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Guest Author: Robin Allen, Project Coordinator at Metropolitan Community College
As the Project Coordinator at Metropolitan Community College (MCC), my goal is to create and support students’ sense of purpose and career intentionality during their first year at MCC, therefore leading to increased rates of course and degree completion, successful transfer to four-year institutions, and/or progression into the workforce within the Kansas City region. At the end of the day, I want each of my students to seek out, plan for, and pursue a successful career pathway.
Taking a look at our institution as a whole, Metropolitan Community College has multiple campuses which consist of Blue River, Longview, Maple Woods, Penn Valley and our online campus. Combined, we serve over 20 thousand students each year. MCC strives to help students connect with college resources by demonstrating a holistic understanding of the college, including navigation of the academic structure and requirements, utilizing appropriate campus resources, and participating in comprehensive co-curricular engagement activities. MCC strives to establish a mindset for early-career identification.
Now that you’ve read about both my goals and MCC’s goals in how we serve our students, you’ll understand how ecstatic I am to share that a partnership between Metropolitan Community College and The DeBruce Foundation is coming to fruition this academic year.
After a full year of preparation, planning, and building, this Fall 2022 semester, all of our new students will be introduced to the Agile Work Profiler and other career exploration tools developed by The DeBruce Foundation. MCC students will use these tools with our Academic Advisors, Counseling, and Career Services Departments in order to…
- Get to know their skills and interests as they relate to the workforce
- Gain an understanding of their education journey
- Explore MCC programs, degrees, and certificates
- Select courses and develop plans to get their degree
I know many higher education institutions are also looking for ways to further help their students toward career pathways. So, I’m happy to share a glimpse of how we did it:
- First, my role was created and I was hired to make this project a success. From supporting this partnership, to marketing these resources to our students, to collaborating with professionals throughout our college, I embarked on an enormous task. And, it’s worth it, because I know the importance of our students understanding their next steps in life, and I want our students to understand that they’re able to “start here and go anywhere.”
- In January 2022, I became a Certified Agility Coach with The DeBruce Foundation.
- In March 2022, The DeBruce Foundation trained 150+ staff members on the Agile Work Profiler and the Agilities framework. This training introduced our Student Success Departments to ways to help students explore workforce options, make informed decisions about their educational path, and reach their career goals.
- In May 2022, we provided further training for five MCC leaders ranging from the Counseling department to Career Services and Program Coordinators. The training was amazing! One memorable event that took place was the duct tape ice breaker. This team-building activity provided us an opportunity to use our strongest Agility. Laughter and communication took place the entire time but overall, growth, understanding, and collaboration were the key takeaways for me.
- In July 2022, we launched www.mcckc.edu/careerservices to make the Agile Work Profiler available for all MCC students.
- Currently, we are piloting the Agile Work Profiler (AWP) at MCC-Blue River. All first-year students will take the AWP during their New Student Advising and Enrollment sessions where students meet their success team, select courses, and enroll! Students will schedule a one-on-one meeting with our Student Success teams to learn more about their results in Fall 2022.
- Next up, I plan to partner with our amazing academic advisors to ensure they understand how to utilize The DeBruce Foundation’s Career Explorer Tools to help students go from uninformed to informed career decision-makers.
- This fall, I will continue to present, promote and educate MCC staff on the importance of the Agile Work Profiler and helping students understand their strengths and discover a wide range of career paths in the process. Our Career Services Coordinators will host workshops, and counselors will provide the AWP to those community members or students as walk-ins if needed or requested.
- And, the teams at MCC and The DeBruce Foundation are learning, assessing for impact, and continuing to develop this partnership over the next 2 years.
I’m incredibly proud of my team, my school, and all involved in this partnership. If you’re looking for career literacy resources for your institution, visit Agilities.org to get started; then, feel free to reach out to The DeBruce Foundation team at info@DeBruce.org and connect with me on LinkedIn! Together, we can expand career pathways.