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For staff and faculty

Curriculum Integration and alignment

In order to best prepare students for the evolving 21st-century workforce, an integration of NACE Career Readiness Competencies and career information into courses, recruitment events, and capstones can support students’ professional development.

It is vital that staff encourage internship development and career readiness inside and outside of the classroom. Career readiness plays an extremely important role in how employers source talent to fulfill open roles. Career readiness prepares students for life after college and equips them with the necessary skills they need to find, acquire, maintain, and grow within a job.

If you are a faculty member and are interested in a model course sequence outline for your department, please take a moment to browse this document from our Department of Psychology pilot group:

Supporting student participation and intended outcomes 

VCU’s Relevant, Experiential, and Applied Learning Initiative (REAL) was established by presidential direction in 2017 to ensure that every student engages in high-quality, transformative, career-building activities as part of their VCU education. REAL builds on VCU’s investment in student success and positive post-graduation outcomes.

There are three established barriers to student participation in high-level career-focused activities:

  • Financial barriers
  • Information equity 
  • Disconnection between academic studies and knowledge of career options

These barriers have a disproportionate impact on first-generation and Pell-eligible students, who comprise a significant proportion of VCU’s student body. 

In order to address these barriers, the following parameters must be considered:

  • Sustainable internship funding
  • Experiential learning opportunities
  • Academic and career advising
  • NACE Curriculum integration
  • Internship support

Among undergraduate seniors about to graduate or within six months following graduation:

56% reported that they participated in internships while at VCU

81% reported that they engaged in experiential learning while attending VCU

16% the percentage more likely that they were able to be employed full-time within six months of graduation if they participated in an internship

High-impact experiential learning will continue to be an increasingly important priority in an economy where full-time roles do not require a bachelor’s degree to secure and advance are steadily decreasing. Employers are making entry-level hires often by making interns convert to full-time employees. With internship funding, support, and accessible career-related resources, more students will be able to create a pathway to post-graduate positions. VCU students will then acquire a greater advantage in the competitive 21st-century job market.

Interested in more information and relevant research? Visit these documents:

Teaching and learning resources

For information on reformatting your classroom and curriculum to follow NACE competencies and prepare your students for the 21st-century job market, please browse the following selection of relevant documents: