Their Approach

Before City College of San Francisco (CCSF) launched their guided pathways efforts, which the college named Re-imagining the Student Experience (RiSE), their Office of Workforce Development began hiring employment specialists for each major career cluster in Career Technical Education (CTE) programs. These employment specialists were charged with connecting students to employers and industry partners through career fairs, speaker panels, industry partner events like hackathons and pitch nights where students pitch their idea to industry with an opportunity to earn sponsorship. They are also supporting students to build their resumes and prepare for interviews. Following the development of CCSF’s Academic and Career Communities (ACCs), which is the college’s term for meta-majors, the employment specialists have become key members of the ACC success teams.

What They Did

CCSF’s ACCs represent the culmination of a two-year inquiry, design, and development process in the second and third year of guided pathways work. In year four, RiSE worked closely with college leaders in counseling, equity, workforce development, outreach, student health, academic affairs, and learning assistance to plan student success teams to support students in the ACCs. The employment specialists quickly became key members of the success teams, as they offer students opportunities to build their networks, explore careers, and make connections with other students, staff, and faculty in their discipline area. The employment specialists leverage the teams’ Canvas shells to curate work-based learning, internship, and employment opportunities for students.

What They Learned

Students want more than support–they want to feel connected to a community and excited about what they are learning and where they are headed. The events and opportunities offered by employment specialists enable students to explore and receive guidance as they participate in engaging and career relevant activities. Students build community with peers in their disciplines at the events and obtain a window into careers through conversations with industry representatives, faculty, and staff. Building more of these opportunities for all students is a key goal for the RiSE Student Success Teams.

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50 Frida Kahlo Way, San Francisco, California 94112