Every college will have its own mission statement and a vision of how to achieve this. Yet if we were to look through the mission statements of colleges throughout the country, one thing would undoubtedly stand out.
At the heart of every college is a mission to improve lives: the lives of the students who come through your doors; the lives of the employers who then benefit from the skills your college has taught; and ultimately the life of the community you serve.
What we have shown throughout Steps 1-4 should be very much a part of this mission. We have majored on the idea that your Core Product is not so much your courses, or even the qualifications that can be obtained through those courses, but rather the potential career destinations that those courses and qualifications might lead to. This has been followed by practical demonstrations of how this can be done.
But following these steps isn’t simply a case of trying to get more people to come to your college. It is about giving people who come to your college a clear vision for their future, and a clear sense of direction, so that they will not only be persuaded to enrol, but will be more motivated throughout their time at college.
What this means is that all that we have demonstrated throughout this guide should not end the moment that a person enters your college. The type of insight we presented in Step 3, including occupation demand, earnings potential, transferrable skills and similar careers can and should be used throughout the student journey to give ongoing guidance and to maintain that clear sense of direction.
This approach is hugely empowering to young people. The more knowledge you can give them about the career realities of their local economy, both before they come to college and during their time there, the more they can make informed decisions about their future. Which in turn means that they are likely to be more enthused and motivated to continue in the training you are giving them.
This is not just theoretical. Many of our partner colleges with have embeded localised LMI into their careers guidance and have seen great results. For instance, Chesterfield College integrated the data into personalised web pages for all their students, and this has not only helped the college achieve a higher retention rate than previously, but according to an internal survey back in 2015, 93% of students said that the process had given them a clearer idea of where their course will lead to in terms of local job opportunities. A Matrix Assessment of the College drew attention to this:
Of particular note is the creation of personalised web pages (P-URL) for all prospective students, into which individually tailored information including localised LMI has been incorporated… This is an excellent way of presenting tailored information to prospective students, and one which was seen during the assessment to impress service users and to encourage them to explore the information further.
And so by linking your courses to career destinations using localised LMI, not just externally in your marketing, but also internally in careers advice throughout the student journey, your college can excel in improving the lives of its students – giving them an ongoing careers vision, and then sending them out with the motivation and the skills they need to benefit both their employers and their community.
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