Culver-Stockton College implements two programs to increase students' employment opportunities

CANTON, Mo.— Within the past year, Culver-Stockton College has introduced two programs intended to give students an edge in a highly-competitive job market. Both new programs --the 4-Year Graduation Guarantee and e-Portfolios-- are designed to help students right out of school become as marketable as possible to potential employers and/or graduate schools. Innovative actions such as these contribute to the fact that, despite national trends of a higher unemployment rate for the millennial generation, 97 percent of C-SC graduates are employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation. “We are providing our students with efficiently packaged, high-impact career preparation,” says Dr. Daniel Silber, vice president of academic affairs and dean of the College. “The 4-Year Graduation Guarantee means that students have a real opportunity to graduate in only four years, at a time when the length and expense of a college education is going up elsewhere. We are also excited about introducing the e-Portfolio program to more students. A traditional resume tells prospective employers what you have learned and what you can do after college, but an electronic portfolio actually shows them.” According to the U.S. Department of Education, the median time it took students to earn a bachelor’s degree in 2008 was over four and a half years. The extended time of study at other institutions can be blamed on many factors, including overcrowded classes, a high faculty-to-student ratio and uncoordinated scheduling. Culver-Stockton is working against these factors to ensure students are graduating in a timely manner. Beginning with the incoming class of 2012, students now have the option to sign the “4-Year Graduation Guarantee.” The guarantee assures that if students follow the guidelines set forth by the College and approach their studies seriously, they will graduate in four years. If the students follow the requirements of the guarantee and do not graduate in four years, Culver-Stockton will waive any tuition costs toward credits required to graduate with their degree. The e-Portfolios are an advanced digital resume, comprised of projects and assignments individual students have completed during their time at Culver-Stockton. C-SC students are continually doing innovative and advanced projects, and the College wants to help students document their experiences in a meaningful way. The portfolios highlight examples of work, essays, photos from internships, service projects, travel courses, recorded samples of fine arts events and recommendations by faculty and staff. E-Portfolios not only show the level of skills students have upon graduation, but also document the development of the students’ skills. They are designed to help students stand out when applying for jobs and graduate school. “Our students have so many unique experiences that make them marketable to employers, and the e-portfolios are a tool that allows students to tell that story. When students have as many opportunities for experiential learning as ours do, a traditional resume just doesn’t provide a complete picture,” says Dr. Holly Andress-Martin, director of the Student Success Center. Culver-Stockton constantly evaluates its approach to education and tries to create innovative techniques to appeal to the current generation of students. The 12/3 academic calendar is just one example. The 12/3 has split the typical 15-week semester into two terms, a 12-week and a 3-week, allowing students to focus on fewer classes at once, as well as delivering a higher level of experiential education. The 12/3 has entered its fifth year, and has set Culver-Stockton apart from other schools with similar demographics.

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