College to Career

College to Career

As a “university of opportunity,” student success is a core part of our strategic plan and the foundation of social and economic mobility - that is taking students to a different place than where they started. Ensuring that Wayne State’s students graduate career ready and prepared to thrive is a goal of the Our Moment in Time strategic plan. This institutional initiative will seek to determine and drive progress, and enhance and expand efforts to ensure that students are career ready. 

Career learning is the key to achieving our objectives, and this university-wide initiative will seek to enhance, expand and integrate the applied learning happening in the classroom, with opportunities extending well beyond the classroom. Learning by doing opportunities help deepen a student's educational experience through application in real-world contexts. Students gain marketable skills like critical thinking, leadership and communication. These skills build a strong foundation for long-term career success. Defined broadly, career learning includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Interdisciplinary project-based learning and field work
  • Internships, micro-externships, and co-ops
  • Global experiences/education abroad
  • Community service learning
  • Team-based solutions, oriented experiences
  • Research in the field and in lab settings
  • Alumni and professional mentoring, job shadowing and other developmental experiences
  • Entrepreneurship and other business development opportunities

Through such efforts, students encounter the world, gain deeper insights and new perspectives, and learn by doing.

College to Career conversation

On Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023, President Kimberly Andrews Espy, Ph.D., was joined by several alumni and students for a discussion about how their Wayne State experiences prepared them for career success. President Espy also introduced the university’s College to Career initiative and encouraged the entire campus community and its partners to intentionally create career experiences that will help prepare students for post-graduation success.

Next Step

A university task force will be established composed of faculty, staff, students and alumni, as well as internal and external stakeholders. Task force teams will undertake an assessment of our current state and chart a path for the university to ensure that students are prepared to take their next step, whether that will be a first job, professional studies, career advancement or re-skilling for new careers.

Benefits for Wayne State Students

  • Apply classroom learning to real-world environments
  • Explore career interests while earning their degree
  • Gain marketable skills and build vital career connections
  • Engage in research with a real-world impact
  • Prepare for graduate studies
  • Provide pathways for students to advance within or switch careers
  • Develop the collaborative and professional skills necessary for career success

Benefits for Detroit and Our Region

  • Strengthen Wayne State as the talent pipeline for Metro Detroit and the regions’ employers
  • Enhance and expand collaborative partnerships between Wayne State and industry, local businesses, nonprofits and government organizations

We’re All in This Together

In the weeks and months ahead, the campus community and the key stakeholders who support our efforts will be called upon to engage in a discussion of this evolution/next phase of student success. In addition to persistence and degree completion, we must embrace the need to ensure that our students are career ready. This effort will require the spirit of collaboration and partnership with individuals situated across and outside of the university. With a willingness to listen to others, think differently, and work together we can ensure that we are building and providing the support our students need to succeed.

College to Career Initiative Chair

Ahmad Ezzeddine
Vice President for Academic Student Affairs and Global Engagement