Two on-campus entities have conducted research to improve student experiences and outcomes related to career readiness, with the added benefit of providing Communications Studies students hands-on research experience.
Stephanie Norander, in her roles as associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies and executive director of the Communication Across the Curriculum initiative at UNC Charlotte, has partnered with Carrie Silver, program manager of the University Professional Internship Program.
With a grant from the North Carolina Career Development Association, the two have focused on a project titled “Exploring Student Perspectives and Crafting Best Practices for the University Professional Internship Program at UNC Charlotte.” The purpose of the project is to understand the connections between UPIP at UNC Charlotte, career readiness, and communication competency.
The purpose of the project is to understand the connections between UPIP at UNC Charlotte and career readiness. Norander led students in a senior capstone Organizational Communication class as they facilitated focus groups in fall 2016. Norander and Silver guided the student researchers in developing a standard interview protocol by looking at career development theory and past survey data on the internship program. Using Institutional Research Board guidelines for data collection, the analysis and findings are being used to guide the internship program in the 2017-2018 academic year. Analysis of the data continues. Researchers also are seeking opportunities to present a best practices model to other institutions in the state.
The Communication Across the Curriculum (CxC) program and its executive director consult with UNC Charlotte academic departments and faculty to create, implement, and assess innovative curricular changes that are integrated within the broader goals unique to each discipline. Internships offered through the University Professional Internship Program are designed to provide professional knowledge and skill development consistent with students’ major and career goals.