How PathwayU Is More Than A Career Assessment
PathwayU schools understand that the PathwayU platform is not just an assessment for students, but an educational support tool for career development professionals, faculty, academic advisors, and administrators such as chairs and associate deans.
The career development component is obvious – counselors can use a student’s assessment results to structure one-on-ones with that student to help them find their purpose, choose a career, and select a major or program of study. Let’s focus on the other three groups.
Let’s consider a very common scenario in higher education – competent students who breeze through one type of course but struggle in another. They might have good GPAs overall but still struggle with types of content. While this can happen in any field of study, I’ll use an example from my domain – business.
Imagine two undergraduates. Student S is a Marketing major with a 3.0 GPA who excels in classes like Advertising and Digital Marketing. He struggles in his Accounting and Finance classes. Student B is an Accounting major who excels in courses in her major but struggles in more creative content areas like Marketing and Management. What might account for this, and how might PathwayU help support these two conscientious students?The PathwayU platform is not just an assessment for students, but an educational support tool for #CareerDevelopment professionals, faculty, academic advisors, and administrators. Learn more in the recent blog:Click to Tweet
The “Philosophy” of Career Matching
Polonius in Hamlet said, “To thine own self be true,” while more recently Popeye said, “I yam what I yam.” Our core interests and values drive the types of activities we find compelling and meaningful. Let’s look at the O*NET profiles for accounting and marketing occupations available to students, faculty, advisors, and administrators in PathwayU schools.
Jobs in Marketing Communications attract individuals who have strong Enterprising, Artistic, and Social interests. As a student at a PathwayU school, Student M likely chose that career path because he enjoys activities that align with his interests of taking on projects that involve self-expression and connecting with others.
Jobs in Accounting attract a very different individual, one with strong Conventional, Enterprising, and Investigative interests. By attending a PathwayU school, Student A has likely chosen her major because she enjoys activities that involve solving problems using a standardized and systematic approach.
Studying is easier and more natural when students take courses that match their interests and values. Core concepts resonate with their worldviews, and they start earlier and persist longer on class projects, homework, and studying for exams. The problems that M encounters with Accounting classes and A encounters with Marketing classes may well be less about aptitude and more about their inclinations to put the necessary and directed time in to master the content.When a student is struggling in some of their courses, a review of their PathwayU profile may identify a problem of student/content fit more than specific courses themselves. Find out more in the recent blog from @Pathway_U:Click to Tweet
How PathwayU Schools Support Students Through Information
Faculty, academic advisors, and administrators at any institution routinely access student GPA and registration history when trying to support a student. For example, if I have a struggling student who is an extension at the end of a term, I might pull up their GPA before granting it. It helps to know whether this is a strong student with a 3.5 GPA or a student with a 2.2 GPA and many incompletes and withdrawals on their record.
What If I Could Also Access Their PathwayU Results?
PathwayU schools frequently allow all service providers in their system access to student profiles available through the platform. These profiles include their core interests, values, and career matches. If this information is unavailable, you can always request students download it and send it to you.
What Can We Do With This Information?
If I were an instructor, I would want to know the profiles of all my students, or at least those struggling. This is particularly true if I am teaching a “crossover” class – offered by my department but frequently taken by students with other career trajectories.
Knowing that I have both Social/Artistic and Conventional/Investigative students in my class, I can plan ahead and use different examples that resonate with each group. (Like left brain/right brain myth in education, but with empirical support!) Or, if a student comes to me frustrated that they are ‘trying’ but not doing well on my assignments, knowing their PathwayU profile can help me understand if the course content is a fit for them and suggest alternative ways for them to approach the course material given their profile.
Academic advisors may be involved in selecting an initial major but primarily support students once they have selected their major. When a student struggles in some of their courses, a review of their PathwayU profile may identify a problem of student/content fit more than specific courses.
Over time, academic advisors may learn the faculty who are the best at explaining concepts to students from different departments (with a different career focus). They can also anticipate courses a student might struggle in and advise them accordingly. For example, if Student M has to take an advanced quantitative methods course, his advisor may recommend he take that in a semester when he is carrying fewer credits and can devote more time to the class.
Administrators like chairs and associate deans deal with many of the same problems as academic advisors (students struggling in particular courses). The difference is that advisors see the student before the class occurs, and administrators see them after the class is over, and they are unhappy with the grade they received.
It would be beneficial to review their PathwayU profile early on. Students frequently see a problem (i.e., a bad grade) as a one-off, but reviewing their registration history and interest/values profiles can give insights into long-term issues and trigger a switch from rule enforcer to academic coach by the chair.
PathwayU schools are aggressive in finding ways to use the platform as a tool in registration, advising, education, student retention, and alumni connection. Understanding that a student’s PathwayU profile offers insight into who the student is and what drives them can offer fresh opportunities to support students throughout their education journey. How are you using your school’s career platform to support your students?
Find out more about what PathwayU can do to help you transform your student’s academic year ahead by scheduling a demo today.
Kurt Kraiger Professor and Chair of the Management Department at the University of Memphis. He is also a co-founder and Principal Psychologist at jobZology.