Category: Parents

How Compensation Decisions Are Made

How Compensation Decisions Are Made

Understanding how employers make compensation decisions is critical if you want to be effective in negotiating your own compensation package.

Compensation has been very much in the news during the past year.  From the fervor over a $15.00 per hour minimum wage to robots coming to take people’s jobs to an accelerating employment market, compensation is on the minds and hearts of just about everyone. Before you can begin to get a handle on any of these issues, you first must have a basic understanding of how employers make compensation decisions.

Current Factors Impacting Compensation.

Like any other aspect of compensation, trends in the current market are impacting the compensation offered for specific positions.  Here are five of the factors that dramatically impact compensation ranges for virtually every position:

  1. The value of the work being done. Labor costs are almost always the single largest expense item incurred by any employer, other than the costs for the goods and services produced.  Labor costs include components such as base compensation (hourly or salary), variable compensation (such as bonuses or commissions), benefits, payroll taxes, and related insurances. So there is always pressure to assure that the value produced by each employee exceeds the costs associated with that employee.  Because the market sets to price for the goods and services it consumes, compensation must be tied to the value of what an employee’s work produces – or the employer cannot afford to remain in business.
  2. Supply vs. demand. This factor affects both industries and regions.  If there is a shortage of qualified candidates for a position in a particular area, compensation will tend to be on the high end of the range, with some employers electing to pay sign-on bonuses to attract candidates.  Likewise, if there is an over-supply of qualified candidates, compensation will be on the lower end of the range, with relatively few people hired in the higher ranges of compensation.  You will need to understand the dynamics of your industry and region.
  3. New job vs. raise. People changing employment (either inside their own company or moving to a different employer) tend to have larger compensation increases available, versus those staying in the same job or role.  The typical range for an annual increase is about 3%, while the average increase achieved when changing jobs is about 10%.
  4. Difficulty of filling the position. The difficulty an employer has experienced or (is anticipating) in filling the position will tend to increase what the employer is willing to pay.  Highly specialized skills, experience, and education are often the largest reason for the difficulty in filling a position.
  5. Benefits add 10% to 70% to total compensation. While benefits such as healthcare have been in the headlines during the past few years, the cumulative value of non-salary benefits is significant.  Here is an excellent calculator from CalcXML to determine the value of the benefits being offered.

The Mechanics of Compensation Decisions. 

Employers have established a range of what they are willing to pay for a particular position.  For example, a position with a target average annual salary of $55,000 might have the following range:

  1. Minimum – $45,000
  2. Mid-point – $55,000
  3. Maximum – $65,000

The interview process – the candidate’s credentials (résumé, social profile, and the like) and the results of any pre-offer background check (references, social media) – all influence where within the compensation range the initial offer will be made.

Researching compensation.

This can be done via the internet by Googling salary ranges or visiting compensation sites such as, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or Because information may be self-reported, tend to view these figures as optimistic about the position evaluated.  While the information provided on these sites is generally accurate (± 10%), there are regional differences, as well as differences from organization to organization.  Another helpful site for salary research is Glassdoor, which provides an inside look at jobs, companies, and compensation (as reported by current and former employees).  When calculating total compensation, bear in mind that benefits can be worth as little as 10% of base compensation, or as much as 50% or more.  Employer-paid expenses, travel allowances, hiring bonuses, tuition programs, insurances, paid time off, and other benefits add up quickly.

Some companies provide a lower starting salary, with a compensation increase once the new employee completes his/her training period (usually 90 days) and proves him/herself.  In a slow economy, there is an abundance of people looking for positions, so salaries can be somewhat depressed.  Likewise, when the economy is booming, starting salaries may be increased to attract better candidates.

Finally, understand that regional cost-of-living factors greatly affect the market-based compensation for any position.  A $60,000 position in an average cost of living area may translate to $48,000 in a low-cost area and $110,000 in a high-cost area.  Based on the relative cost of living of the area, the $48,000, $60,000, and $110,000 benchmarks reflect the same equivalent purchasing power.

Bottom Line

Like anything else in life, proper preparation prevents poor performance.  Never enter into a compensation negotiation without first having done your homework, with includes not only understanding how compensation for the position is established and what the reasonable ranges for compensation for your position by market, but also how you can prove that you’ll be able to deliver excellent value for the compensation you desire.

