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Fundamental to Student Success

Building on an already robust offering of career-readiness resources for students, Mohr Career Services at the Lundquist College of Business is unveiling a groundbreaking new initiative called Lundquist Career Fundamentals, designed to boost student engagement through embedded career readiness activities in several required courses.

Designed around the University of Oregon’s definition of student success—graduating students well-educated, socially responsible, career ready, and with a positive experience—Lundquist Career Fundamentals focuses on several core career competencies that employers have indicated they desire.

Many of these career competencies were already effectively incorporated at the Lundquist College, but data showed Mohr Career Services could expand its impact by introducing career management skills as a required and graded component of coursework.

Through numerous outreach initiatives, students were aware of Mohr Career Services’ offerings, explained Jessica Best, senior associate director of career strategy. But when surveyed, students responded that, even though career-readiness was important to them, adding one more non-compulsory thing to the already-busy life of a student was simply too much.

According to Best, students said, “Make it required. Make us do it.”

Lundquist Career Fundamentals also presents career education in an equal way for all Lundquist College students. By partnering with faculty and inserting career education into the core curriculum, every single business student will access the same career content in the same way.

The Lundquist Career Fundamentals initiative was born in response to student feedback and a desire to increase career readiness. Best worked with Erik Ford, instructor of operation and business analytics, to develop the program and pilot it in fall 2020.

Ford reported strong positive feedback from students after the program’s trial-run in his large-enrollment BA 240: Managing Business Information course.

“Students saw the value in it. It’s a win-win. BA 240 is a better course now,” Ford said.

Among many other effective activities and assignments, Ford’s students watched videos and read about resume writing best practices, before taking quizzes geared toward self-reflection and career-planning. Each activity had a due date and counted toward the student’s final grade in the course. The goal was to see students managing their own career development, while taking actions to achieve objectives they set for themselves.

With the pilot successful, the new initiative is now set for a broader roll-out throughout the Lundquist College. Mohr Career Services is working with additional faculty members to brainstorm and integrate Lundquist Career Fundamentals into additional core courses as a cohesive part of the student academic experience. Best and Ford also shared their success with faculty and staff across the college and university during a presentation at the UO Student Success Summit on February 2.

“The career activities will be consistent across all sections of a given course, and we are working with faculty to align the activities to unique course needs. This is how we will make sure no student graduates from Lundquist without the confidence and tools to be able to manage their own career,” Best said. “Lundquist Career Fundamentals makes career development the norm.”

—Will Kennedy, Lundquist College Communications