APSCU Best Practices Lead the Way for Postsecondary Education Career Services

Washington, D.C., August 28, 2013—As part of its mission to prepare postsecondary students for jobs, the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities (APSCU) has published "Best Practices In Career Services and Placement." The document offers recommendations to all postsecondary education institutions for providing successful career services for students, employers, and institutions. 

The recommendations address ways all institutions can support the transition from classroom to employment during the student's entire postsecondary experience. Among many recommendations, the document specifically addresses campuswide engagement in career services and effective management of a career services program.

To develop these best practices, APSCU established a Task Force on Career Services and Placement, the members of which brought broad and deep higher education and workforce experience to the discussion. The methods and techniques the document advances were cultivated from APSCU-member institutions that currently offer students rich opportunities to prepare for their future careers and personalized support for their career search process.

"We recognize the role of postsecondary career education in our nation's quest to meet employer demands for skilled workers and our students' goal of obtaining a good job. These recommendations will help our students reach their professional goals by making career services more visible, effective, and relevant," said Steve Gunderson, the president and CEO of APSCU. "We encourage all postsecondary institutions to review these best practices and adopt recommendations that will benefit their students and employer partners."

The document offers all institutions examples of programs that best serve the growing new traditional student population. New traditional students often balance the needs of family, full-time or part-time work, and postsecondary education.

The best practices include recommendations for ensuring student success, such as:

  • Develop career service programs that guide students throughout their entire academic career, from prospective student to alumnus.
  • Monitor employment at regular intervals and stay informed about workforce trends.
  • Build relationships with externship or clinical or practicum sites to generate job leads.
  • Ensure the accuracy of information delivered to the public.
  • Cultivate an appropriate professional relationship with every student that reflects and supports his or her academic journey. For prospective students, provide accurate information and a clear expectation of responsibilities to help ensure a good fit.
  • Develop a new-student orientation program that links professional outcomes with academic success to benefit students in the beginning of their tenure.
  • Implement a process of reviewing and collecting data—including student-generated, instructor-generated, and employer-generated data.
  • Establish a process for verifying employment after graduation to improve the quality of placements.
  • Establish program advisory committees and build community and employer relations.

This is the second in a series of best practices recommendations for postsecondary education by APSCU. The first document is Best Practices for Military and Veteran Students, released earlier this year. Future publications are expected to offer recommendations for recruitment and admissions and financial literacy.




The Value of Private Sector Institutions Critics of private sector institutions continue to rely on d…

PTI Sets Example of Successful Employer-Institution Partnership An integral part of career services and placement begins wit…

IP-Intensive Industries Skill Sets Are Focus of New Report Private sector institutions were responsible for awarding 23…



PSCUs open doors to many of the 9 million unemployed and 90 million undereducated Americans by providing a skills-based education. To remain competitive over the next decade, we must identify between 8 and 23 million new workers with postsecondary skills. PSCUs are a necessary part of that solution, having produced over 800,000 degrees last year alone.