This article was excerpted from the most recent edition of Get a Better Job Faster? now available on

Recommendations For Math Curriculum For High School

High Schoolers Should Take 4 Years of Leaner, More Relevant Math, Teachers’ Group Says

By Stephen Sawchuk on April 25, 2018 3:52 PM

High school math classes should be broadened to focus on goals beyond college and careers, including teaching the math students will need to be literate participants in civic life. Educators should ensure that all students master a core set of “essential concepts” through four years of math coursetaking. And the classes should be detracked, to prevent students of color from winding up in dead-end math pathways, says an expansive new report from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

The report, unveiled today at NCTM’s annual conference, is the product of a task force the group’s board of directors created back in 2016. Part vision-setting document and part stock-taking, the report aims to stimulate conversations on how to improve teaching of the subject in high school.

The Algebra-Geometry-Algebra 2 trifecta that has shaped high school math since the late 19th century remains firmly in place without enough evolution, it says. And while 4th grade students have progressed in math on the National Assessment of Educational Progress since the 1990s, scores have been stagnant for decades at grade 12.

The document is also a corrective of sorts to the high school math section of the Common Core State Standards. Some critics and even some of those standards’ developers have said the common core’s high school standards weren’t as lean and polished as those in the K-8 grades. The NCTM’s document attempts to identify areas of focus, as the common core’s K-8 standards do.

Purpose and Essential Concepts in Math

In a nutshell, the report says that the goal of math coursework shouldn’t be just to prepare students for college classes or work, but so they are better able to understand and critique the world. That includes being able to identify, interpret, and critique math in social, scientific, and political systems; to understand math in polls, the media, and other communications; and to make good financial decisions and interpret research.

As part of this effort, the publication gives a list of essential concepts in math that all  National Assessment of Educational Progress, students should master. Rather than a new set of standards, they should be thought of as “distillations” that will help bring focus to high school curricula, the report states. It breaks them down into the areas of essential concepts in number; algebra and functions; statistics and probability; and geometry and measurement.

For example, for statistics, it says, all high school students should be able to understand the differences in research methods that use sample surveys, experiments, and observational studies, and the problems of bias and validity, among other things.

As part of this, it recommends that some practices should be scaled back. Too much focus in algebra is put on solving equations and inequalities, rather than on learning how to use math techniques to produce a certain outcome, solve a problem, or provide proofs of why algebraic statements are true, the report says.

“There is a lot of what we might refer to as legacy content, particularly in second-year algebra where students spend a great deal of time on symbolic manipulations—factoring equations, solving equations,” said Matt Larson, the outgoing president of the NCTM. “Today the emphasis has to move to students understanding, here’s a problem situation that can be modeled by using a quandratic equation and then solved. And when you think you have the solution, understanding the math enough to say, ‘Yeah, my solution seems reasonable,’ or ‘No, that doesn’t seem to make Math concepts, sense in this particular situation.'”

Equity and Access in Mathematics

Of course, those key shifts will also require new thinking about who takes the classes. On this front, the NCTM says mathematics classes should no longer track teachers or students into different levels (like “remedial” versus “honors” versions of the same course).

“Tracking … in some cases puts students into terminal mathematics course pathways that are not mathematically meaningful and do not prepare them for any continued study of fundamental mathematics concepts,” the report says.

As if on cue, the U.S. Department of Education released data yesterday showing that a disproportionate number of students of color don’t take Algebra 1 until the 11th grade, all but ruling out the possibility of higher-level math attainment.

While acknowledging that detracking poses challenges, it can be supported by having schools begin to examine data patterns and assignments, Larson said. That includes which teachers are typically assigned to teach which course levels.

“Often it’s the case that those teachers who are the most experienced or perceived to be the most capable are assigned the upper-level math classes. An initial action we recommend is, again, to examine the data,” Larson said. “Who is teaching whom in your high school math department?”

And teachers should focus on equitable instruction that focuses on reasoning, problem solving, using mathematical representations, and facilitating mathematical discourse, in which where students and teachers feel comfortable discussing and critiquing one another’s reasoning, rather than focusing on “getting the right answer.”

Finally, the report calls on rethinking math pathways: All students should take four years of classes that “maintain the integrity” of the mathematical standards, require clarity and precision, and don’t allow for substitutions, such as computer science, to stand in for math.

