The PathwayU Client Spotlight Series gives us a glimpse into innovative ways our clients use the PathwayU platform across their campuses. It also allows us to reflect on the numerous ways PathwayU impacts the lives of students, faculty, alumni and more. We have a deep appreciation for our clients and the work they do to support learners through their journeys and prepare them for purposeful futures.
This January, we are pleased to introduce you to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
The University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) is a public research university located in Charlotte, North Carolina. UNCC has 139 undergraduate majors with 75 programs leading to Bachelor’s degrees, 65 programs leading to Master’s degrees and 24 programs leading to Doctoral degrees. UNCC is North Carolina’s urban research university, leveraging its location in the state’s largest city to offer internationally competitive programs of research and creative activity, exemplary undergraduate, graduate and professional programs, and a focused set of community engagement initiatives.
Responding on behalf of UNCC is Stephanie Bird, Senior Assistant Director for Career Branding within the University Career Center.
In what ways do you use PathwayU on your campus?
“In our office, the primary way we use PathwayU is during one on one sessions but we also do offer debriefing small group sessions a few times during the semester around registration when anxiety of choosing a path is highest. The small groups allows us to meet the demand [while] still ensuring the students receive quality feedback.
We also partnered with our advising office for our exploring students to offer PathwayU as part of their flipped advising model. Students in this University College are required to process through modules to ensure they are prepared for their first advising session with their academic advisor. One of the models the students must complete is to take PathwayU and explore career matches. This is the pilot year for this initiative so we should have more information with student feedback next year!
We also thoroughly enjoy the resources PathwayU provides students in the worksheets. We will often have students take the assessment then complete the worksheets in order to have them process their results before they come into their advising appointment. It provides for richer conversation as the student has already done some self-reflection and how the assessment resonates with them. We are then able to debrief with the students from the worksheet they completed instead of sharing their results and having little debriefing time. Students are able to have some insight on themselves and are able to articulate their interests and the ‘why’ behind things much easier after completing the assessment and worksheets.”
Has PathwayU helped you address gaps or improved services at your school? If so, in what ways?
“We decided to implement PathwayU after connecting with our Distance Education office. Previously, we only offered the Strong Interest Inventory and MBTI which required students to visit the office in order to receive their results. Unfortunately, that inhibited our Distance Education students from easily receiving assistance regarding a career assessment. PathwayU was our top assessment choice because the assessments offer a full picture of the student instead of only reviewing interests or personality, a student receives information on their interests, personality, values and workplace preferences. The student then reviews their career matches which can easily be filtered through for more individualized preferences.
The wait times for some of our individual appointments can be up to a month during peak times. Of course, this isn’t beneficial for those who are in a crunch to make a decision on classes or majors so PathwayU provides an opportunity for students to do some exploring on their own then attending a group session without having to wait a month to meet with an advisor.”
What have student reactions been to the PathwayU platform?
“Student feedback has been very positive and overall [they] really appreciate the ability to take the assessment and receive their results immediately. In the Career Center, we appreciate the encouragement in the system which provides a framework for starting their exploration while also encouraging a visit to the office if they desire extra assistance in reviewing their results.”
What plans do you have for the future to promote student usage of the PathwayU platform?
“There are beginning talks of encouraging all incoming freshman use PathwayU or at least post it on the Admissions website so when they are accepted, they can begin the exploration process as soon as they are accepted before they even step foot on campus! We will also continue our outreach to academic advisors and ensure their understanding of the platform so they can effectively refer students to take the assessments and refer to the Career Center as needed. All of our first year students are required to met with their academic advisor so it’s a great partnership with those folks to continue to get the word out!”
If you feel inspired by UNCC’s story and would like to see PathwayU on your own campus, get connected with us here!