Campus News

Career Center to Conduct Student, Recent Alum Needs Assessment

April 13, 2016

Career Center

The Oberlin College Career Center is committed to improvement and growth with the primary goal of “helping all students and recent alumni identify and achieve meaningful career objectives that build on their Oberlin experience,” as noted in the strategic plan 2016-2021. The center’s first step toward this goal is to conduct a needs assessment to discover what students and recent alumni need most to identify and achieve their career objectives.

Throughout April, current juniors and seniors as well as recent alumni will have the opportunity to offer feedback through multiple focus groups and an online survey. Information gathered from these activities will help the career center make informed decisions about how to best serve the highest priority needs of students.

“We have made strides over the past three to five years to increase awareness and usage of our programs and services. It’s important now to understand what will make our students the most prepared to transition to the workplace,” says Lori Young, who assumed the role of career center director in January.

Multiple individuals are partnering with the career center in this effort. Staff members from alumni relations, athletics, the conservatory, and student life will help to ensure the needs of multiple student populations are heard and that the proposed recommendations support those populations.

“It is so important that we take this time to find out what the needs are rather than jumping too quickly into planning solutions,” Young says. “Since I am new to Oberlin, I benefit from partnering with my colleagues around campus as well as the Careers Committee of the Alumni Leadership Council. How we serve students and recent alumni needs to reflect the Oberlin experience.”

"It's exciting to see this needs assessment from the career center,” says Polly Washburn ’90, chair of the Careers Committee. “I think it's important for us not to presume that we know the current needs of students and young alumni, as technology and the economy are always changing how young people feel and approach their job search. Oberlin has a unique culture, and I think the assessment will also give the new director and current staff a crucial perspective on that culture."

Findings and recommendations from the focus groups and online survey will be presented over the summer to senior staff and the Board of Trustees. Questions and comments can be directed to the career center at

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