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 February, we are pleased to introduce you to Warren Wilson College.
Warren Wilson College
Warren Wilson College (also called WWC) is a private four-year liberal arts college near Asheville, North Carolina, in the Swannanoa Valley. The college offers classes in a range of disciplines with Environmental Studies and Creative Writing among the most popular.
WWC is known for its curriculum that combines academics, work, and community engagement. This system requires every student to complete a requisite course of study, work an on-campus job, and perform community service. Warren Wilson is one of the few colleges in the United States that requires students to work for the institution in order to graduate and is one of only eight colleges in the Work Colleges Consortium.
With just 680 undergraduates, WWC is a tight knit community with a 15-1 student-faculty ratio.
Responding on behalf of Warren Wilson College is Wendy Seligmann, MBA, Associate Dean of Career Development and Faculty in Business.
How did you first hear about jobZology and PathwayU?
It sounds so simple but I first learned about Pathway U from a direct mail flier. It arrived at that perfect moment when I was beginning to think about alternative options for providing assessment tools for our students.
How has PathwayU supported you in implementing the platform on your campus?
The staff at PathwayU is dynamite. I have rarely, if ever, received such terrific customer support. From the initial request for a walk-through of the system to on-going training, folks are responsive and available. They check-in periodically without being pushy.
In what ways do you use PathwayU on your campus (e.g., one-on-one sessions, small group sessions, freshman orientation, etc.)?
PathwayU is a key component of our Major Exploration class. It serves as a foundation for the beginning of our discussion about values, interests, skills and fit. This year we launched our new Center for Integrated Advising and Careers. All students work with their Integrated Advising Coach from the time they register for their first semester classes until they graduate. Because we are a work college where all students work on campus as a component of their education program and they fulfill a community engagement commitment, our Integrated Advising Coaches help students reflect on these experiences and assist them in planning for future academic and applied learning opportunities. This semester all first-year students are completing the assessments in PathwayU and discussing the results with their Coach as a first step in planning for summer and next year.
Has PathwayU helped you address gaps or improved your services at your school? If so, in what ways?
We have used other assessments so PathwayU is not so much filling any gaps but it is helping us to deliver assessments in a more consistent way. We know with PathwayU that all students are using the same assessments and are talking about them with trained staff.
Did you consider other similar products or software? And, if so, why did you choose PathwayU over competitors?
I did look at some other options but PathwayU resonated with me because of its language around vocation and calling and its ease of use. Students who beta-tested it for us said the approach resonated with them, they found the results to feel accurate and the language felt authentic.
What have student reactions been to the PathwayU platform?
When we explain what PathwayU is all about, students are eager to try it. They like how it does not stop with just assessments but helps them explore career options with access to up to date information.
Do you have any great stories about students or staff who have benefited from using PathwayU?
One of my best stories come from two alumni. Both had been out of school for 5-6 years and were feeling like they needed new direction. They turned to their alma mater for assistance. After talking with each one of them, I felt it would be helpful for them to use PathwayU. Both had a good sense of themselves but had no idea what options were available to them given their set of values, skills, etc. In our subsequent conversations, they were thrilled with what they had learned, felt they had new tools with which to work and were ready to move forward with exploring new opportunities.
What plans do you have for the future to promote student usage of the PathwayU platform?
Since our coaches are reaching out to students and talking with them about the platform, we don’t have to work as hard on marketing. Of course there are always students who don’t know about it but could benefit so we will continue talking about it in classes, workshops and individually with students.
If you feel inspired by Warren Wilson College’s story and would like to see PathwayU on your own campus, get connected with us here!