I’ll be interested in hearing how the larger math community responds to this report. Any talk about the balance of procedural and conceptual math is bound to raise passionate discussion. Our comments section is open for your feedback!


You Really Must Negotiate Job-Offer Salary!

The Muse offers these suggestions for negotiating the salary when you are offered a new position.  Read the article below:

Negotiations are often nerve-racking for candidates because they don’t want to ask for too much and have an employer withdraw an offer.

But I want to give you reassurance that as much as you fear losing out on an opportunity, companies also fear losing great talent (like you!) by coming in below expectations. That’s why companies and candidates often have an open discussion to meet somewhere in the middle.

With that said, what can you do if the job description clearly states a salary—yet you want more? Are you still even entitled to that attempt to find some middle ground?

If you’re applying to the public sector (government jobs), the pre-determined salary range is usually close to the final offer. However, if you receive an offer, it doesn’t hurt to ask for a number that falls within the range displayed. As with any negotiation, focus on objective facts of why you believe you’re worth more (for example, the job description asks for two years of experience and you have four).

If you’re applying to the private sector (non-government jobs), I would absolutely recommend negotiating despite what was displayed on the job posting. Most companies work with a compensation benchmark system and have a low, mid, and high end of a salary range. Typically, the salary advertised is the median compensation, so it never hurts to ask for more—especially if market research data shows that your title, skills, and experience are worth a higher salary in your geographical market.

Again, you will want to remain objective in your approach: What specifically about your background adds value to the company and justifies why are you worth more? You should use measurable and tangible facts instead of subjective, loose opinions.

It might also help to know that employers expect employees to negotiate. Employers typically don’t withdraw offers because a candidate starts that conversation. However, they do withdraw offers based on how a candidate asks.

If you demonstrate that you’re polite, professional, and perceptive, an employer’s often eager to consider your requests. It’s the requests that come off as aggressive, demanding, and non-compromising that breaks the deal.

That’s why it’s never a bad idea to practice several times before the real conversation to make sure you know exactly what you want to say. You can even run through it with a friend to confirm that you’re coming off the way you intended.

Finally, if the company says they have given you the best offer, remember there are a lot of other benefits and perks you can negotiate aside from your salary.

For example:

  • Sign-on bonus
  • More vacation days
  • Telecommute perks
  • Tuition reimbursement or ongoing education and training allowance
  • Timing of next raise
  • Stock options
  • Competitive commission structure (if in a sales-related role)
  • Relocation bonus (if applicable)

Negotiating might always make you a little nervous (that’s normal!). But, in the end, remember this: You won’t get what you don’t ask for.

Let me add my own comments.  Women are earn less than men doing the same work.  One reason is that men are far more likely to negotiate starting with the first offer while women tend to accept the first offer.  To close the gap, women must adopt negotiation as the first step in getting paid what they are worth.  As the article points out, HR expects negotiation.

If the starting salary is lower for women, each raise that is a % of current salary will also be lower.  The gap gets wider with each salary bump.  Close the gap by asking for what you want.

In addition to the perks listed as alternatives to a starting salary, you can ask for a 90 day review with specific benchmarks that, if met, entitle you to a raise.  You can also ask for a performance bonus, an extra check for meeting specific performance criteria.

If you’re a little hazy on what you’re work is worth, lets figure it out together. , 610-212-6679

Juniata Summer Health Professions Institute

Juniata College Summer Health Professions Institute  2018

The Health Professions Institute provides opportunities for high school students to explore different areas of health care as a career discipline. Students will engage in lectures and labs with the College’s faculty. Additionally, participants will have many opportunities to converse with health care professionals including physicians, nurses, health care administrators, and research scientists.Topics could include: 

Alzheimer’s Research
Genetics/Data Analysis
Cognitive Neuroscience
Food as Science
Envir. Factors & Health Implications



Who should attend? 
Rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have expressed interest in working in health care and want to know more about health careers.


This experience will focus on career exploration, college immersion, and a variety of learning activities. By conducting lab work, traveling to local health care facilities, and working in small groups, students will prepare a presentation for the final day of the Institute.

