Sarah Fox – Career Planning Coordinator – University of West Florida
Career Services professionals know the importance of interacting with and supporting college students as they progress through their college education. This interaction and support provides an innate value to students; a value that cannot be replaced or eliminated. In fall 2015, the University of West Florida (UWF) Career Services office implemented a new tracking method to gauge students’ repeated interaction with the office. Past tracking methods involved analyzing certain populations such as freshman and alumni, but there was no consistent measure of repeated interactions by individual students.
In August 2015, the Career Services office decided to add a question to the already created Satisfaction survey, which every student takes after their appointment with a Career Coach. The following question was added: Would you like your Career Coach to follow-up with you via email?
The concluding data for the fall 2015 semester shows that out of 920 in-person student appointments, 218 students requested a follow-up email. This equates to approximately 24% of the students who had an appointment, requested a follow-up email. Of the 218 students who requested a follow-up email, 53 additional appointments were scheduled. This equates to approximately 25% of the follow-up emails translating to appointments that were scheduled during the fall semester. The Career Services office also calculated the follow-up requests based on student classification. The data shows that seniors requested the most, at 36%, followed by juniors at 18%, and sophomores at 15%.
These initial findings tell the UWF Career Services office a few things. First, they now know that almost 24% of the students with whom they met in fall 2015 wished to receive a follow-up email. Second, they now know that almost 25% of the follow-up emails resulted in additional appointments. And third, seniors are trending as the classification that requested the most follow-up emails. This data could conclude an initial hypothesis that seniors are requesting repeated interactions because of their proximity to graduation.
Going forward, the Career Services office will use this data to cross-tabulate it with specific populations, including students who have not declared a major and students who are academically at risk. The office will also use the data to evaluate trends based on classifications and GPAs, as well as demographic data. Continued data collection will allow the UWF Career Services office to tell the whole story – who the students are, and how the UWF Career Services office has helped them formulate a path that leads to career success.