Student Affairs

Demonstrating the Impact of Cocurricular Experiences on Career Readiness

Duration: 1 hour
Facilitator: Dr. Adam Peck
Price: $98.00

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A Gallup survey conducted on behalf of the Lumnia Foundation found that only 11% of business leaders and only 14% of the general public felt strongly that students graduated from college with the skills and competencies that are needed for success in the workplace (Lumina, 2013). In another study, Hart Research Associates found that employers believe that both two and four-year colleges will need to make at least some improvements to prepare students for the global economy (Hart Research Associates, 2010). Clearly employers and the general public have lost confidence in the ability of colleges and universities to prepare students for the world of work.

This lack of public confidence coupled with disruptive innovation in the higher education landscape could limit or perhaps even threaten the very existence of cocurricular experiences in the future. Growth in competency-based education, online and for-profit institutions de-emphasizes traditional models of higher education that incorporate learning in a variety of cocurricular contexts. For student affairs to survive and thrive, we are going to need to find ways to articulate what students gain from their involvement in cocurricular experiences.

Overcoming the lack of understanding about and confidence in higher education and student affairs is a critical issue that must be addressed. The presenter for this session was the catalyst behind a national effort to connect career development to participation outside of the classroom. Called, "Project CEO (cocurricular experience outcomes)" this effort has engaged more than 40 institutions, six professional associations and 18,000 college students. Using the ten skills identified in an annual survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the group's research has connected the development of these skills to participation in a variety of cocurricular experiences. Their work will be published in a forthcoming book from NASPA Press titled, "Project CEO (Co-curricular Experience Outcomes): Demonstrating the Impact of Co-curricular Experiences on the skills Employers Demand."

This session will present a variety of models for applying what has been learned through this project - with real examples from campuses around the country for infusing career development into cocurricular experiences. Examples from participation in student organizations, collegiate recreation, student activities, service and leadership programs and more will be discussed.

The approach will be grounded in the need for collaboration to ensure that students gain career skills across their entire time at their intuition. Additionally, guidance will be appropriate for two and four year colleges of various sizes as well as both public and private institutions.


  • Understand the established connection between participation in co-curricular experiences and the development of career skills
  • Gain exposure to practical approaches for adapting existing programs and creating new programs to capitalize on this potential
  • Assess student learning in this area.


  • Career Development/Career Services Professionals
  • Student Activities Professionals
  • Student Organization Advisors
  • Student Affairs Assessment Staff
  • Mid-Level Professionals
  • Senior Professionals


Dr. Adam Peck has served as Assistant Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas since 2008 and has been a student affairs practitioner for more than 20 years. He currently serves as President for the Texas Association of College Personnel Administrators (TACUSPA) and as State Director for Texas of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). He has previously served as Chair of the Texas Deans of Students Association. His book, "Project CEO: Demonstrating the Impact of Cocurricular Experiences on the Skills Employers Demand" is being published by NASPA Press and will come out in early 2017. He is the author of more than twenty scholarly articles, five book chapters and has presented more than seventy-five national and international webinars.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from Lewis University, a Master of Arts in Speech Communication from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration from The University of Texas at Austin.

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