Modern Career Education For Healthy Campuses (VIDEO)

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How does career education factor into student well-being on post-secondary campuses?

This is a question myself and a colleague asked not too long ago, and we came up with what we thought was a pretty good answer. The result was the production of the following video, as part of a promotion by SFU Health and Counselling Services. We wanted to let people know how the work we do at SFU Career and Volunteer Services positively impacts campus health. In the end, I played a role as a sort of spokesperson for the centre. Enjoy!

The following is quoted directly from a PDF on the Champions for a Healthy Campus Community website:

Career and Volunteer Services are champions in creating a healthy campus community. They have shifted their way of working to go well beyond a traditional approach of simply helping students get a job or volunteer opportunity to instead focus on the holistic and complex concept of career and life exploration. This approach encourages students to think holistically about their future, including the personal and social dimensions that will allow them to thrive as people.

The new approach taken by Career and Volunteer Services impacts students well-being by normalizing and helping positively reframe feelings of indecision and pressures to make the ‘right decision’ about their future academic and career paths. This can help reduce the insecurity, stress and anxiety associated with career discovery. The staff are helping students focus on their strengths instead of weaknesses and supporting students to view mistakes as powerful learning opportunities. This approach creates a positive focus, helps to build resilience and optimistic feelings about the future and thus supports overall well-being.

The change in philosophical approach and associated organizational changes that Career and Volunteer Services has undertaken are commendable. Impacting well-being often requires structural and cultural change, which can be challenging to carry out but extremely impactful. In addition, this approach helps to engage and connect students with campus opportunities that relate to their career and life development. Being involved on campus can help students build social connections, feel that they are making a contribution and experience a sense of community which are all also positive impacts on well-being.

In response to what others can do to help create a healthy campus for SFU, David Lindskoog, Career Services Advisor, noted, “Think of the bigger picture. Try to give students a long lasting message. It is not cultivating an attitude of ‘I have to be a great success’. It is encouraging them to think about ‘what does success mean to you’”.

Everyone plays a role in making SFU a healthy and supportive campus community, congratulations to the staff at Career and Volunteer Services for making changes that will positively contribute to student well-being.

It was an absolute pleasure to be involved in the promotion!

*Cross-posted in Dave’s Diary at the Career Services Informer.