Campus units partner on research project related to career readiness

Two on-campus entities have partnered to use grant money to improve student experiences and outcomes across North Carolina.

Stephanie Norander, associate professor in communication studies and executive director, Communication Across the Curriculum (CAC), partnered with Carrie Silver, program manager of the University Professional Internship Program (UPIP) to be awarded a $900 research grant from N.C. Career Development Association (NCCDA). Their project was entitled “Exploring Student Perspectives and Crafting Best Practices for the University Professional Internship Program at UNC Charlotte.”

The purpose of the project is to understand the connections between UPIP at UNC Charlotte and career readiness.

Norander led students in a senior capstone Organizational Communication (COMM 4141) class to help facilitate focus groups, creating peer-to-peer opportunities for sharing experiences, in October and November 2016. She and Silver guided the student researchers to develop a standard interview protocol by looking at career development theory and past survey data on the internship program.

Using Institutional Research Board guidelines for data collection, the analysis and findings will be used to guide the program for the 2017-18 academic year, and the researchers are seeking opportunities to present a best practices model to other institutions in the state.