For questions contact:
Colton Bright Office:814-641-3603

Student Over 18? Your Need to Know Isn’t Your right To Know

As a parent, you may be familiar with FERPA, the Federal Education and Right  To Privacy Act.  This piece of legislation ensures that parents have the right to see their student’s school records and have explained to them anything in the records.  It also prevents schools from disseminating information about your child without your permission.

When the student applies to colleges, she will find a question on each application asking if she waives her FERPA rights.  Checking the box permits the high school to send her transcript and other identifying information about the student.  Every student must waive their rights in order to complete the application.

So, you’ve delivered your newly eighteen year old to college.  You’re paying the bills, even borrowing money.  Can  you see the grades?  No.  Can you find out if the student is attending class?  No.  Can you ask if he has paid the tuition from the account you’ve set up? No.

College related issues can be addressed by having your child sign a waiver to FERPA upon arriving on campus.  With a couple of phone calls before orientation you can learn whom your child should speak to and where the waiver will be held in case you need access to the signed document later. (see final paragraph)

Signing the waiver is something to consider.  Teens handle some of their own money but rely on parents to take care of the major transactions.  They may not be punctual in paying rent, college bills, recognizing overdrafts on accounts or understanding credit card bills.  If, among other issues,  you think that your help may be needed in financial matters or in persisting in a college environment, the waiver is probably a good idea.

Your student has been taken to the hospital.  What information can you get?  None.

HIPAA prevents anyone in the college medical center or a hospital from talking to you without the patient’s permission, even in a medical emergency.

There are a few things you can do to have permission in place to participate in your student’s medical care.

A signed HIPAA Authorization form, which can be found on the internet, doesn’t need to be notarized.  The student can place limitations on the type of information they wish to keep private.  Parents will gain permission to talk to treating physicians, and understand the nature of the medical problems.

Medical Power of Attorney  (POA)  This is the same authorization most of us have given to someone to make decisions for us if we are unable to make them for ourselves.  You could be called upon to evaluate treatment options or give permission for surgery.  Laws governing POAs vary by state; some require a witness and notarization.  Some include the HIPAA Authorization within the POA.

Consider also a Durable Power of Attorney.  This POA appoints someone to act on the individual’s behalf; it can be granted with a specific time limit.  If the student plans to study abroad this might be a good document to have.  It can give access to bank accounts so the bills can be paid, tax forms or leases signed, college and scholarship forms submitted.   A durable power of attorney grants more power to the holder; be certain everyone is comfortable with the arrangement.

In some states the medical power of attorney can be rolled into a durable power of attorney.  As each state defines its own processes, check with your own state and the state where your student will be in school.

If your child attends college out of state, fill out all forms in both states so that there is no confusion about the legitimacy of the documentation.

When you have chosen the options that meet your needs and have the signed, notarized (if needed) documents in hand, scan them into your phone so that they will be available if ever needed.




FERPA HPPA and medical emergencies

How To Sell Yourself Without Bragging

How to talk about yourself without bragging!  Diane Carver 8/9/17 Career Enlightenment

If you are in a job search, wanting to move ahead at work, or trying to get clients for your business, you have to learn to talk about yourself in a way that informs people authentically about what value you create. I like to think about this as educating people on what I do best, what I want to do, and why.

Elevator speeches are not for me

I’ve never liked the concept of an elevator speech because the last time I was in an elevator no one spoke and no one dared make eye contact. So I don’t do elevator speeches, and no one can make me.

There does however come a time when you must talk about yourself and you need to know what to say & how to say it. Here’s my process: authenticity, brevity, and passion.

Be honest about the value you create

Just be honest about how you create value. I like to think about this as educating people on what I do best, what I want to do, and why.[ Reread your]performance reviews, survey your clients, or ask people who would tell you the truth. Take a few days & make a list without editing anything – just keep the flow going. Be sure you focus on what value you Fromulaing your  create because no matter what you like to do, you have to find a buyer.

Keep it simple, keep it brief

Let the fun begin and start editing. Get some help if you need it. Think about finishing this sentence, “I’m at my best when…”

It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it – not true

Well, actually it IS what you say … and it’s how you say it. Think about how you would talk about what would motivate you to get up every day and do that thing you do so well. What will you say to inspire others to ask you for more? What will you say to help them remember you?

