Cleveland–Marshall College of Law Uses CSM Data to Guide Career Services Strategy

 In Career Services

The Office of Career Planning at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law had been using CSM to post jobs since 2006. To manage career services more efficiently, the office wanted to leverage CSM to streamline some of their more time-consuming processes. Additionally, the Director of Career of Planning wanted to use CSM’s reporting ability to understand how their career services efforts have fared across the years and provide educated answers to students, employers, and anyone else interested in learning about local employment trends.

“The power of CSM lies in its underlying reporting ability for data, as opposed to just (being) a repository for information.”

Heather DiFranco,
Director of Career Planning

Situation

The Office of Career Planning at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law implemented CSM by Symplicity in 2006, but was not utilizing the system to its full potential. With a staff of only two people, the Director of Career Planning, Heather DiFranco, wanted to use CSM to automate existing processes that demanded the most physical resources, such as filing paper applications.

She also wanted to move away from the externship application process in place, which required students to complete paper forms in the office before meeting with an advisor and applying to externships. More importantly, Heather wanted to leverage CSM’s reporting capabilities to analyze what job opportunities were resonating with their students and what percentage of them were getting hired though their system.

Solution

In addition to scheduling their own advising sessions through the university’s CSM system, Career Connect, students were also asked to complete their externship applications through the site to apply for job opportunities. With the externship module, the staff could track students who were interested in applying for externships and manage externship postings more effectively. Students who were admitted to the externship program were also evaluated through the site. Clinical faculty and site supervisors in charge of assessing students would have access to their records and would use the faculty interface to submit their semester evaluations.

Heather used the reporting features to set up monthly automatic reports to track success on job postings and student advising. She also set up weekly reports to analyze employer outreach efforts and would send automated emails to them after a posting had expired to learn whether a student had been hired. The students were also trained to report their graduation employment rates through CSM. The online form was introduced to graduating students during their spring semester, and they could update the form after graduation to report their employment outcomes. Whenever a student made changes to their profile, the system would send a notification that would prompt a staff member to look at the student’s report.

Success

CSM allowed the Office of Career Planning to automate many of their time-consuming processes. Since ABA regulations indicate that post-graduation employment information can only be reported by the student, the staff saved time having to reach out to students individually for them to report their employment outcomes after graduation. Instead, Heather and her staff used the alert system to indicate when a student had updated their profile, and staff could quickly follow up if he or she reported inaccurate or confusing information. Students were also able to submit externship evaluations directly in CSM that could be easily accessed and reviewed in the site.

The reporting function helped Heather create annual reports to highlight trends in job postings, student advising and employer outreach efforts. Given the interest from the Dean’s office, the alumni, the students and the Board of Visitors in learning about local employment trends for law school graduates, Heather leveraged CSM’s reporting ability to provide educated answers about job postings and career services offerings. She also used historical data to compare how their career offerings have fared with various groups of students across the years and to analyze which students found employment after using the career center’s services.

“The reporting function is so powerful! It really helps you make a business case (for CSM) and helps you increase your credibility in the field.”

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