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With Data, Everybody Wins: How Georgia Southern Un...

One important aspect of the Steppingblocks onboarding process is sharing the data with faculty, staff, and students across campus. This summer and fal...
  • Richelle Hurley
    January 22, 2024 3:27:30 PM EST . 4 min read

With Data, Everybody Wins: How Georgia Southern University has Leveraged Steppingblocks Data Across Campus

One important aspect of the Steppingblocks onboarding process is sharing the data with faculty, staff, and students across campus. This summer and fall, Georgia Southern University has seen a substantial increase in usage by students and staff alike across both the Graduate Insights and Digital Career Counselor platforms. To learn more about how they’ve achieved success in increasing engagement across campus, we spoke with Caitlyn Cofer, Director of Operations and Glenn Gibney, Associate Vice President for Career Readiness in Georgia Southern University’s Office of Career and Professional Development. 

Graduate Insights

Caitlyn and Glenn quickly recognized the many use cases for Graduate Insights, both within their office of Career and Professional Development and among the entire campus. They recently created a new Assessment Specialist position in the office, which has helped them to effectively leverage the data in a number of ways. To support academic evaluation on campus, “our assessment specialist uses Graduate Insights to provide outcomes reporting to academic departments undergoing accreditation review,” they explained. Internally in their own office, they also use the tool “to identify where our alumni work (i.e. with what employers and location) to help inform our Employer Relations Strategy and Outreach.” 

Over the summer, Caitlyn and Glenn launched an effort to introduce Graduate Insights to other offices, and encourage them to explore the data. Their first stop? The President’s Leadership Team. “We were invited by the Provost to speak to the President’s Leadership Team and gave a demonstration of the Graduate Insights platform to Georgia Southern leadership which included all cabinet members and academic deans.” After this presentation, several department leads reached out to request demonstrations for their staff. With these subsequent demonstrations, usage of Graduate Insights spans campus, including the Division of Student Affairs, the Division of Enrollment Management, Marketing, Student Success, and various academic colleges such as the Paulson College of Engineering and Computing.  

With these introductions to Graduate Insights, faculty and staff across campus have been able to leverage the data to answer a number of questions. When asked what types of questions folks are answering with the data, Caitlyn and Glenn explained: “Primarily to see where our graduates are working, including location information (i.e. are they staying in the state of GA?), what positions they currently occupy, and what firms they are working for.” 

Moving forward, Caitlyn and Glenn hope to continue leveraging Graduate Insights, and aim to “get insights into where our grads are working by degree program…to inform our college partners on student success and to tailor our employer outreach by academic college.” 

Digital Career Counselor

On the student side, Georgia Southern has seen increased usage of the Digital Career Counselor platform in the month of October. Caitlyn and Glenn attribute this to the integration of the platform into Georgia Southern’s First Year Experience (FYE) program. In the FYE course, “students use DCC as an exploratory career readiness assignment that requires them to sign in, build a profile in DCC and explore career options.” In addition, the Office of Career and Professional Development have showcased the Digital Career Counselor tool on their department’s website. After incorporating the platform in this course, they expect that all first-year students will have utilized Steppingblocks by the end of their first year. By exposing students to career data early in their higher education journey, Georgia Southern is empowering students to make data-informed decisions about their major, career path, and more. 

Special thanks to Caitlyn Cofer and Glenn Gibney at Georgia Southern University for sharing their experiences and insights! 

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