Career development Paths can help students begin thinking about their careers and post-graduate plans early. Some career-oriented Paths also build in resume review and other hands-on activities, leaving students with a mini-portfolio they can utilize at the end of the Path as they prepare for their next professional steps. Paths driven by Career Services offices can also be incentivized with practical rewards for completion, such as padfolios, business cards, or even business professional clothing or accessories. In this article, we spotlight the paths Rowan University developed to specifically support the career development of their Business School students.

Rowan Passport Program

The Rohrer College of Business Center for Professional Development embeds career development modules into four of the core business classes that Rowan business students must take in order to graduate. These career modules, branded as the Rowan University Passport Program, help students build confidence in the job market and find out what their degree can do for them by integrating co-curricular experiences alongside the academic curriculum.

In Engage, each module, or year in the program represents its own Path. Students progress through the Path while taking the corresponding academic core class, creating a truly co-curricular experience. In most cases, freshman take Module 1 of the Passport Program in their first year seminar, sophomores progress through Module 2 during Legal Environment, juniors take Module 3 in Principles of Finance, and seniors take Module 4 in their major-specific Senior Capstone course. Students are placed into the Path each year by administrators so they can easily access the requirements from their homepage in Engage.

Each module follows the same structure and has the same domains based on the following program goals: Explore, Engage, Network, Experience, and Report. Each year, students complete required items in each of these areas, wrapping up with a required Final Assessment.

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Developed as an integrated part of the business school experience, the Passport is presented to students as its own syllabus each year, allowing students to see up front exactly what is expected of them while taking that course. You can view examples of items in the fourth capstone year of the Path below:

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At the end of the academic year, a final report of student completion is sent to professors, who then incorporate completion of the Path into students' final grades. Therefore, completion of the path an essentially mandatory process, and it is an easy and fun way for students to earn academic credit. You can view an example timeline of the process below:

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Through the Passport Program, students are given opportunities to network and make connections, explore future possibilities, and develop in their career-readiness, all the while creating a portfolio of experiences that will lead them toward their next step. By integrating career development into the curricular experience, students learn to see these career development opportunities as a part of their holistic experience at the institution.

Visit the program website to download the module syllabi and see how information about the program is communicated to students! These resources also list all of the items that make up each module.

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