This Week's Herman Trend Alert

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  The Herman Trend Alert

February 27, 2008

Career Counseling Centers Short-Changed

Career Counseling Centers Short-Changed February 27, 2008 Every year students pay tuition for internship credits. Where does their money go? A tangential finding in a recent University of Michigan-Dearborn (UMD) study is that their tuition does not go to the college career centers that often arranged the internships.

The university surveyed career centers at 64 institutions to address student needs for employment preparedness. They evaluated methodologies [and lack there of] for implementing a successful experiential learning program. This ground-breaking survey reveals some very interesting points:

  1. Students can earn on average up to six internship credits within their major.

  2. More than 90 percent of schools charge students tuition for "recoupment of the cost of administrative and educational oversight".

  3. However, UMD classified only 22 percent of career centers as "high-touch".

    "High-touch" career centers have "high level[s] of administrative or professor support; [are] well-structured within coursework components, [have] required orientation seminars, [with] a high-level of personal interaction." Only 25 percent are classified as "moderate touch"; and, overall, approximately half of responding career centers do not help with finding the internship, but instead direct students to various external websites.

    According to the College Board (Trends in College Pricing Study), the average cost of six internship credits ranges from USD$444 for community colleges to USD$4,446 for private four-year colleges. According to the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE), only an average of $10.53 per student goes to career centers. While some funds go to faculty advisors and department coordinators, it is obvious that the career centers are being severely short-changed. How can we expect students to be focused on their workforce prospects when most colleges are spending so very little on their career development?

    Some employers have given up in disgust. The real question is when will employers wise up and start putting more pressure on colleges and universities? Or will students revolt against their educational institutions that are not serving their career needs? We believe that colleges and universities exist to prepare students for work.

    Special thanks to "Intern Guru", Matthew Zinman, founder of The Internship Institute, for raising our consciousness to this critical issue. Find his new blog at

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