Integrating Career & Professional Development in the Honors Degree Plan

While many simply presume Honors students “will be fine” because they have earned high grades &/or copious pre-college credits, those of us who work with these students know this population’s multipotentiality, diverse interests, and vast abilities can lead to a scattered transcript and resume requiring more than the traditional four-years. Further, it is a common occurrence for some students to focus more on their interests than the reality of graduating in the timely fashion and being a top candidate for employment or graduate school admission. These are incredibly important outcomes for institutions, parents, legislators, Boards of Directors, and others – many of whom have direct control of our budgets.

When we purposefully work in a targeted fashion to aid student interests and goals, while considering institutional goals, all parties benefit. Specifically integrating career and professional development components within student journeys benefit students with post-graduate option (employment & graduate school), which in turn raises the standard of the institution. For our Honors Program these efforts have consistently resulted in a 100% major-related employment & graduate school admission rate within three months of graduation. Options for such integration include student-owned degree plans, courses, seminars, workshops, internships, and off-campus/major-related activities.