Today's Update: Thursday, July 16

July 16, 2020

Dear Student Life Team, 

I recently wrote to you about the Center for the Study of Student Life study of 100 local employers that found hiring managers viewed highly-involved students as 18% more career-ready than those who were uninvolved. That data point highlights why it is especially important that ALL students have the opportunity to become involved. 

We have work to do. First-Generation, low income and students of color have expressed to members of Ohio State’s Bridging the Gap from Education to Employment (BGEE) team that working 30+ hours a week, maintaining family obligations and getting good grades leaves little time for active participation in co-curricular activities. The students also said they sacrifice or don’t pursue internships because of their immediate financial needs. 

That makes this new pilot program now underway so exciting. The BGEE summer pilot is a six-week virtual cohort-based program for First-Generation students. They’ll be introduced to and participate in career exploration, professional development and financial wellness resources, as well as community-building and networking activities. Unique to this summer cohort is an emphasis on helping students identify and communicate their cultural capital as it relates to career competencies. An example is being able to articulate in an employer interview about managing multiple priorities and recognizing they have this skill by going to school, working and assisting with family responsibilities. 

The University Innovation Alliance (UIA) is providing grant funding to pay the students a stipend for their participation. In addition, UIA has provided two UIA Fellows (Beth Elmore and Kaity Prieto) who are helping launch this pilot at Ohio State along with a core team from Student Life: Tess Smith (Student Employment Experience-SEE), Ivory Levert (Student Wellness Center) and Nadia Barksdale and Nancy Thompson (Buckeye Careers). 

I am really looking forward to visiting with the students via Zoom in the coming weeks!  

Likewise, I am very excited about the work being done across the university for First-Generation students. I was one myself, and I know the challenges and thrills of being the first in a family to go to college. This program is yet another way we can learn how to help these students have a Scarlet and Great experience at Ohio State.