Employer feedback helps DelVal prepare grads for jobs
Posted on August 22, 2017 by Campus Communications .
Partnering with employers to create new academic requirements is an investment that is paying off for Delaware Valley University. Asking employers what skills they were looking for helped DelVal create the Experience360 Program, which is a leading model for preparing students for careers. The Class of 2016 was the first class to complete the Experience360 program as a graduation requirement. DelVal followed up with the first graduating class to see how the program is impacting their job searches.
Results from a recent survey show the career outcomes rate for the Class of 2016 is 90.7%, an increase of 3 percentage points over the previous year. The Knowledge Rate (the percentage of graduates for which the institution has reasonable and verifiable information concerning post-graduation career activities) is 78.8%, a slight increase from 2015 (78.25%).
The program gets students thinking about their future careers from the first day they set foot on campus. DelVal is one of the few schools in the country that requires an experiential learning component, individualized to each student’s major. Students start the program by completing special E360 courses focused on professional development and problem-based learning. They graduate with transcripts that reflect both their grades and their E360 experiences such as internships, study abroad, research and civic engagement.
Employers are finding DelVal graduates to be prepared, professional and productive. In a recent E360 employer survey, 93 percent of employers rated students from the Class of 2016’s work ethic as outstanding or very good.
Students are also crediting the program with helping them clarify their career goals and succeed in executing them. In student surveys, 93 percent of students reported that their critical thinking and problem-solving skills increased as a result of the program.
“We’ve received positive feedback from both students and employers on this innovative new program and we plan to continue to work with employers to develop it,” said Dr. Benjamin Rusiloski, interim vice president for academic affairs. “E360 is a leading example of a program that aligns education with the real-world demands of employers.”