learning environments.
- Rate your current personal vision, core values, and mission statement as they alignwith your interests and career goals.
- Rate your current understanding of your ability to develop tools, strategies anddealing with failure and challenges in life.
- Rate your ability to build better relationships with your peers both professionally and personally.
- Rate your ability to discover and strengthen your leadership traits.
- Rate your ability to understand and use the services and tools offered by CareerServices.
What have student reactions been to the PathwayU platform?
“Students […] present a PowerPoint as part of their final for the [Occupational Life Calling] class. PathwayU is often mentioned as a positive, helpful tool. In [the] Occupational Life Call I [course], students complete a career research grid and an individual strategic plan and both incorporate some insights from their PathwayU experience.”
Do you have any great stories about students or staff who have benefitted from using PathwayU?
Here are some (of many) thoughts from students at Ashland University:
- “Another thing I surprisingly enjoyed doing were the assessments. I have taken a lot of tests before college to help figure out what career I should look into but they’ve all given me the same results and haven’t really helped me. In this class and assessments that we’ve done, they’ve all given me different results and feedback that actually requires thinking and exploring. These tests have really helped me look into each career that I am interested in and has really showed me the things that interest me and things that don’t interest me.” – Brooke
- “Using [the PathwayU] assessment […] to figure out my values, interests, personality, and workplace preferences helped me find out about myself and what all my traits are in each assessment, giving me the ability to do more research into what I like and what I don’t like.” – Destini
What plans do you have for the future to promote student usage of the PathwayU platform?
Karen plans to “continue to use [PathwayU] in the Occupational Life Calling classes and in my one-on-one sessions with students” and hopes to “encourage the Career Services team to expand use the tool.”
jobZology Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer, Dr. Bryan Dik, will give the initial lecture in Ashland University’s McKnight Life Calling Lecture Series through the Dauch College of Business and Economics in January 2019.