One of the key factors is knowing how to market the students. For example, Liberal Arts is such an encompassing major that personnel learned to explain to prospective employers that the students would be highly trained in "communication, teamwork, and critical thinking skills" (189). According to Nell, studies showed that students who mastered these three attributes retained their jobs longer, and were promoted more quickly. This was a salient point for prospective employers. Also, a class was created called Transitions from College to Work, and made mandatory for all upcoming Liberal Arts graduates. The university was pleased with its results, and Nell quoted one official as saying, "We believe that we have illustrated a model for any institution to use, regardless of size, organizational structure, or resources" (192).
Most placement departments intend to stay competitive, and use a variety of means to do so. In "Jump-Starting the Job Search," Tricia Bisoux writes that many departments dedicate at least one person "solely to corporate relations" (24). She added that good departments also "increase their travel time and visit companies throughout the year to stay in contact" (24).
In "Business Unusual," V. Scott Koerwer and Cherie A. Scricca interviewed employees of Robert H. Smith School of Business. The school was losing ranking in placement of graduates because "our connections were still not deep enough to satisfy our graduates' job expectations" (24). The Smith School decided to join forces with a job search firm to increase placement rates.
In "Year Up's Success," Anne Lewis chronicles the help given to students attending Cambridge College. Her take is simple: "A career service manager helps students with job placement, career development, and higher education applications" (7). The program, Year Up, is meeting placement and wage markers since it began in 2000.
How Successful Do Placement Programs Have to Be
It might bear asking if college students should need so much help securing employment. The general consensus, though, is that students do need the extra attention paid to their post-collegiate success. In "The Flogging of For-Profit Colleges," Richard P. Hassler discusses proprietary institutions, and how the students are seen as customers to be served. Therefore, career services must take on the dual role of serving the customer, as well as employers. Hassler writes, "These departments not only assist graduates and attending students with job placement, but also help current and prospective employers understand the benefit of hiring students from that school," (72). Andreas Walmskey, Rhodri Thomas, and Stephanie Jameson agree. In "Surprise and Sense Making: Undergraduate Placement Experience in SMEs," they write, "Focusing on placement impacts on future career choices," (361) meaning that students are more likely to choose majors that show success in employment. In "Get a Job," John Savarese writes that the most important instructors are the "counselors at the campus's Career Services center" (66).
Since it is