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Assessment Matters: The importance of faculty and staff mentorship to students

Meredith College banner with Johnson Hall in background

In the spring of 2017 Gallup and Strada Education Network conducted a nationally representative survey of currently enrolled college students, to assess how confident students are of succeeding in the workplace, how their field of study, age, and class year affect their level of confidence, and how they use and value university resources, including faculty interactions, to explore career and academic options.

The Gallup-Strada survey results emphasize that students’ level of confidence in their ability to succeed in a career after college is largely affected by their interaction with and mentorship by faculty and staff, as well as by their access to career specific institutional support.

A few findings:

Students who receive career-specific support from faculty and staff feel the most prepared for the workforce.

  • At Meredith College, 73% of students speak often or very often with faculty or staff about potential careers, versus 46% nationally.
  • Students consulting with faculty at Meredith, in comparison to those nationally, report higher levels of confidence that,
    • they will graduate with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the job market (65% at Meredith vs 45% nationally) and the workplace (66% vs 45%). They are also more likely to believe that their major will lead to a good job (65% vs 60%).

Students who have had a faculty or staff member initiate a conversation about career options are more confident in their workforce outcomes.

  • 82% of Meredith students report that they have had a conversation regarding career options, initiated by a faculty or staff member, which is much higher than reported by students nationally (63%).
  • Students at Meredith who have had such conversations express greater confidence that,
    • they will graduate with the skills they need to excel in the job market (50% at Meredith vs 39% nationally) and the workplace (55% vs 41%).

Faculty and staff commitment to helping students find rewarding careers enhances student confidence in their career prospects.

  • Meredith students who agree that faculty and staff are committed to helping them find rewarding careers are more confident than students nationally that,
    • they have the knowledge and skills to make them successful in the job market (73% at Meredith vs 66% nationally) and in the workplace (77% vs 70%).

Results from this survey have been shared with numerous Meredith campus constituents, for use in a variety of ways, including marketing, assessment, and program improvement efforts.

Melyssa Allen

News Director
316 Johnson Hall
(919) 760-8087
Fax: (919) 760-8330

allenme@meredith.edu