Tuesday, July 24 Break-Out Sessions

3:35 p.m. - 4:35 p.m.

Break-Out Session Tracks:
Both, College and Employer 

Break-Out Session Specialty Tracks:
Talent Acquisition

Break-Out Session Levels:
Level 1: New Professionals (less than 5 years)
Level 2: Mid-Career Professionals (5-10 years)
Level 3: Directors (10+ years)
Level 4: All levels will benefit    

Creating powerful learning experiences for students through Employer Site Visits

          Track: College                                                                   Level: 1&2   

Location: Lakeshore A


  • Dean Branson, Assistant Director
    Ball State University
  • Staci Weaver, Molecular Biologist
    Dow AgroSciences

Effectively connecting employers to career centers requires a multifaceted approach that infuses career center programs with faculty, employers and alumni. This workshop will focus specifically on how a semester long employer site visit program is leveraged to connect students to employers, many of whom are alumni of the university. Through employer site visits, the Ball State University Career Center connects students, employers, and faculty to create unique learning experiences that benefits all constituents. Students learn how their academics fit into the work environment, make valuable networking connections, and get insider information on internships and full time employment opportunities. Employers benefit through increased name recognition among students and faculty and from having highly motivated students who could be potential employees at their businesses. Faculty benefit by networking with employers and creating educational experiences for students that bridge the academic/employer divide.  Finally, the career center benefits through the infusion of its programs in the curricular and co-curricular programming of the campus.  Faculty receptivity to partnering with the Career Center has increased, the number of academic programs participating in site visits has increased, and the types of employers participating in the program has diversified.  During this break out session attendees will learn 1) strategies to develop new connections and strengthen current connections with employers, alumni and faculty and 2) best practices for the implementation of an employer site visit. 

Onboarding BEFORE the Internship Begins

            Track: Employer          Specialty Track: Talent Acquisition                 Level: 4  

Location: Lakeshore B


  • Susan Caplan, President
    SC Associates, LLC

Internships are an integral part of a company structure AND a student's career path. What are companies doing to create  successful internships? How are companies getting the best talent for future jobs? How can you engage students BEFORE they walk through the door?  No surprises: Start onboarding BEFORE the internship begins. 

The Power of Rapport and the Future of Collaboration

              Track: College                                                                   Level: 4   

Location: Madison


  • Kristina Wright, Assistant Director
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Most career offices focus on providing excellent customer service to their students and employers...but how well are you serving your other stakeholders-faculty and advisors?    As the field of Career Services transitions to a new paradigm, we need to better engage and connect with all of our stakeholders.  Do your academic colleagues REALLY know what you do in Career Services?  Do you know what their needs and concerns are?   At Engineering Career Services, our goal is to complement the work of our academic colleagues and we have thus prioritized relationship building and rapport with our departmental faculty and staff.   As we have implemented intentional training for our faculty/advising colleagues, effective marketing strategies and specific measures of our engagement, we found that these efforts have increased student referrals and programming invitations; improved our knowledge of departmental needs/concerns; and led to opportunities for new areas of growth for our office.  This session will present effective ideas for learning what your academic colleagues need and will share activities and marketing strategies for more collaborative relationships. 

Building synergy and connections between employers and Career Centers through community involvement

                Track: College         Specialty Track: Diversity                 Level: 4 

Location: Michigan A


  • Kyndra Haggard, Assistant Director for Student Connections
    Ball State University

"Connect, Integrate, Empower;" the three key words in our Ball State University Career Center mission statement. Leveraging community involvement to build relationships that can connect employers back to the university has helped hold us true to our mission.  Being present in the community is one of our keys to establishing relationships with employer partners. Taking time to network and volunteer beyond the daily 'call of duty' has presented positive outcomes for our Career Center. Our mission of connecting students and employers has become a reality as most team members in our Career Center have joined community organizations such as, Women In Business Unlimited and the Boys & Girls Club. Through a guided discussion, we will talk about how to purposefully and strategically find meaningful ways to synergize with the community that helps employers connect to your career services office.

Midwest ACE Award-Winning Assessment Projects:
Experience Examples, Propose Your Own!
                 Track: College                                                                        Level: 4 


Location: Michigan B


  • Niki Perkins, Employer Relations Specialist
    Baker College
  • Julie Panke Makela, Associate Director
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Sarah Barks, Director of STEM Career Community
    Grinnell College
  • Jason Eckert, Director of Career Services
    University of Dayton
  • Noah Pollock, Assistant Director of Assessment
    Oakland University

Come explore Midwest ACE’s 2017 award-winning assessment and research projects. Learn about the role of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations in educational degree enrollment patterns and behaviors (2017 John D. Shingleton Award for Innovation winner). Then, see new results from a Midwest ACE-funded study regarding graduates’ choices of whether or not to share salary data on their first destination surveys (2017 John Steele Grant winner). Both studies present cross-institutional analyses to investigate important topics for employment and career professionals today. Discuss implications of these studies, and discover resources for your own assessment work. Learn how to propose your own projects to submit for these award programs.