Just an hour outside of Lexington, Kentucky, Morehead State University (MSU) is a mid-sized regional institution supporting just shy of 10,000 students annually. Many of MSU’s students are low-income or first generation, making the career services office one of the critical components to success for students who may fall through the cracks.
A robust CSM user since 2012, MSU utilizes CSM to manage its student hiring process, track and gather data, and has customized the system to best suit their ongoing university specific needs. With the data gained from Symplicity CSM, Morehead State University was able to show the need for expansion by making a case of all the offerings they were providing students. As a result, MSU in the late spring of 2022 will launch its Center for Career Development and Experiential Learning.
"With Symplicity CSM, MSU career readiness programs will be able to better piece together career outcomes with this new center... The ability to track, gather data, and then make best practice decisions out of that is a game charger for us."
Morehead State University Director of Career Service
In 2010, the office wasn’t using a centralized platform and instead were posting jobs on other job boards and e-mailing faculty members about available jobs. Most everything was done manually including tracking attendance, taking notes manually, utilizing an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of student engagement, just to name a few.
Since adopting CSM, Morehead State University has continued to utilize and expand CSM as its career services offerings expand. “Symplicity has really given us the tools to scale things up,” said Megan Boone, MSU’s Director of Career Services. “Assessment and data informed decisions are huge on this campus.”
Scaling up for MSU means a new campus initiative to house all things experiential learning and career readiness: The Center for Career Development and Experiential Learning. The new center will house career services, education abroad, undergraduate research, service learning, and internships all under one roof to provide wraparound student engagement. With Symplicity CSM, the transition to this new center has been seamless. By housing all tracking, student engagement, notes, career readiness tools, internship evaluations and materials, and more under one system, each staff member can get the whole student picture with easily accessible notes across all offices.
In order to support MSU’s new center, Symplicity CSM is there to guide these offices to success. “The ability to track, gather data, and then make best practice decisions out of that is a game charger for us with Symplicity,” said Boone, who currently serves as the interim director of the MSU’s Center for Career Development and Experiential Learning. “And one of the things that we like about Symplicity is that we were able to change all the tabs and make it integrate language and terms that are used at our university and that are familiar to our partners.”
Expanded Features Usage
MSU utilizes the job and internship posting module quite heavily and Boone and her team has seen an increase in opportunities for MSU students. CSM’s customization lets MSU see opportunities by geographic region in order to help students identify jobs in places they want to start their careers instead of cluttering their system with jobs their students aren’t interested in.
Yet, most utilized is the CSM mock interview feature giving MSU students the confidence they need to land their first job. The feature has also started to be utilized by MSU faculty that incorporate career readiness skills into the classroom. Previously, faculty were doing mock interviews in a time-consuming manual way. Additionally, Boone and her team utilize the curated jobs CSM feature to provide opportunities to students from specific geographic regions and not have the system clutter up with opportunities MSU students aren't interested in.
Overall, CSM has encouraged cross-campus collaboration between faculty and staff in order to create mock interview questions, tailor assignments, and easily access student notes. “The coordinators of those various experiential education areas, they are so excited about just the ability to have the notes in one area so that they can manage student relationships,” said Boone.
Since Boone and her team have been using CSM for years, the functions within CSM is something she said that they’ve just become accustomed to. Yet, other offices on campus, that will now be part of this new center, have been using Excel spreadsheets to track student engagement and metrics which makes their job “more time consuming.” Yet with the development of the center, Boone said seeing CSM usage from “a fresh perspective where these individuals have not had any kind of software that they're using, making me realize how value it is to run our office effectively.
With everyone on the same system and easily able to track and identify students who need support, Boone and her team can be even more intentional with tracking low income, underrepresented minorities, veteran students, military dependents, and more in order to provide better wraparound support.
Finally, with the campus back to 100% in person, MSU has been hosting in-person career fairs with 200 recruiters on campus actively looking to hire MSU students. “Symplicity just makes it very easy to manage the registration, processing, payments, logistics, communication, emails to recruiters, and it’s super student friendly,” said Boone. “It’s a one stop shop for our students where they can easily log in, see everyone attending and looking to hire interns or full-time… Just all the different features enable you to make sure your students are informed before they walk up to a representative at the fair.”
Using the kiosk and survey modules, career services can track student attendance and send out automated surveys to get instant student feedback. “At least for our career and internship fair, we've seen that result in an increase in responses on the survey. Previously, we would always manually send the survey a day or so after the event. It’s given us back more time.” said Boone.
“Symplicity just makes it very easy to manage the registration, processing, payments, logistics, communication, emails to recruiters, and it’s super student friendly. It’s a one stop shop for our students where they can easily log in, see everyone attending and looking to hire interns or full-time… Just all the different features enable you to make sure your students are informed before they walk up to a representative at the fair."
Morehead State University Director of Career Service
Customer Support and Success
As it launches its new center, MSU regularly meets with their Symplicity Client Manager as the institution changes its approach to things and expands its utilization of the system.
”Being able to have a conversation, one-on-one with someone who is knowledgeable about the software and say, ‘Hey, here’s what we’re trying to solve. What have you seen your other clients do? What would you recommend?’ has been a game changer for us instead of spinning our wheels,” said Boone. “I've worked at institutions where you have a dedicated person who manages the software and who does that. And not having that, it's hard to have the time to focus and to leverage the software to its full potential. But having that relationship with our client managers is like another person on your team.”
Symplicity remains a trusted and engaged partner as MSU integrates its offices all under its new Center for Career Development and Experiential Learning.