The key to student success after graduation does not lie in classroom instruction alone. Rather, it takes the support of both the academic community and employers that partner with colleges and universities.
In northeast Ohio, Cleveland State University (CSU) is working with the region’s leading business consortium to build and encourage new collaboration between faculty and employers to drive students’ professional development to greater levels of excellence.
This spring, CSU and the Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP) co-sponsored an event aimed at generating a dialogue between the business community and members of CSU’s faculty. The event, titled “The Changing World of Work: Aligning Faculty and Employers for Student Success,” included a presentation about the region’s economy and workforce needs. In addressing the critical role that the university plays in dealing with some of these challenges, the event highlighted the importance of two factors that determine how well-prepared students are for employment: the guidance of faculty and experiential learning in the workplace.
The event took place at the GCP, known as northeast Ohio’s chamber of commerce, and more than 30 CSU faculty from most of the university’s 10 colleges participated. The panel discussion, “What Employers See in Student Talent,” included representation from the region’s employers, including Michelle Pearson-Casey, director of human resources at Olympic Steel; Ray Leach, chief executive officer of JumpStart, Inc.; and Steve Ostanek, president, Neundorfer, Inc. The discussion was moderated by Edward “Ned” Hill, dean of the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at CSU. Each panel member discussed the importance of technical skills in particular fields and the importance of personal presentation skills, specifically attire, eye contact, timeliness, and utilizing one’s resume to accurately communicate his or her skills and abilities.
Cleveland State and the GCP are in the process of planning an even larger event that will take place this fall and promises to bring broad attention to workforce readiness and the importance of internships.
Within the past year, CSU’s Career Services Center has evolved from a traditional career services office to the ”Career Success Network,” which seeks to foster internal and external collaboration to prepare students for the workplace. A key component has been actively engaging faculty, and that includes working with department chairs to define how learning outcomes in their majors align with various career pathways.
More information about the Division of University Engagement’s efforts to connect students, faculty, and the business community is available at www.csuohio.edu/engagement.