What really matters in choosing the right college?
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In this issue of The Free Agent

Helping your students avoid ranking and scorecard tricks
Career Key news
Research you can use...
Cool links

Helping your student avoid ranking and scorecard tricks

Ah, it’s that time of year – college rankings, scorecards and hot lists of lucrative college majors – more tricks than real treat in those for sure. You’re as sick as we are of the influence of rankings and scorecards that don’t give students much meaningful, clear information. Yet we know it’s hard to resist peer and media pressure in the college admission and career planning process.

When you make your pitch to students (and parents) that their success and happiness depend on factors other than U.S. News & World Report rankings and graduates’ salary figures from PayScale or the U.S. Government, here is some common sense Gallup research to back you up:
“…where graduates went to college – public or private, small or large, very selective or not selective – hardly matters at all to their current well-being and their work lives in comparison to their experiences in college.”
“When it comes to finding the secret to success, it’s not ‘where you go,’ it’s ‘how you do it’ that makes all the difference in higher education.”
And with respect to choosing a college major, although college major choice significantly impacts future salaries, choosing a major that matches your Holland personality predicts long-term success better than choosing a lucrative major that doesn't fit.
What does matter?
  • having a professor who cares about the student as a person
  • having a professor who makes the student excited about learning
  • having a mentor who encourages the student to pursue their dreams
When students have those, work engagement doubles and they’re five times more likely to thrive in their well-being.
Source: Executive Summary: "Great Jobs Great Lives," Gallup-Purdue Index, May 2014 (survey of 30,000+ U.S. college graduates). It’s free – parents can read the evidence themselves.

Also, I highly recommend to students and parents New York Times columnist Frank Bruni’s book: “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be.” (2015) Search Twitter for #NACACreads, and you’ll see last night’s Q & A with Bruni about the book.

Career Key News

In October, Juliet Wehr Jones was promoted to Chief Executive Officer and President of Career Key, Press Release

New Career Key products in development
Career Key for Higher Ed is coming next month!
College and university customers will be able to display to their students the majors their school offers within the Career Key assessment.

Behind the scenes and available in Spring 2016, we are making major updates to the user experience of Career Key’s assessment, while developing new products specifically for middle school, high school, and higher education. We'll keep you posted!

Career Key Guest Post on the Naviance/Hobsons Blog
Visualizing ASCA's New Mindsets and Behaviors covered by career assessment

Career Key in India
Cummins’ Technical Education for Communities (TEC) program now uses the new Indian version of Career Key in secondary schools to help fill the skills gap in India. They are also successfully using Career Key in Turkey to introduce middle and high school students to career planning and STEM careers.


Research you can use...

Great Jobs, Great Lives” The 2014 Gallup-Purdue Index Report, a Study of More Than 30,000 College Graduates Across the U.S.

National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has defined and identified seven competencies associated with career readiness:
New Career Readiness for New College Graduates Fact Sheet

 “The Nature and Power of Interests
By James Rounds and Rong Su, Current Directions in Psychological Science
How to use interests to predict career and educational choice, job performance and success. (2014)


Dilbert on how NOT to use Myers Briggs 
But then, we saw Dilbert’s creator Scott Adams has had a lot of fun with “personality” recently – Enjoy!

Cool Links

Class of 2025 expected to be the biggest, most diverse ever (Pew Research Factank)

Federal Aid now available for training “bootcamps”, Washington Post (Oct. 14, 2015)

Strategies for Helping Students Motivate Themselves, Edutopia (Newly updated)

12 Choices to Step Back from Burnout, Edutopia, appropriate this time of year for us, right?

Free Webinar from NACAC “What’s New with FAFSA” Dec. 2

Free Webinar from College Board, "Financial Literacy: Concepts and Resources to Help Families Make the Best Financial Decisions"

The Free Agent
October/November 2015 

Career Key's monthly e-Newsletter for counselors and career/college advising professionals about careers, education choices, and job skills.

Help us create more "free agents" in the world of work!

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Editor: Juliet Wehr Jones, GCDF, J.D., CEO and President, Career Key

We welcome your feedback!

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