Author: Katie McPhee

Summer Projects to Boost Student Resumes

Summer break is a great time for students to develop marketable skills to prepare for the transition from academia into the workforce. We’ve all heard that summer internships are instrumental in helping students gain valuable professional experience, develop on-the-job skills, and determine if they’re on the right career path—but what if you don’t have an internship? Whether they didn’t have enough experience, bombed the interview, or simply can’t afford to work for free for 20+ hours a week, many students are currently facing a summer sans-internship. However, this doesn’t mean they can’t still use their summer break to develop Read More…


Tips for College Students: Soft Skills for Internship Success

This summer, thousands of students will take the first step in their career and undertake a summer internship in order to develop marketable skills and build their professional network. Internships have become an invaluable step on the journey to career success for many, and while most employers know not to assume a wealth of professional experience from their interns, they will expect their interns to have the soft skills necessary to get along in a professional work environment. “Soft skills” are associated with a person’s emotional intelligence quotient and generally characterize how a person relates to others—essentially, people skills. Read More…


Tips for Students: How to Study with 5, 3, or 1 Day Until the Exam

Spring has sprung and the semester is nearly over, which means final exams are finally here. While creating a solid study plan over several days is considered the best practice, sometimes life happens, and students need to fit a week’s worth of studying into a few days, or even just one night. With that in mind, here are three study plans students can use no matter how much (or little) time they have.

Steps for every study plan

In her text Essential Study Skills, 8th ed, author Linda Wong outlines the process for creating a study plan that all students Read More…


Soft Skills for STEM Success

While there are thousands of STEM positions open and waiting for workers to come and fill them, there is a lack of work-ready STEM professionals graduating from higher education institutions. However, rather than lack the technical skills necessary to complete the work, many of these candidates lack the ability to be an effective employee to the organization because they lack the necessary soft skills for success. Read More…


Three Ways to Address STEM Attrition Through EdTech

Recent shifts in the global economy has placed a new national focus on the STEM–Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics–fields. However, we are simultaneously facing a crisis of STEM attrition as large swaths of students—48% of bachelor’s candidates and 69% of associate’s candidates—entering STEM majors in higher education drop out without completing their degree or switch to a different major. This trend of student flight has policymakers worried that a lack of STEM-educated talent will negatively impact our ability to compete in the global marketplace. While some aspects of STEM attrition are unavoidable, there are several strategies based in Read More…


Six Soft Skills for Student Success

While every industry comes with its own set of specific technical knowledge and proficiencies, there are universal “soft skills” that are applicable to any industry, and workers who lack them could be setting themselves up for failure. We’ve all seen the trend pieces criticizing recent graduates’ dearth of these skills, but consider that many graduates haven’t had a chance to practice them when they were in school. If we want to set students up for success outside of the classroom, then they’ll need opportunities to learn and hone these skills BEFORE graduation. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are Read More…


Maker Movement: What Tech Does Your Makerspace Need?

Once thought of as a solitary pursuit for garage-hobbyists, DIY and tinkering culture has shifted from hobby to pedagogy as educators embrace the Maker Movement for its potential to transform different aspects of education. We’ve talked about how the Maker Movement could potentially provide solutions to some of the challenges we face in higher education, but what do you actually need to start a Makerspace at your school? Rather than let yourself get overwhelmed by the number of technological offerings, it’s important to consider how these tools will integrate into the culture and curriculum of your school, and Read More…


Could the Maker Movement Solve Classroom Challenges?

Our culture’s obsession with innovation and the breakneck speed of technological progress has created opportunities for learning and exploration that we couldn’t even dream of years ago. Unfortunately, for all of our recent cultural focus on the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields, we still face challenges in teaching these subjects in the classroom, as our country’s place in world STEM rankings demonstrates. If we are to continue competing in STEM fields, we need to prepare the next generation for success by instilling them with the qualities and skills they’ll need to succeed—grit, creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving.

We need to teach them how to be Makers.

Read More…


Critical Thinking: Teaching and Proving this Critical Career Skill

Everybody wants a critical thinker on their team these days. According to a study from the Association of American Colleges and Universities, approximately 93% of surveyed employers believe that “a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than [a candidate’s] undergraduate major.” Another study, this one by career-search website Indeed.com, found that “Mentions of critical thinking in job postings have doubled since 2009.” President Obama has even discussed the idea in multiple State of the Union Addresses, stating that schools needed to develop standards that measured “Read More…


Five Tips for Creating a Professional Digital Portfolio

For students about to graduate from college, the prospects of finding a job in this economy may seem rather daunting. Often, one of the greatest problems they face is what to provide their prospective employers to demonstrate their knowledge and skills, especially when they don’t have ample professional experience on their resume. Recently, more and more employers have been requesting digital portfolios from their applicants, which provide a more complete, holistic view of the applicant’s talents, skillsets, and knowledge. However, many students and recent graduates have never created a professional digital portfolio before, so we thought we’d provide Read More…