Standards and Protocols for the Collection and Dissemination of Graduating Student Initial Career Outcomes Information For Undergraduates

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1 National Association of Colleges and Eployers Standards and Protocols for the Collection and Disseination of Graduating Student Initial Career Outcoes Inforation For Undergraduates Developed by the NACE First-Destination Survey Task Force Approved by the NACE Board of Directors, January 2014 National Association of Colleges and Eployers 62 Highland Avenue, Bethlehe, PA

2 2 NACE First-Destination Standards/Protocols Table of Contents Introduction... 3 Guiding Principles... 5 Standards and Protocols... 6 Defining the graduating class Targeted knowledge rates Career outcoes reporting categories Career outcoes rate Tieline for suary data collection and reporting Further assessents Appendix: Saple Survey Saple spreadsheet Each year, NACE will request suary data fro all institutions to track and share broad trends in hiring and continuing education. Participation is voluntary. A saple spreadsheet that describes how outcoes data should be organized is available at

3 First-Destination Standards/Protocols NACE 3 Introduction The National Association of Colleges and Eployers (NACE) is the preeinent national organization focused on the eployent of the college educated. As such, it has a singular responsibility to the profession and the public to provide thought leadership on the relevant issues and trends affecting the college-educated work force. In light of escalating higher education costs and perceived returns on the significant investent of tie, effort, and resources expended by students and their failies, NACE recognizes the critically iportant public discourse concerning the value and effectiveness of higher education as it relates to preparing the next generation work force. NACE further recognizes the growing iportance of institutional outcoes assessent efforts as they relate to iproving higher education perforance and achieving institutional and acadeic progra accreditation standards. Efforts to assess the eployent- and career-related outcoes for college graduates are not new and, in fact, a great any institutions undertake these efforts in various ways, to differing degrees and at different points in tie. There has been significantly growing interest, however, aong career services professionals and other stakeholders, in the leadership role that NACE can, and should, play in providing greater direction and guidance in this specific for of assessent to ensure greater consistency and to advance best practices. In response to the concerns and circustances, NACE has established these national standards and protocols to guide higher education institutions in collecting and disseinating the vital inforation regarding the iediate career outcoes of their graduates. In doing so, NACE does not seek to supersede or take the place of other standards established for specific acadeic progras (e.g., M.B.A. and law) or efforts by various state entities and public higher education systes to assess graduating student career outcoes. NACE recognizes the enorous diversity aong higher education institutions in ters of ission and goals and the inherent difficulty of a siple one-size-fits-all approach. Consequently, the goal of this initiative is to establish soe initial iniu standards and protocols which serve both to help institutions ebark on this assessent process and lay the critical foundation for further developent and advanceent in this vital area of evaluation. Given this goal, the focus of this initial set of standards is on the first-destination career activities of students copleting their undergraduate degrees. NACE will work with other organizations, including the Graduate School Council, to deterine appropriate additional standards for assessing the initial career outcoes of aster s and doctoral graduates.

4 4 NACE First-Destination Standards/Protocols Clearly, any institutions have already dedicated the necessary career services office and/or institutional resources to effectively undertake their assessent efforts in the area of graduating student initial career outcoes. Many institutions, for which these standards introduce new and expanded expectations, ay struggle initially with allocating the necessary resources to eet these new standards. NACE recognizes that full ipleentation will take soe tie for these institutions. The association hopes in establishing these standards to raise greater awareness of the critical nature of these assessents and, in doing so, to help career services professionals in lobbying for the needed resources to effectively undertake the. NACE also wishes to acknowledge the inherent liitations in focusing on first-destination outcoes. The positive ipact of a college education cannot be easured in the siple ters of eployent, earnings, or continued studies. The full benefits of the profoundly personal growth, enrichent, and increased knowledge evidenced by graduates cannot be adequately easured nor properly accounted for in the near-ter. The ost significant and substantive outcoes occur over the lifetie of the individual graduate.

