Message for Universities or Technical Colleges:
Across Europe universities are expected to work more closely with employers to ensure that learners develop employ-ability skills for the workplace. Policy discourse suggests that a closer relationship between universities and employers can act as a mechanism to develop employability skills more effectively. This article draws on a small qualitative case study which investigated the “Graduate@ Work” initiative undertaken by the Open University. These distance learners, sponsored by their SME employers, were already working and the research investigated employer and student understandings of the connections between employability skills, working and learning and whether facilitating a closer relationship between the university and employers would enable more effective learning in relation to the workplace.
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Message for students:
For many students, internships are an important part of the college experience. The internship has virtually become a rite of passage for students nearing the end of their undergraduate careers, as evidenced by required internship programs at numerous universities. Academic advisers often have the opportunity to work with students before, during, and after their internship experiences. It is common practice for advisers to help students plan coursework so that students can participate in internships as well as communicate with students while they are enrolled in the internship. However, the focus of this article addresses how academic advisers can help students reflect on their internship experiences after they return to campus. The purpose of this article is to highlight the values of internships, discuss the importance of students’ reflections on their internship experience, and share tips for advisers seeking to facilitate student reflection.
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