The following case study was written in collaboration with the Counseling & Support Services Office at Atlanta Metropolitan State College. Special thanks to Dr. Dorothy Williams and Dr. Mark Cunningham for your partnership.
The Counseling & Support Services Office at Atlanta Metropolitan State College has been working to bring the Steppingblocks tool to students across campus. They have used a variety of efforts to increase awareness and provide access, showing a sizable increase in usage over the past 3 months. Their efforts include:
1. Creating a digital and physical flyer with a QR code for easy access
2. Building an easy-to-access landing page for the Digital Career Counselor featured on the rolling banner on the university’s main webpage.
3. Connecting with faculty and led classroom presentations on Steppingblocks.
Future efforts include providing alumni with access and using the platform in career counseling sessions.
Helping Students Achieve Their Goals
One of the challenges for many students is utilizing their educational skills to find work and reach their career goals. Steppingblocks has streamlined that process to make it easier for students to see what possible outcomes are available to them based on graduate outcomes data.
When Atlanta Metropolitan State College (AMSC) got word of this new resource, Dr. Dorothy Williams, Director of the Counseling & Support Services Center, led her team to bring the Digital Career Counselor to as many students as possible.
The implementation of Steppingblocks leveraged multiple approaches, including creating flyers, adding new webpages to the AMSC website, and visiting classrooms to present Steppingblocks to the students. These classroom visits, led by Counseling & Support Services, involved collaboration to bring awareness to the campus and partnering with professors to take approximately 30 minutes of class time for an interactive presentation.
The first step toward implementation involved creating flyers to send to students through email. These flyers were also posted physically on campus. The flyers utilized a QR code to take students directly to the Steppingblocks login page.
These flyers were created by AMSC federal work-study students Trevon Benton and David A. Holloway. Click here to create your own flyers inspired by the work at AMSC.
After creating the flyer, Dr. Mark Cunningham, the Graduate Insights Coordinator, saw an opportunity to create a webpage on AMSC's website to bring attention to Steppingblocks. The Counseling Center staff went through multiple iterations to find an acceptable design for the website, and worked with administrators, Dr. Mark Cunningham, Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Sheila Tenney, Director of Development & External Affairs, and Keel Rickenbacker, Administrative Support of Development & External Affairs, to create the final webpage. Additionally, AMSC also created a graphic for Steppingblocks information on the rolling banner on the college’s homepage.
Once the website was accessible, Counseling & Support Services set out to meet students in the classroom. Staff members contacted professors and requested to present Steppingblocks to the students. During the visits, the staff walked the students and professors through the Steppingblocks platform. Students followed along on their devices to get familiar with the Digital Career Counselor. Students volunteered to assess their career goals, review the skills they currently have (or aspire to) along the path to their chosen career. This interactive session was a great way to quickly scale utilization and engagement of Steppingblocks.
According to AMSC: What's Working
Atlanta Metropolitan State College took a mixed-methods approach to scaling the platform. While they created great virtual resources and flyers, they also hosted live sessions in the classroom to engage students and faculty. This approach has allowed AMSC to see organic adoption of the platform while also actively engaging students in an academic setting. The flyers and website have allowed for the information about Steppingblocks to spread throughout the campus.
The live platform walk-through sessions have allowed students to be actively engaged in their learning by asking questions and considering their career choices when exploring the outcomes modules and viewing career outcomes data. Through the first wave of classroom visits, Counseling & Support Services has presented to over 80 students across five classroom visits and also engaged approximately 20 faculty members during one session designed to help them explore the tool.
What's Next for AMSC
While the Counseling & Support Services team has been happy with their results so far, they can't wait to see additional use cases around campus. They are planning to conduct virtual sessions and additional classroom visits. Additionally, AMSC is actively working to connect with Spring 2023 graduates to ensure that they are aware of the Steppingblocks Digital Career Counselor and are using it to explore the data. This prioritization will ideally allow graduating students to leverage these resources and successfully transition into their chosen career field. Additionally, counselors in the center have begun to incorporate Steppingblocks into their counseling sessions to bring further awareness to the resources available to all students along their career journey.
Thank you to Atlanta Metropolitan State College for collaborating with Steppingblocks! Keep up the outstanding work for your students!
AMSC Counseling & Support Services Staff:
Director: Dr. Dorothy Williams
Counseling & Support Services Center Interns: Thakore O'Neal, Justus Bowland-Gleason, Kaytlyn Trower, Ambrasia Washington, Yolanda Lane
Federal Work-Study Students: Trevon Benton, David A. Holloway
How are you leveraging graduate outcomes data?
Graduation outcomes have become increasingly important to higher education. Universities across the country are leveraging outcomes data to make strategic decisions or support their student success initiatives.
For example, Florida International University is leveraging data in their efforts to support alumni success. Georgia State is putting data-driven career roadmaps in the hands of every student as part of their leadership on the Taskforce of Higher Education and Opportunity.
Interested in how you could leverage Steppingblocks? Explore now.