This week’s guest blog post is from Career Counselor, Miranda Johnson, a member of Capella’s Career Services team.
Miranda Johnson, Capella University Career Counselor
Have an upcoming interview? Being prepared is one key to success. Here are a few strategies to help you prepare.
Know what you bring to the table.
Employers can tell when you’ve done your homework versus when you’re just “winging it”. Show them you’re serious about their position by spending time reflecting on what you have to offer. If you read the job posting and thought “this sounds perfect for me!” then you need to prepare examples that will show your interviewer how your unique blend of education, experience, and qualifications makes you a strong fit for their job.
Practice talking about your skills and experience. Imagine this: an employer asks you a question, you’re caught off guard, and you launch into a rambling answer that ends with “I’m sorry, what was the question?” We’ve probably all been there. To avoid this, think of key examples of your successes and accomplishments that are relevant to the job. Then practice answering commonly asked interview questions aloud. You’ll feel confident and ready for any curveballs they throw your way!
For additional strategies, join the Career Center for our “Interviewing: Keys to Success” webinar. Register here.
Today, Capella was highlighted in an Inside Higher Ed story by Paul Fain for our work with competency-based education and, more specifically, the work we are doing with our direct assessment pilot program.
The Higher Learning Commission has selected Capella as one of four institutions to participate in their direct assessment pilot group. In addition, Capella developed and launched in January a separate pilot program with undergrad and master’s level business courses.
Capella has been committed to solve critical issues facing higher education. One such alarming fact is this: our country is not producing enough college graduates to help ensure we remain a globally competitive nation. While there are many factors, access for adult learners – who are most likely working full-time and busy with their families – is one. Without online options, our adult learners’ goals of advancing their career and pursuing their dream of higher education, would not be possible.
This week’s guest blog post is from Jillian Klein, Capella’s senior policy analyst – Title IV.
Jillian Klein, Sr. Policy Analyst – Title IV
A report was published this week by the College Board recommending a restructuring of the Pell Grant program in a way that would build two “tracks” for Pell Grant recipients. “Pell Grant Y” would be available to students aged 24 and younger and would rely on parental Adjusted Gross Income data to determine eligibility. The report also recommends that the government would open savings accounts for 11- and 12-year-olds who would meet the eligibility criteria in order to help supplement the grant funds. “Pell Grant A” is geared towards adult learners over the age of 24, and would include partial grant payments for those students who just missed the eligibility cutoff. This program would also require that recipients receive academic and career advising from a third-party to help them select the best program of study, ongoing academic and career advising from the institution after enrolling, and that access to state and federal income support programs are increased to assist these students in covering their costs. Finally, the College Board report recommends a sort of “Pell Well” so that students can receive Pell Grants year round and shorten their time to completion.
This report also makes some suggestions regarding tying funding (particularly funding from campus-based aid programs) to outcomes, and acknowledges that measurements like graduation rates, employment and earnings data and the like must be adjusted across institutions to account for the varied population of students at different institutions. This recommendation is spot on and something that many schools – including Capella – have been in support of as a way to truly understand learning outcomes. The College Board’s report also suggests that institutional eligibility might be tied to a version of the 90/10 requirement – a metric that currently requires for-profit schools to obtain less than 90% of their revenue from Title IV sources. The 90/10 requirement has historically been viewed as a measure of “quality,” which hasn’t ever made sense and really has no tie to outcomes, student success, or academic rigor. I think there is much conversation to have regarding what makes sense in terms of outcomes measurement; 90/10, in my opinion, is really not the measurement for quality and outcomes that we should be shooting for.
This is the first Pell Grant recommendation we have seen from any of the financial aid reports this year to suggest two tracks for funding; it is an interesting way to imagine student aid and the first time we’ve read a report that suggests that our traditional students might have different needs than the adult learner. The Federal Student Aid program has been built around a one-size-fits-all model –and this extends beyond just funding – for too long, and it’s encouraging to read a recommendation that gives a nod to the changing demographics of the American student. While I’d suggest that things like “academic and career advising” can really benefit students at any age, it’s a step in the right direction to start a conversation about how to meet students where they are, at whatever point in their life they find themselves working on an undergraduate degree. From here, we can build metrics and success indicators that really make sense for the variety of students who are working on their degree – beyond the antiquated “first time/full time” measurement system that has been the standard.
This blog is designed to be a forum for both internal and external audiences to highlight education issues and educators that matter to Capella. It will feature interviews and discussions on a wide range of topics. My hope is for it to be provocative, informative and occasionally entertaining. Feel free to offer thoughts on issues you’d like to see addressed.