Current Award Recipient

Best Practice Current Award Recipients

Brennan Career Development Program, Dominican University

Jamie Shaw, Executive Director, Office of Career Programs and Employer Relations

Dominican University, a Hispanic-Serving Institution with 64% of students identifying as Latinx and located just outside of Chicago, launched its successful career development program in the fall of 2017 in its Brennan School of Business. The program, composed of four required career development courses, a required internship, and built-in mentorship from Executives in Residence, was embedded into the curriculum for all undergraduate business students with faculty and staff support. Since the launch of the program, graduate outcomes have increased by 35% from 2016, with 77% of 2022 Brennan graduates employed or attending graduate programs within three months after graduation. The career development program was created to be fundamentally equitable as all students, regardless of major, must complete these classes and an internship prior to graduation. The career development program works to connect students with opportunities that require a bachelor’s degree to promote upward mobility and advancement. After the successful launch of the program within the Brennan School, the University centralized career development services within Academic Affairs and is in the process of expanding the program to the core curriculum, ultimately moving to an equitable model in which all undergraduates would take required career development courses. Prior to the launch of this program, career outcomes in the Brennan School of Business were suboptimal, with only 42% of graduates employed or attending graduate school three months post-graduation. For a school that prides itself on upward mobility, we were not doing enough to help our students succeed after graduation. Additionally, career development education often fell to faculty and staff with no formalized training in this area. Starting in 2016, a new Director of Career Development was hired by the business school, with full support from the dean, to embed career development into the curriculum to meet the needs of our student population. Dominican is unique in the student population it serves—most students commute to campus and balance part -time and full-time jobs while taking classes. Dominican students do not have the capacity to add to their already heavy workload by attending optional workshops and visiting the university career center on their own. By embedding career development into the curriculum, Brennan was able to create an equitable model that guaranteed all students received the same support.