It’s the thought that counts … and the gift

You’ve put a lot of thought into what you do best and what would motivate you to do it every day. Think of what you say about yourself as a gift you give to others. Your message is sincere and content rich, and even inspiring. Paint a picture for people so they see you succeeding. Also, if you need help, people need to know how to help you.

Want an example? Here’s mine:

I am a career coach. I’m at my best when I’m helping people connect their strengths, values and passions with the organization or business. I use a creative process to help them get really clear about what they want so they’re motivated to take action. Our careers affect every component of our lives; I consider it an honor to help people find work they really enjoy and make a positive impact.


Talking About Your Accomplishments  

by Alan Carniol  10/21/17

Let’s talk about accomplishments.

Earlier in the week, a Daily Success Boost reader emailed me with an interesting question. The gist of it is this:

Bragging about your accomplishments is easy if you worked in a revenue-generating role, like sales or marketing. But what if you worked in an “overhead expense” role, like administration? How can you brag about “streamlining office procedures” or “creating a file system” without it sounding trite?

This is a good question.

And the answer is quite simple, though not necessarily easy.

In a sense, just about every role in an organization – especially a commercial one – is “revenue-generating”. Why? Because every organization has a limited amount of resources with which to achieve its mission – and no organization can afford to employ people who do not create value.

That’s the key word, here: “value”.

Every role you ever had was a “value-creating” role. And if you were successful in those roles, then you must have created value in some way.

So, you didn’t “streamline office procedures”; you “saved an estimated 40 team hours per month by optimizing procedures for time-intensive tasks”.

You didn’t “create a file system that eliminated the need for duplication”; you “reduced the amount of paperwork your boss had to manage by 64%”.

These accomplishments created value.

But here’s the rub: value is a subjective notion.

If you want to make your accomplishment sing when you list them on your resume (or talk about them during an interview), you need to understand what the hiring manager values – and you need to communicate your “brag” in a way that talks to this value.

 Me again,

Did you recognize Diane Carver’s personal example as an elevator pitch?  It is!

Whether you are looking for an offer from a college or from an employer, you need to be clear about your value and know how to talk about yourself with confidence, not braggadocio.  I can help you discover and highlight what your target wants to find in you.  An exploratory session with feedback can be exactly what you need.  For an appointment call or text 610-212-6679 or email me at

Comparing Financial Aid Letters

When you lay out your financial aid letters you may find it impossible to figure out what it will cost at each of the colleges.  The organization and terms on each letter can be very different and few will give you a bottom-line cost.   Try this plan to come up with a real cost analysis.


For each college calculate……

Cost of Attendance          Hopefully, you saved the Cost of Attendance numbers from your pre-application research.  If you didn’t, add the tuition cost per year to the room and board cost.  You may not know the R&B cost until you deposit and choose a residence hall and room type; use the figure on the website as a ballpark number.  Add $500/year for books and supplies unless studying art, architecture and perhaps, engineering as the cost of supplies will be higher.  Next, figure out how much it will cost to travel to and from college, specially if flying is part of this expense.  Consider how much spending money the student will need.  Add it all together.

OK, now you are ready to attack the award letters.  For each award letter…..

Your EFC          From the Cost of Attendance you calculated above, subtract the Expected Family Contribution.  The resulting figure is the “Need“, the amount of money you hope the college will cover above the amount you must pay.

Merit Aid          Need can be met in various ways.  If there is one or more merit scholarship or grant offered, Pell or other grants, subtract those amounts from the Need you calculated.

Work Study          Look at the letters for Work Study.  Work study is a campus job that can be funded federally, by the state or by the college.  Subtract from the last Need figure calculated above.

Loans          Now we come to “Self Help”, ie, loans.  There will be federally subsidized and unsubsidized loans totaling $5500.  This is the maximum for first year students.  You may also see Parent Plus loans in the financial award.   These are loans parents take out in their own name and are in addition to any loans taken to fulfill the EFC.  Use this link to find more information on loans                                                                        

The Gap          When  you have subtracted all of the funding from the Cost of Attendance, you should  have a zero (or close if you’re estimating room and board).  Unfortunately, not all colleges meet all of  a student’s financial need and leave families with a Gap.

Your total commitment          Your commitment is the sum of your EFC,  servicing on-federal loans and the gap between the aid package and the Cost of Attendance.  Compare the  amount you will have to pay out of pocket for each college to find the one that is closest to your projected budget.

