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Why Is Integrated Career Education So Important?

Across the nation and right here at Boise State, students and graduates identify career interests among the top reasons for investing in a college education. In our most recent alumni survey, our graduates identified career success, career aspirations, and financial gain as the top three motivations for choosing to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Yet only 36% of those graduates felt that we engaged them in planning for a career.

The inclusion of integrated career education in Blueprint for Success presents us with a significant opportunity to coordinate a campus-wide effort aimed at advancing student success and further demonstrating the value of a degree. We will do this through career reflection activities at three key points in our students’ undergraduate experience: a first-year course, a 200- or 300-level course in every major, and the Finishing Foundations course.

First Year → Course in Major → Finishing Foundations

While faculty develop undergraduate degree plans with purpose and intentionality, students do not always experience them in this way. Without opportunities to pause and synthesize their college experiences and how they relate to their future life and career goals, students can lose sight of the purpose of their work. A mid-degree reflection creates a low-stakes moment for students and faculty to discuss and articulate students’ growing understanding of their degree, plans, and purpose.

Next: What does it look like?

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