College Degree and Career Video Project
May 2012, Volume 7, Number 5
By William (Kit) Nast
Too many times over a 20-year teaching career I have encountered students who tell me their plans of becoming doctors, lawyers, or engineers, but without a full understanding of the preparation required to join a profession. Many high school and college students don’t seem to get it: that pursuing some—perhaps even most—careers takes a lot of postsecondary work requiring a great deal of dedication. To address this challenge, I have started a success project based on the following assumption: The more information students can acquire related to careers and college degrees, the more likely they are to be successful, primarily because they will make better-informed decisions.
How do young adults acquire information in today’s world? Through media, primarily video. To that end, this project provides students with the tools to help them make better career-related decisions using video, a format they often prefer. The videos contain accurate, reliable information, and while information related to these topics can already be found online, the most reliable information generally comes in written form rather than in the video format to which younger college students tend to be drawn.
The website containing these videos (www.drkit.org) is divided into three success categories: school, work, and parenting. These three areas are common to many adults, and community college students often face challenges in dealing with all three areas at the same time.
The project's current focus is on the school and work categories and is described below.
- The Advice from Professors videos are in the Success in School section of the website. In them, professors who teach within specific degree programs discuss the types of jobs graduates can obtain, the learning experiences involved in the program, and advice to students who may be interested in pursuing the various degrees.
- The Advice from a Student videos are also in the Success in School section of the website and feature current college students discussing their experiences, future plans, favorite aspects of the major, hardest parts of the major, and advice for less-experienced students.
- In the Career Videos, found in the Success at Work section, people in different careers discuss their typical days at work, the qualifications needed for their jobs, the best and worst parts of their jobs, and advice for people who may be thinking about pursuing this line of work. Many community college programs are already linked to businesses that help to train and may eventually hire graduates. Employees at businesses that serve as these practicum or internship sites are great resources for our students.
Each of these videos follows a structured set of interview questions so that college degrees and careers can easily be compared. If you would like more information or are interested in helping develop video resources for the project, please contact the author, K. Nast, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
William (Kit) Nast is a member of the Social Science-Psychology faculty at Bishop State Community College, Alabama.
Opinions expressed in Innovation Showcase are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the League for Innovation in the Community College.