Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Blogging Our Way Around Limited Resources – Providing Guidance to Undecided Students Online

By: Guest Blogger Kyle Bures

Undecided students at many community colleges can be viewed as being dealt a stacked hand.  Without campus-wide career centers or advisors specifically trained to work with undecided students, many are allowed to fall through the cracks – often times leaving graduates without direction.

So, as the Transfer/Career Advisor for our Student Support Services program, I set out to develop an online major/career exploration resource geared specifically to our TRIO students.  Once launched however, it could then be utilized by any student interested in gaining access to resources valuable to career development.

The interface was Blogger (which is also the home to the NACADA CUES Blog), chosen for its user-friendliness.  It also allowed tabbing to create a network of pages containing different information.
Over the course of nearly two years, the site has grown to include sections on:
  •          What Can I Do With A Major In____? (featuring schools with major selection sites)
  •          Which Career Is Right For Me? (providing information on a variety of assessments)
  •          Do I Actually Need A Resume? (supplying resources on resume development/critique)
  •          How Can I Get Involved? (listing campus clubs/organizations and community service)
  •          What is a STEM Career? (linking to information on various STEM careers)
  •          Major & Career Exploration (gathering helpful links to guide students in exploration)
  •          Career Spotlights (highlighting individuals in a variety of occupations, with varying academic backgrounds)
  •          Workshop Schedule (showing a list of upcoming TRIO workshops)
  •          Advisor’s Corner (offering helpful resources to be used by advisors on campus)

A blog can be a creative solution for departments/units without the resources to provide a career center or ample time toward one-on-one career advising.  Although knowledge of webpage development could be helpful, blogger makes it simple for anyone to create content online.  Once created, the blog can serve not only as a resource for students, but advisors as well! 

*Kyle Bures is a Transfer/Career Advisor for the TRIO/Student Support Services project at Neosho County Community College. The blog Kyle created is now linked in our blog roll in the right hand bar of this blog.


  1. Hey Kyle -

    Sounds like an innovative, efficient solution to some of the challenges faced by your student population! Awesome!

    We've been encouraged to develop more technological "solutions" to some of the issues we face with undecided students. I've been looking into many different forums. Would you be willing to share information about how often the blog sites were visited, and how students interfaced with these??

    Thanks, and I SO admire your initiative! :)

  2. I've been using a Google Blog since January 2011 to provide information to the students on my advising roster. I love it because it allows me to post information in a timely manner. In addition to the timely updates and announcements I have created some pages that students can assess at any point like Major/Career Exploration, Academic Resources, How to Declare a Major, etc. I have also include a calendar of events so students know what programs are happening around campus.

    What I like about the blog format is that I can put all of the information in one place that is easy for the students to access. Plus I don't have to recreate everything because I can easily link important websites to my blob. I also really like the blog format because I can easily track now many people are access the blog and what they are looking at the most.

    To try and help students remember about the blog I send a weekly reminder with information on what had been post since last week.

    I would be happy to talk about this further if anyone has any questions.

    Jenni Kotowski
    Division of General Studies
    University of Illinois @ Urbana/Champaign