5 First-Destination Standards/Protocols NACE 5 Guiding Principles The standards described in this docuent reflect the guiding principles regarding the collection of graduating student career outcoes established by the NACE Board of Directors in July of Those principles include, in part, the following: Helping students achieve postgraduation career success is a critical eleent of the ission of the entire higher education institution. Higher education institutions should be focused on obtaining career outcoes inforation fro all institutional graduates each year. The institution s career services organization should have an integral role in collaboration with other institutional entities (e.g., acadeic departents, aluni relations offices) in collecting and disseinating career outcoes inforation. Data collection protocols should be consistent with institutional huan subject requireents, and the institutional research office should be aware of and involved with data collection as appropriate. Data ay be collected fro various legitiate sources (e.g., student survey responses; eployer-, parent-, or faculty-provided inforation). Data collection should be ongoing, with final suary analysis being copleted by six onths after the graduation date. Outcoes inforation reports should provide aggregate data aintaining the confidentiality of individuals in accordance with institutional protocols involving these types of data. NACE further encourages higher education institutions to pursue longer-ter studies of the career progression of their graduates to better assess career outcoes over tie.

6 6 NACE First-Destination Standards/Protocols Standards and Protocols Outlined below and organized by sub-section are the relevant standards and protocols established by NACE concerning the collection and disseination of graduating student career outcoes. 1. Defining the graduating class a. Each year s graduating class includes those students who copleted degrees between the periods of July 1 to June 30 each year, a tie period consistent with degree copletion reporting requireents established by the National Center for Education Statistics Integrated Postsecondary Education Data Syste (IPEDS) progra. For exaple, for purposes of outcoes reporting, the Class of would include all graduates who copleted degrees between July 1, 2013, and June 30, b. The graduating class should include all students copleting either an associate or baccalaureate degree, full or part tie, including those with peranent work authorization and those without peranent work authorization. c. Career outcoes inforation about graduates should be sortable by degree progra, degree level (i.e., associate, baccalaureate) and work authorization (i.e., peranent work authorization, non-peranent work authorization). 2. Targeted knowledge rates a. The ter knowledge rate defines the percent of graduates for which the institution has reasonable and verifiable inforation concerning the graduates postgraduation career activities. b. This inforation ay coe directly fro the graduates via, for exaple, a survey ethod. Relevant data, however, ay also be provided by eployers, or obtained through other sources (e.g., LinkedIn profiles, other online sources, fellow graduates, or parents). The institution should ake good faith efforts to verify the inforation obtained by any source other than the graduate or in any case where there is soe concern about the accuracy of the available inforation. c. The goal should be the highest possible rate, but institutions should strive for a iniu knowledge rate of 65 percent. The knowledge rate refers to basic inforation about the career outcoes of graduates (e.g., eployed or continuing education). It is a given that in soe instances certain inforation relative to the details of that status (e.g., salary for

7 First-Destination Standards/Protocols NACE 7 those eployed) ay not always be provided or ay otherwise be difficult to obtain. d. A saple survey that addresses the specific data needs articulated in the standards is provided in the appendix of this docuent. The survey is not intended to be prescriptive but erely to represent a basic starting point for data collection. By necessity, the exaple is based on a paper-and-pencil-survey approach. If the institution uses an online survey approach, then certain data eleents will not need to be provided by the respondent. Institutions are free to add whatever additional questions they desire to the saple survey or use a different survey forat or style. 3. Career outcoes reporting categories Outcoes data concerning individual graduates should be organized into standardized categories. Individual graduates should be included in the appropriate category that best represents their priary activity upon graduation. While in certain instances, graduates ay be pursuing ultiple activities (e.g., working part tie and taking graduate courses), their status should only be reported once in their priary area of activity. Reporting categories include the following: Eployed Full Tie Eployed full tie is generally defined as a position in which the graduate works for 30 hours or ore per week. In recognition of the diverse nature of eployent, there are a nuber of iportant sub-categories that define eployent and should be tracked for individual graduates. Graduates should be included in only one of the following categories: Eployed as an entrepreneur Eployed in a teporary/contract work assignent Eployed freelance Eployed in a postgraduate internship or fellowship Eployed in all other work categories Data to be collected include: Eploying organization Position location city, state, and country Job title If eployed full tie, annual base salary aount Guaranteed first-year bonus aount if appropriate (e.g., sign-on and/or year end).

