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'Impressive' showing for Career Services

[Career Services staff]
The Queen's Career Services team at an event held earlier this spring. The staff, student staff, and volunteers help deliver a comprehensive range of career development programs and services for Queen's students. (Submitted photo)

Queen’s University boasts one of the most “impressive” models of career services among Canadian universities and colleges, according to a recent national study.

Commissioned by the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling, the study looked at institutions’ commitment to support the career development of their students. To earn an “impressive” designation, universities and colleges had to show that they:

  • Proactively deliver services
  • Collaborate extensively with campus stakeholders
  • Regularly evaluate services and measure outcomes

“This recognition illustrates the importance Queen’s places on comprehensive career development programs and services for our students,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs. “We have an amazing team in Career Services that works collaboratively with student groups, faculty, alumni, and employers to help students explore and plan their career and further education goals as a critical part of their student experience.”

Sixty-seven universities and colleges responded to the online survey, with 24 respondents scoring above average on the criteria. Of that 24, seven exemplified the impressive model, with Queen’s receiving the second-highest ranking overall.

[Students at a job fair hosted by Career Services]
Career Services works with numerous stakeholders to deliver workshops and services, including job and career fairs. (Photo by Lars Hagberg)

“The study highlights Queen’s significant investments in student career development,” says Cathy Keates, Director, Career Services. “In addition to offering direct services to students in our office, we work with instructors, units, and faculties across the university to deliver workshops, innovative services, and expand experiential learning opportunities for students. With our partners, we want to provide students with the tools they need to articulate how their Queen’s education and experience prepares them for their future endeavours.”

A key focus for the university is the continued development of experiential and work-integrated learning, with the goal of helping students recognize the important skills they develop through a variety of curricular and co-curricular experiential learning opportunities, and how these skills prepare them for life after graduation. Queen’s initiatives align with the Ontario government’s Highly Skilled Workforce Strategy.

Mapping the career path together

Queen’s Career Services has received high marks for several of its collaborative projects. In 2014, Career Services and the Alma Mater Society co-founded It All Adds Up, a career health campaign aimed at giving students confidence that the skills they are developing at university will give them a solid foundation for their future careers. It All Adds Up has expanded to 43 other university and college career centres across Canada.

Career Services has also worked with partners across campus to develop Major Maps and Grad Maps, program-specific resources that offer undergraduate and graduate students advice on academics, research, and career opportunities all in one document.

The maps received the 2015  Excellence in Innovation Award (Student Engagement) from the Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers (CACEE). The maps project is also a finalist for the 2017 National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Award for Career Services Excellence. NACE, which has more than 3,000 member institutions across the United States and Canada, will announce the award recipient in June.

The university has also launched the online Experiential Learning Hub, a “front door” to experiential learning that supports efficient cross-institutional planning and delivery of experiential learning, and provides advising for program development, collaboration, and sharing of resources through a central contact.

Visit the Queen’s Career Services website for more information about all of its programs and services.