We must focus on outcomes!
Career readiness is a critical element in Guided Pathways. As we work to help students choose and stay on a path to a certificate or degree, we need to follow through to realize the end goal: a living-wage job. I see a significant imbalance between enrollment advising and career advising. We start students on their path, but we don’t do a good enough job seeing them to the finish line. I, in no way, believe either advising or career readiness is more important than the other, but they must be effectively supported. We must ensure our students’ talents are cultivated and prepared as they enter the workforce. We cannot forget this foundational outcome when we disperse our resources.
At Tacoma Community College, we only have one person dedicated to the Career Center. To address this challenge, I am drafting a proposal for my college to add a new position to close the gap between completing a credential and finding a job.
After discussions with members of the State Board, I realize this isn’t a TCC problem; this is a systemwide problem. From my understanding, significant funding cuts in the aftermath of last recession decimated career services at every community and technical college. I’m now thinking about how I can broaden the proposal to influence decisions in the next legislative session.
I’m so appreciative of this experience because it allowed me to see things from different vantage points. This sharpened my skill set and provided new revelations on where innovative ideas should be presented. I can now work on solutions in tandem to support not only TCC but all of our community and technical college students.