Keep Your Social Work and Counseling Programs Competitive
Higher education is changing faster than ever and understanding student expectations will help set your program up for success. From achieving accreditation to offering online programs, schools must manage their brand reputation and continually innovate to stay competitive and attract students. One of the best ways to innovate and enhance your program’s reputation, and add value to your student experience, is to use the latest digital tools without breaking the bank.
What Students Want in 2020
Today’s students want to know they’re getting more from their tuition than a diploma. They want to know their career will make a difference and they want a return on their investment. Some would-be bachelor’s and master’s students are opting out of school altogether, citing debt and career prospects as their top concerns.
The good news for social work and counseling programs is that the job market is hot! From 2014 to 2024, the number of social work jobs is expected to grow 12%. From 2018 to 2028, the number of counseling jobs is expected to grow 22%. Both rates are faster than the average for most other jobs. But, this bright future doesn’t mean that programs can get complacent.
It’s imperative that programs demonstrate to current and prospective students that you’re they’re investing in their careers. To paraphrase Aristotle, “tell your students what you’re going to teach them, then teach them, then tell them what you taught them.” Tell prospective students how they’re going to benefit from your program by highlighting your gainful employment stats and the difference they’ll make in others’ lives as a social worker or counselor through real stories from your alumni. Then, as students, teach them exactly what they’ll need to know in the field. When they’re close to graduating, show them again how you prepared them by pointing to concrete examples like how the time tracking tool they used in their field placement is exactly like what they’ll use for submitting billable hours.
Showing students that your program offers tools and resources to help them graduate and achieve gainful employment, will bolster enrollment and prove to your students that you are investing in their futures.
Show Students How Your Program Invests in Their Careers
Here are five ways to engage prospective and current students and make your program stand out from the rest. Be sure to articulate to your students what the benefit is to reap the rewards of your investment in their futures.
1: Offer flexible courses
2: Showcase your gainful employment statistics
3: Highlight your support system and career network
4: Invest in technology that increases your program’s efficiency
5: Train students on the “how,” not just the “why” and “what”
Technology is the future. Use it to your advantage.
Your students are the digital generation. Don’t risk declining enrollment because you’re undervaluing the importance of technology to these digital natives.
Flexible classes and online access to tools are no longer optional. Integrating technological tools that directly translate to students’ professional careers is key to attracting and retaining them. No matter how technologically integrated your program is, it is always overwhelming to think about adding a new tool.
Tevera can help. Our software simplifies field placement and assessment management for counselor education and social work programs. Here are just a few features that schools are using to streamline their programs:
Online access for students tracking time towards graduation and licensure.
Easy approval of assignments for faculty and site supervisors.
Seamless integration with your existing systems.
Simple data gathering and report generation that helps you achieve and maintain accreditation.
Programs tell us that their staff saves hours of time with Tevera. No more working late nights or on the weekend. Plus their field placement partners love it because they can easily keep track of students’ progress, strengthening their relationship with their academic counterparts.