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Evaluation guide wins plaudits for Career Education Centre

A guide to help campus career centres evaluate the effectiveness of their programming and operations has won praise from the national association representing professionals in the field.

Karen Benzinger, director of the UWindsor Centre for Career Education, was a member of a working group from five Ontario universities that produced Career Centre Evaluation: A Practitioner Guide.

“When my colleagues and I first came together out of a shared interest in evaluation, we wanted to further our own evaluation activities within our respective institutions, but we also hoped that we could develop a resource that would be useful to other practitioners,” she says.

The resulting guide earned Benzinger and her co-authors an outstanding achievement award from the Canadian Association of Career Educators and Employers, a national non-profit partnership of employer recruiters and career services professionals.

“We were very pleased to receive the award, as it is a good indication that others across the country are finding value in our work,” says Benzinger. “We also believe that while aimed at career centres, the concepts outlined in the guide can easily be applied to other settings.”

The guide outlines a framework for assessment that measures inputs, processes and outcomes. Benzinger says it will help practitioners to demonstrate the value of their work as well as provide a basis for continuous improvement in program design and delivery.

“This evaluation process will help people make wiser decisions,” she says. “It gives you information that you can use.”

The other universities participating in the working group were Trent, Westerm, Waterloo and Toronto.

Consult Career Centre Evaluation: A Practitioner Guide on the Web site of the sponsoring organization, the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling.