When the opportunity to participate in the Extension Hybrid Learning Study Group came up, I could immediately see the possibilities for my work with OSU Open Campus. OSU Open Campus is a new initiative of the division of Outreach and Engagement. Its’ purpose is to work with community partners in counties across the state, to build college and career readiness, increase degree completion and support professional and economic development. This work may include a variety of projects, depending on the unique needs of each community.
I came to OSU Open Campus with a background in career counseling. As I began to connect with prospective OSU students, I found that they were often unsure of their educational direction and career path. Though career planning books and online tools are abundant and many are very good, it can be confusing and overwhelming to work through their systems by yourself. College and university career centers have much to offer but commonly, students do not access them until graduation time, if then. A hybrid career planning course could be a great way to provide students with access to a systematic career planning process that includes opportunities to connect and learn from others as well as substantial time for guided personal reflection.
The course that I began to develop would include four modules:
- Know Yourself – Assessments of skills, interests, personality and values with analysis
- The World of Work – Job types, work environments, trends, occupational research
- Tools and Skills – Resumes, cover letters, interviewing
- Building Connections – Online and in-person networking, testing options, creating a plan
The course would utilize a variety of online learning tools that will engage students with each other as well increase their familiarity and comfort with using them. These may include blogs, discussion groups, Linked In, Voice Thread and Google Groups. I would plan the course so that it could be facilitated by OSU Open campus coordinators, whether or not they have career counseling experience.
Before moving forward to develop this course further, I am in process of connecting with the OSU Career Center to consider making this a collaborative effort. I believe that the possibility exists to create a hybrid course that could be a win for online and on-campus students as well as prospective students across the state and even beyond!