UMSL English Department’s Website Development of career planning and

UMSL English Department’s Website Development of career planning and

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UMSLEnglish Department’s Website: Development of career planning andexploration program

Theutility of the college website to its users is determined by theoverall appearance, functionality, relevance of the content, searchengine optimization, and its usability. Websites have created areliable platform that institutions of higher learning can use tocommunicate and inform their body of students and members of staff onmatters affecting all aspects of their professional as well aspersonal lives. Although UMSL English Department has managed todevelop a website that links it with the current body of Englishlearners, members of staff, and potential students, the utility ofthe website can be enhanced by adding a career planning andexploration program’s portal. Currently, the website has focusedmore on informing visitors more about the department, courseofferings, and tests, while forgetting that the ultimate goal ofundertaking undergraduate and post-graduate courses is to develop acareer (UMSL Department of English 1). Therefore, UMSL EnglishDepartment’s website can serve students better if the departmentmakes career planning and exploration program one of its mostsignificant features.

Aboutthe program

Careerplanning and exploration is a program that guide learners in makingtheir initial career plans, evaluating the current study program, andconsider course options that are career enhancing. The department candevelop an effective career planning and exploration program byincluding the possible job openings for graduates and coursesrequired for each career in the portal. In addition, career planningand exploration program, motivate students to evaluate skills thatthey have developed outside the school, determine what they arelooking for in a given occupation, and develop strategies forrealizing their tentative career options (ASVAB Career Exploration1). In essence, the department should stop seeing the website as amarketing tool to attract new students, and start seeing it as aplatform to bridge learners with their after-school professionallives.


Oneof the key refuting arguments that might be raised by opponents ofthe proposal for the development of a career planning and explorationprogram is that students who join the English Department have alreadychosen their career path. However, research has shown that about 44 %of the college graduates have taken the wrong career paths, which canbe attributed to taking a wrong combination of courses while atcollege or the lack of proper guidance on the possible careeropenings (Medien 1). Unguided youths face two challenges,unemployment and underemployment since they lack a clear picture ofthe career path they want to follow after graduating. The departmentis staffed with experienced professors and other members of staff whocan make the contributions towards the development of a careerplanning and exploration program. These experts inform the currentbody of students about new job openings in the field of English, someof which they may not have had before joining the university.Therefore, the program can help students change their majors or takea combination of courses that best suits their future careers.

Anothercounterargument can be based on the cost-benefit analysis ofdeveloping a career planning and exploration program. Althoughfinancial implications of any program are significant factors thatshould be considered, helping learners achieve their future careergoals and join professions that maximize their happiness has along-term benefit to the department. It is estimated that graduatesspend about 80,000 hours of lives at work, which means that studentswho make wrong career choices will spend a good proportion of theirlives cursing the department for failing to advise them appropriately(ASVAB Career Exploration 1). In contrast, well guided graduates willpursue fulfilling careers and recommend the university and thedepartment to their peers and their children, which will help thedepartment get returns from its investment in developing the program.

Benefitsof including career planning and exploration program in the website

Theprogram will give English students an opportunity to exploreavailable career options and make informed decisions on the majorsthat they want to take. This will prevent an incident in which morethan 80 % of the college students change their majors due to lack ofsufficient guidance from the start (Ramos 1). Another study revealedthat career planning and exploration program enhances self-conceptand career maturity among students (Lau 226). Therefore, the programwill help learners set realistic career goals, feel motivated toachieve their clear career goals, and improve their academicperformance.

Althoughthe UMSL English Department’s website has most of the basicfeatures required in a college site, including a career planning andexploration portal can increase the usefulness of the website. Careerplanning and exploration program will guide students in selectingcareers and determining the course combinations as well as the majorsthat will help them pursue fulfilling professions after college.These students will feel motivated since they will understand theirpurpose of being in college, which will in turn increase theiracademic performance. The development of this program is feasiblebecause the department already has experienced professors, who willmake their contributions and update the content of the program fromtime to time.


To:The Head of Department of English


September 13, 2015

Improvements on the UMSL English Department’s Website

Thewebsite designed for the Department of English is an effective toolthat facilitates communication between the department and studentsand members of staff. Although the website has most of the basicfeatures required in a standard college site, its utility can beenhanced by introducing a new portal for career planning andexploration program. The new portal will allow the department toshare information that will help students set good career goals andtransition properly from school to work after graduating.

Thelack of a portal for career planning and exploration program affectsthe current body of students, most of whom do not understand whetherthey have selected the right majors that can help them achieve theiroverall career objectives. By including the new portal, thedepartment will have created a platform on which its experiencedprofessors and other experts can share useful information aboutcareer development and requirements for different careers with theirstudents. The cost of this solution will include the finances (about$ 600) and time (about 360 hours) that will be spent designing theportal and its content. This is a practical solution given the factthat it is quite cheap to implement.

Theidea of developing a portal to guide students on career selection anddevelopment is based on the fact that many graduates in the world feedissatisfied with the majors they took while in college. This occursdue to lack of adequate guidance from experiences persons, achallenge that will be solved by the new portal. Proper careerguidance will reduce frustrations among students and motivate them topursue specific career goals, which will in turn enhance theiracademic performance.


Basicfacts that you should know

  • About 44 % of the U.S. college graduates feel that they took the wrong majors

  • Over 80 % of the U.S. college students change their course or majors at least once during their college life

Takingthe wrong majors among the college students can be attributed to thelack of proper guidance. This challenge can be addressed by includinga career planning and exploration portal on the website of theDepartment of English.


ASVABCareer Exploration. Career planning tools. ASVABCareer Exploration.2015. Web. 11 September 2015.

Lau,P., Khan, A. Abdulah, H., and Chew, F. The effectiveness of careerexploration program for high school students. InternationalConference on Humanities, Society, and Culture,20, 226-230.

Medien,A. 44 % of young college graduates are on the wrong career path.Identities.1 October. 2013. Web. 11 September.

Ramos,Y. College students tend to change majors when they find the one theyreally love. Borderzine.15 March. 2013. Web. 11 September 2015.

UMSLDepartment of English. Welcome to the Department of English. UMSLDepartment of English.2015. Web. 11 September 2015.