Davenport University President Richard Pappas said the job guarantee program has exceeded expectations at the school. Courtesy Davenport University
Davenport University has expanded its Employment Guarantee program.
The university added two more degrees to the program. Bachelor of Science in computer information systems and Bachelor of Science in computer science were added in 2018, increasing the program to five different types of degrees. The other three are Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting, Bachelor of Science in network management and security, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing pre-licensure (pending ability to pass the nursing board exam).
Employment Guarantee ensures students who earn those degrees find employment in the career fields they have chosen within six months of graduating.
Richard Pappas, Davenport University president, said the school created a director of marketing intelligence position to research where the new jobs are coming from and what are the fastest-growing careers in the world. Accounting was the first degree program that was a part of Employment Guarantee, which was in 2014.
“When we did the guarantee for accounting, it was one of our biggest programs (and) it was a high-demand career,” Pappas said. “I thought we would get 50, but we ended up having 500 people signed up.”
According to Pappas, for students to benefit from the Employment Guarantee program, they must sign an Employment Guarantee contract at the start of their freshman year or transfer year.
Per the university, the criteria are as follows:
Achieve a final GPA of 3.00 or better within their major and overall and have completed the program within 6 years of starting
Be legally eligible for employment in the U.S.
Be willing to travel or relocate to a new market (with health and disability considerations) to obtain employment within their field
Have a documented job search beginning no later than 2 semesters prior to graduation, which includes no less than 50 customized résumés and cover letters spanning geographic markets and industry sectors
Not have a criminal background, which prevents employment within the chosen field (nursing = clean background check)
Be in good financial standing with Davenport
Have successfully completed an internship, practicum or clinical experience, on-/off-campus work-study employment or employment consisting of a minimum of 150 hours relative to chosen field
Have demonstrated participation in two years or four semesters of regular involvement in at least one significant on- or off-campus extracurricular activity such as a pre-professional or professional society; a registered student organization (RSO); Davenport varsity, club or intramural athletics; or other qualified and Career Services-approved volunteer activities
Have worked directly with Career Services within two semesters of attending Davenport and have actively pursued and demonstrated competency in the Career Services Professional Development Plan Checklist
Have completed the application for Employment Guarantee between six months and one year of graduation date if graduate has not obtained employment nor has entered a graduate degree program.
Amy Miller, executive director of communications and public relations, said nearly 1,200 students have graduated through the Employment Guarantee program.
Through the program, students have access to career services that provide advice, resources and information in areas of professional career development and the chance to seek out employment opportunities such as internships early in their academic career.
While this is the case of the university in general, Pappas said they also work with employers to see what they are looking for when they are in the hiring process.
In the event graduates who have signed up for the program are having difficulties finding a job in their career field after the six-month period, they are afforded the opportunity to earn an additional 48 credits tuition-free to improve their employment chances.
However, Pappas said no students who have gone through the program have had to earn additional credits.
“We measure placement into jobs by programs,” he said. “We are in the 90s, which is very high, but we also, in the guarantee program, we track everyone. For nursing, we know how many have passed the nursing exam, and we use a lot of data that way. We know how many people have graduated, we know how many people get jobs within the six months. It is really about accountability. It is about us being accountable because we have a role to play in making sure, in partnership with those students, they get the jobs they train for and work so hard for.”
With the five qualifying majors, Davenport hit its Vision 2020 Goal of having 25% of all bachelor degree programs included in the Employment Guarantee program.