8 8 NACE First-Destination Standards/Protocols Eployed Part Tie Part-tie eployent is generally defined as a position in which the graduate works less than 30 hours per week. Graduates should be included in only one of the following categories: Eployed as an entrepreneur Eployed in a teporary/contract work assignent Eployed freelance Eployed in a postgraduate internship or fellowship Eployed in all other work categories Data to be collected include: Eploying organization Position location city, state, and country Job title Volunteer Service This category is defined as those graduates who are participating in a volunteer or service progra (e.g., Peace Corps, ission work). Data to be collected include: Organization Assignent location city, state, country Role or title Military Service This category is defined as those graduates serving in the U.S. Ared Forces. Data to be collected include: Service branch Rank

9 First-Destination Standards/Protocols NACE 9 Continuing Education This category is defined as those who have been accepted to and plan to atriculate into a progra of further study. This includes graduate school or other specialized training. Data to be collected include: Nae of institution Location of the institution city, state, and country Progra of study Degree to be earned Seeking Eployent This category is defined as those graduates who have indicated that they are seeking eployent or engaged in the job-search process. Seeking Continuing Education This category is defined as those graduates who have indicated that they are seeking and have not yet enrolled in a progra of continuing education. Not Seeking This category is defined as those graduates who have indicated that they choose not to pursue either eployent or continuing education at this tie. No Inforation Available This category is defined as those graduates who, despite reasonable efforts on the part of the institution, have not responded to efforts to obtain inforation about their postgraduation career plans.

10 10 NACE First-Destination Standards/Protocols 4. Career outcoes rate In lieu of the ter placeent rate, these standards instead focus on the notion of a career outcoes rate. This is described as the percentage of graduates who fall into the following categories: Eployed full tie Eployed part tie Participating in a progra of voluntary service Serving in the U.S. Ared Forces Enrolled in a progra of continuing education Details for calculating this percentage are provided in the spreadsheet that accopanies these standards/protocols. (See 5. Tieline for suary data collection and reporting The target date for gathering all suary career outcoes data is Deceber 31 of each year. For exaple, all career outcoes data collection for graduates fro the Class of (as defined in #1 above) would be copleted by Deceber 31, This coon deadline provides a consistent etric to be used in reporting and coparing suary outcoes. NACE recognizes that there are any reasons (e.g., BusinessWeek and U.S. News & World Report rankings) to collect and suarize outcoes data at other points in tie (e.g., at graduation; three onths following graduation). In addition to the Deceber 31 deadline, institutions ay continue to collect and report data subsequent to that period as suits their particular interests and circustances. Career outcoes data, in accordance with federal and various state regulations and policies, should be readily available to all appropriate parties. All inforation provided through public outlets should ensure the confidentiality of individual respondents, and individual respondents inforation should only be provided in accordance with an institution s internal policies concerning private inforation. Institutions should use whatever eans they believe are ost effective in aking this inforation available to their stakeholders or as required by soe other agency or entity (e.g., state syste reporting process). Each year, NACE will request suary data fro all institutions in order to track and share broad trends in hiring and continuing education. Participation in this process is voluntary. A