Scholarships from outside sources can reduce the pressure.  There are scholarships for all kinds of students and scholarships with application deadlines in every month.

Outside grants and scholarships          Students can begin to apply for college money at age 13.  The awards are held until the student matriculates in college.  These scholarships do not appear on financial aid letters from colleges.  Upon learning of the additional funding, most colleges will reduce the loans in the financial aid package, but there are some that reduce institutional grants.  When the FAFSA is filed for the student’s second year, the outside scholarships are condsidered student income when calculating the new EFC.If you will be borrowing to be able to meet the EFC,  outside scholarships can reduce the total amount of family debt.



Study Abroad Can Boost Your Future Career

Helping Students Articulate International Experiences

September 13, 2017 | By NACE Staff (National Association of Colleges and Employers)

Jason Napoli doesn’t have to look far to see evidence of the impact of international experience on a professional career.

Napoli, director of employer relations and career coaching at Cornell College in Iowa, has lived, studied, and worked across five continents. His international work includes leading service projects in the Ecuadorian Amazon and a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in India. He also led an English language acquisition program in Chicago for international students from more than 70 countries.

Napoli believes that international experiences are extremely valuable to students who are developing their skill sets for the workplace.

“International experiences develop skills in students that greatly prepare them for jobs and internships, most of which can be directly correlated to NACE’s key career competencies,” he explains. “Whether it’s critical thinking/problem solving, communication, leadership, professionalism, intercultural fluency, or teamwork, just to name a few, we have students stationed all over the world adapting to new and unpredictable conditions, while gaining experiences within these competencies.”

For example, Napoli says that when students are abroad, they often have to navigate a variety of challenges due to unforeseen transportation or banking issues, political instability, unfamiliar cultural mores, or other factors.

“This plays right into the critical thinking/problem solving competency and demonstrating adaptability,” he says. “I think adaptability is one of the most important skills a recent college graduate needs to succeed in the workplace, and that is undoubtedly gained while immersing yourself into an international experience.”

He also points to leadership, noting that by its NACE competency definition, students need to assess and manage their emotions, as well as demonstrate empathy.

“These are all skills practiced while abroad, particularly in developing countries,” Napoli says. “Whether it’s witnessing extreme poverty or viewing the effects a corrupt government can inflict on its citizens, our students observe many of the world’s unjust conditions while abroad, and acting on those issues can be powerful.”

He adds that the leadership competency definition also references the need to organize and prioritize, which directly relates to having strong time-management skills, another skill employers need, and is a key part to ensuring an individual has an impactful international experience.

“Though these skills are often acquired through what I like to call ‘experiential osmosis,’ it’s the responsibility of our profession to bring these experiences out of the students’ subconscious and apply them to what’s next,” Napoli says.

Many students struggle to effectively articulate their international experiences and the skills they developed while traveling. However, there are actions career services professionals can take to help students clear these obstacles, and strategically brand their international experiences as a benefit to employers.

First and foremost, Napoli stresses that career services professionals help students to understand that, when talking with recruiters, they shouldn’t only focus on the fun adventures they experienced and cool things they saw.

“Sure,” Napoli says, “that gorgeous beach and ancient temple were awesome, but students need to focus on what they learned, both inside and outside the classroom, lab, or office, and the personal impact it had on them and know how it’s relevant to what’s next.”

He says that heading out on an immersive experience abroad can set the expectation that students are leaving life behind for a while and escaping reality.

“In many ways, this is only natural,” Napoli says. “Some people see long-term travel as ‘getting away from it all.’ What I’ve found is actually the opposite. At no point in my life other than during long-term travel has life truly smacked me in the face and made me realize there are challenges and problems in this world. Parents get sick, friends divorce, finances are stressful, poverty is everywhere, the streets are dangerous. Realizing this not only results in personal growth, but sharing this realization with an employer can be impactful.”

At Cornell College, Napoli partners with the Office of International and Off-Campus Study to deliver a professional development workshop during the Study Abroad Returners’ Fair. The fair is a multi-day set of programming that has students reflect and present on their experiences abroad, while receiving coaching on how to articulate the experience to potential employers and graduate programs.

