Newswise — Wellesley, Mass.—Wellesley College is launching a website that just might help get women closer to closing the gender wage gap—by leveraging the College’s singular career education model and its network of women, widely acknowledged as the most powerful women’s network in the world.
First set in motion almost two years ago, Wellesley Career Education represents a groundbreaking new model for career exploration and advancement for liberal arts colleges. Unlike at most schools, where students visit their career centers only in their junior or senior years, each Wellesley student is matched with a College Career Mentor who accompanies her from her very first days on campus throughout her career journey, and provides access to opportunities rooted in the student’s own values, strengths, and interests. From there, students and alumnae are connected to diverse networks specific to their industries of interest—ultimately helping to create a successful career trajectory.
Since opening in 2016, Wellesley Career Education has already had outstanding results. Of the Class of 2017, 96% were employed, accepted to graduate school, participating in a service program, or serving in the military within six months of graduation, with an average annual starting salary of $61,307. Wellesley’s outcomes are considerably higher than the national career outcomes rate of 84%, with starting salaries 23% higher than the national average of $49,525 for both men and women.
A first-of-its kind innovation itself, the new Career Education website represents Wellesley’s new model for career education in digital form. Upon entering the site, each visitor is prompted to answer a brief series of questions about her career path and interests. Using her answers, the site provides a personalized, interactive experience, and connects her to a wealth of relevant resources, industry networks, and expert Career Education staff members. The new website’s innovative design inspires and engages visitors through storytelling, interactivity, and rich content, such as information on salary negotiation, resume and cover letter examples for a variety of fields, and guidelines for using social media to successfully network.
“We wanted our website to be informed by a fundamental understanding of how today’s college students explore content—coupled with a goal of introducing users to information that is tailored to their personal needs and preferences,” said Christine Cruzvergara, Associate Provost and Executive Director of Career Education. “The website is equally useful to the many stakeholders we serve (students, alumnae, faculty, staff, parents, and employers) while avoiding information overload, frustration, and fatigue.”
The website also supports Wellesley’s commitment to inclusive excellence by providing content in multiple formats to meet the differing needs of our users, promoting equal access to opportunity.
Furthermore, the College’s Career Education serves not only our students, but also our alumnae at every stage of their careers—representing Wellesley’s extraordinary investment in women. Wellesley’s dedicated team of Career Education professionals are available to advise alums advancing in their current fields, making a career change, and reentering the workforce after time away, and even finding an “encore career” after retirement.
Wellesley’s approach to career education won the 2017 NACE Award for Career Service Excellence and the 2017 Eduventures Award for Innovation.
Several other schools, ranging from private liberal arts colleges to larger research universities, have consulted with Wellesley’s career education team as they look to reinvent their own capabilities.
About Wellesley College
Since 1875, Wellesley College has been a leader in providing an outstanding liberal arts education for women who will make a difference in the world. Its 500-acre campus near Boston is home to some 2,400 undergraduate students from 49 states and 58 countries.
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