11 First-Destination Standards/Protocols NACE 11 saple spreadsheet that describes how these data should be organized is included as part of these standards. (Note: Access the spreadsheet at first-destination-survey-standards.aspx). Institutions should track outcoes for those graduates with peranent work authorization and those without peranent work authorization; consequently separate suary analyses should be aintained. This sae spreadsheet tool ay be effective for individual institutions whether they choose to provide inforation to NACE or not. Suary data will be requested by NACE no earlier than February 1 of each year to allow tie for institutions tie to analyze their data before subission. 6. Further assessents The standards and protocols articulated here are intended to capture the core eleents of career outcoes assessent deeed essential for the initial launch of these standards. It is expected that, as institutions becoe ore failiar and cofortable with these initial standards and fully ipleent the, the standards will be expanded over tie. As such, they do not cover every area of iediate or potential assessent interest to every institution. In fact, any institutions ay already be including additional assessents beyond the inius established in these standards. If so, they should continue that practice in anticipation of future developent of the standards. Recognizing the diverse interests in this area, NACE endorses and encourages suppleental efforts to gather and analyze other inforation as it relates to and influences career outcoes. Institutions are free to extend their efforts beyond these initial iniu standards, for exaple, to evaluate questions such as the following: What is the level of graduates satisfaction with their initial career activity following graduation? A coon practice would be to use a 5- or 7-point Likert scale to easure satisfaction along a continuu fro not satisfied to highly satisfied. What is the relationship between the graduates first-destination activity and their degree progra? While this ay be of liited interest to certain acadeic disciplines (e.g., liberal arts), it ay be of particular interest to others (e.g., engineering or business). Again, a coon practice would be to use a 5- or 7-point Likert scale to easure the relationship along a continuu fro not at all related to directly related. What is the relationship between the graduate s initial career activity and the nature and extent of participation in the institution s experiential learning progras and activities (e.g., internships, cooperative education)? Coon assessents in this area include asking questions about the extent of the graduate s participation in such activities and whether the first postgraduation position was taken with an eployer for who the graduate worked previously as part of an experiential learning progra.

12 12 NACE First-Destination Standards/Protocols What is the relationship between the graduate s career outcoes and use of the institution s career services? Coon assessents in this area include asking graduates to rate services and prioritize their value in helping to achieve the postgraduate career activity. Increasingly, these assessents are being used to develop correlations between graduates use of services and the likelihood of specific career outcoes. What nubers of job offers were received by graduates and/or what were the aounts of those salary offers? What were the hire dates for graduates? This is especially iportant for progras that, for ranking or other copliance purposes, are required to track outcoes during very specific tie periods. Of course, these questions, and several others, can be addressed in different ways and for different populations depending on the interests and goals of the institution.

13 First-Destination Standards/Protocols NACE 13 Appendix: Saple Survey Data in this initial section ay be prepopulated if using an online survey process. Certain of these data (e.g., nae or ID nuber) ay be suppressed if the institution desires confidential responses. Your Nae First, Middle, Last Acadeic Progra Degree Level Graduation Date Your ID nuber Are you authorized to peranently work in the U.S.? Yes No Which of the following BEST describes your PRIMARY status after graduation? Please select only ONE of the following categories: Eployed full tie (on average 30 hours or ore per week) Eployed part tie (on average less than 30 hours per week) Participating in a volunteer or service progra (e.g., Peace Corps) Serving in the U.S. ilitary Enrolled in a progra of continuing education Seeking eployent Planning to continue education but not yet enrolled Not seeking eployent or continuing education at this tie If your PRIMARY status is eployed full tie OR eployed part tie please select the category which BEST describes your eployent: Eployed as an entrepreneur Eployed in a teporary/contract work assignent Eployed freelance Eployed in a postgraduate internship or fellowship Eployed in all other work categories

14 14 NACE First-Destination Standards/Protocols If eployed, please provide the following inforation concerning your eployent: Eploying organization Position location city, state, and country Job title If eployed full tie, annual base salary aount in U.S. dollars: $ Guaranteed first-year bonus aount in U.S. dollars, if you are receiving one: $ If your PRIMARY status is participating in a volunteer or service progra, please provide the following inforation about your assignent: Organization Assignent location city, state, and country Role or title If your PRIMARY status is serving with the U.S. ilitary, please provide the following inforation about your assignent: Service Branch Rank If your PRIMARY status is enrolled in a progra of continuing education, please provide the following inforation concerning your education: Nae of institution Location of the institution city, state, and country Progra of study Degree you are pursuing

15 National Association of Colleges and Eployers 62 Highland Avenue, Bethlehe, PA

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