“This coaching is weighted toward the NACE career competencies that already exist,” Napoli says. “We also deliver material on the possibility of what’s next and share resources to help go abroad again after graduation. Many students believe the one semester during their junior or senior was their last chance to have an immersive international experience because after graduation they need to settle down and get that ‘real job.’ In reality, there are amazing opportunities for recent college graduates all over the world, whether that’s in the form of gainful employment, post-graduate service, and even graduate school.”

Napoli encourages career services practitioners to support graduates in following their wanderlust, and to provide them with resources and tools to find opportunities after graduation.

“Take graduate school for example,” Napoli says. “In many parts of Europe, and specifically the United Kingdom, a master’s degree can be acquired in one year. This makes the investment less expensive and more efficient. Our offices need to be sure that’s a known option.”

He also recommends searching throughout campus for faculty and staff who have had impactful international experiences of their own.

“Many would love to share their stories, but their specific function in the institution may not give them the opportunity to do so,” Napoli says. “Collaborate with these new people.”

Furthermore, get international students involved in sharing tips, tricks, and even contacts with domestic students for procuring employment in their particular countries.

“International students are very proud of their home countries and get excited when given the opportunity to share them with others,” Napoli says.

Several years ago, he received a request from an American law school student looking for assistance securing an international law internship in Myanmar. Knowing there were students from Yangon on campus, Napoli facilitated an introduction and the international student was more than happy to assist by using his own network.

“While many of our international students need extra assistance finding experiences here in the United States,” Napoli points out, “they can be fantastic partners to help domestic students find opportunities abroad.”

Know before you go: lets talk specifically about how study abroad can impact your degree and your career readiness. 610-212-6679,


Life Re-Imagined

In a graduate course in mental health where suicide was the topic of the day,  the statistic for suicide by gun for people over 60  was mentioned, a young student asked how older people got guns since they were all in assisted living.  Another student spoke up, pointing out that she was an example that not all of the social security eligible are in assisted living.  The class politely chuckled but were clearly surprised to meet an “elderly” classmate.

Life re-imagined encompasses the change in the way we look at our entire life, not waiting for the last few years to travel or change direction.  As younger workers lay a premium on flexibility, community engagement, values orientation in the work place, the role models for life long career development are those at or nearing what used to be retirement.

From the national Career Development Association come these statistics about post-50 yo life styles.

-$200 billion is spent annually on travel, much of it to exotic places, by people over-50.

-Volunteering amounts to savings of close to $65 billion per annum.

-70% of those over 45 plan to continue working through what used to be thought of as retirement.

-Half a million oldsters are enrolled in credit-bearing college classes.  Many more take classes for personal enrichment.

-A recent study showed that more than 50% of people aged between 65 and 74 are sexually active.

-People 65 and older say poor health is a very serious problem at the same rate as those 18-64: 12%.

Clearly, there is no red line separating older workers from younger ones.  Life planning and career development continue from college through the next 6 decades.   Each step forward builds on previous learning and adds to the foundation for the next change.

Plan wisely, look for new opportunities, keep growing; don’t assume that you will want to stop at a predetermined time or age.

Lets talk about becoming a skilled life planner including how or when to pivot your career.  I’m excited to hear your story! or 610-212-6679.


Are You Kidding Me? Paramilitary Course Required At This College

We are all concerned about the safety of students on college campuses.  In some states concern about violence has lead to changes in laws permitting “concealed-” or “open-carry” of weapons regardless of the owner’s having a license.

Given the amount of alcohol consumed by college students we should have a good hard think about the wisdom of adding firearms to the environment.

In Pennsylvania, the law is silent regarding institutions of higher education although weapons are forbidden in lower school settings.  New Jersey and New York prohibit weapons on state college campuses. Virginia allows colleges to decide but only regarding visitors to campus and only in areas where people congregate and are vulnerable.

Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia permits guns without restriction on campus.

As of May, 2017 ten states permit concealed carry on public post-secondary campuses: Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Mississippi, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.  Nine more permit guns in parking lots and locked cars.

The College of the Ozarks proposes to take guns on campus one step further: a graduation requirement that includes map reading, rifle marksmanship, military organization and protocol, and civic responsibility.

Please read the entire article from Inside Higher Education.

Do you have feedback?  Want to chat about what’s up at college? Lets do it! or 610-212-6679