Two years ago, the K-State Career Center launched a university-wide initiative to centrally track and collect data on students participating in summer internships. A team of representatives from Undergraduate Studies, Student Life, academic colleges, Information Technology Services, Office of Assessment, and other key stakeholders worked together to develop an efficient data collection and reporting process.
Career Center Executive Director Kerri Keller shared the catalyst for the initiative: “Internships are growing in their importance as a high-impact educational practice for college students and as an activity that promotes career readiness. While the current survey only reflects one year of data, ultimately, learning from student internship experiences will help K-State expand their connections with employers, provide academic advisors with internship ideas for students, strengthen university ties with industry, and demonstrate K-State’s commitment to the career readiness of its students.”
The team of representatives collaborated to define internship for the purpose of the survey as “educationally-related work experiences that integrate knowledge and theory with practical application and skill development in professional settings.”
The Wildcat Internship Survey (WINS) was distributed in a year ago to 11,000 students and achieved a 59% response rate. Freshman were purposely excluded along with students from the Colleges of Education and Agriculture because these two colleges had pre-existing methods for students to report similar information.
To encourage student participation, the survey was limited to the following questions for university-wide reporting:
- Did you participate in an internship during 2015-2016?
- Did you receive college credit for your internship?
- What was the company you interned with?
- What was the city location of your internship?
- What was the state/country location of your internship?
Participating colleges had the option to add up to five additional questions, e.g., job titles, wages, start/end dates, quality of experience and more.
In March 2017, results from the WINS were made available in a dashboard report located at the Career Center. Highlights from the survey include visual representation of internships in the U.S., by state and country, and by academic level.
Keller wants parents and families of current and prospective students to be familiar with this data, and other resources available to students through the Career Center. Further, K-State recognizes that parents are business owners and employers involved in decision making who may be interested in hosting internships and online job postings through the Career Center website. We are eager to visit with parents, and help them navigate the hiring process at K-State. Potential employers can connect with Career Center staff by calling (785) 532-6506, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop by and see them at their new home located in the Berney Family Welcome Center.
For more information, visit the K-State Career Center.
Content Sources: Kerri Keller, Ph.d