The NACE Career Readiness Assessment on Suitable

Learn More
Back to Case Studies
Student Engagement
Student Success

Boosting Student Engagement and Launching Career Readiness Program


Solutions Used


Want to learn more?

Watch The Video


Situated in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, Shippensburg University is a distinguished institution that provides education to more than 4,500 undergraduate students and 750 graduate students. Offering a comprehensive academic experience, the university boasts an impressive array of 250 undergraduate programs and two doctoral programs.

Founded originally as a teacher’s college, Shippensburg University takes pride in being the exclusive host of the sole public lab school catering to grades K through 5. The institution holds accreditation from 11 bodies, supports 20 NCAA Division 2 teams, and has garnered 12 Fulbright Scholars awards since 2010.

Notably, Shippensburg University stands as the lone state university in Pennsylvania offering degrees in Civil Engineering (BS), Computer Engineering (BS), Electrical Engineering (BS), Entrepreneurship (BSBA), Mechanical Engineering (BS), and Software Engineering (BS). This commitment to diverse academic offerings reflects the university’s dedication to providing students with a well-rounded and innovative educational experience.

About the School

Shippensburg University is committed to delivering career and professional development programs tailored to the needs of students and alumni. Through a comprehensive approach, the university provides valuable experience and learning opportunities aimed at guiding students towards the attainment of both personal and professional objectives.

Screenshot 2024-02-05 at 2.33.53 PM

The Career Center at Shippensburg Univerity actively executes initiatives in career and professional development by engaging in service learning, collaborating with employers and alumni, and extending outreach both with and beyond the university campus. This approach is designed to cultivate meaningful partnerships with the campus and surrounding community.

The overarching vision of their university is to cultivate an environment centered around students, characterized by professionalism, responsiveness, reflection, social responsibility, and collaboration. By embodying these principles, Shippensburg University aims to empower students to recognize and realize their professional potential.

Challenges before Suitable

Prior to collaborating with Suitable, Shippensburg University lacked an efficient and centralized tracking system. The prevailing methods involved utilizing spreadsheets across different colleges and departments. The absence of a comprehensive system posed challenges in monitoring students’ progress through data, resulting in an incomplete understanding of their professional and extracurricular development. Despite efforts to encourage student participation through incentives such as extra credit, pizza, and other prizes, low engagement persisted due to the limited communication of events through posters and emails. 

Recognizing that significant skill development occurs beyond the classroom, the university acknowledged the necessity for an improved approach to not only monitor such progress but also to effectively showcase students’ skills beyond academic achievements.

Life with Suitable

The John L Grove College of Business embarked on a mission to establish a certification program that would equip students with practical skills for the professional realm. Previous attempts by the Career Center to implement a similar initiative in other colleges proved unsuccessful. However, a successful collaboration with Suitable led to the inception of the Raider Ready Program, a comprehensive endeavor aimed at highlighting students’ skills beyond academic achievements. This initiative aligns seamlessly with the university’s strategic objective of fostering engagement in dynamic educational experiences among students, faculty, and staff.

To maintain a cohesive identity, the program’s branding draws inspiration from the university’s nautical theme and school colors. Leveraging the talents of art major students, the program enlisted their expertise to design inclusive and non-gendered badges representing various achievements.

Raider Ready operates on a two-tier structure, incorporating the eight core NACE Career Readiness Competencies. The Crew level encompasses first-year and sophomore students, while the Captain Level is tailored for juniors and seniors. These competencies include critical thinking, communication, teamwork, information technology, professionalism, leadership, career and self-development, and equity and inclusion. Participants in the program are required to engage in specific activities for each competency. Upon completion, students receive badges, symbolizing their dedication to holistic learning beyond the traditional classroom setting.

Screenshot 2024-02-05 at 2.34.26 PM

Integration of the program extends to foundational classes, which contribute to students’ overall grades. In addition, in-class presentations are conducted to familiarize students with the eight NACE competencies and the Raider Ready Program, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of its benefits and objectives.

Screenshot 2024-02-05 at 2.41.55 PM

Outcomes Achieved

Since the implementation of Raider Ready, Shippensburg University has implemented inventive methods to monitor attendance and gather real-time feedback during live events. The platform enables the seamless recording and subsequent posting of events on Suitable, facilitating asynchronous viewing for students unable to attend in person. This streamlined process significantly reduces the steps required for students to showcase their skills beyond traditional classroom participation. 

The integration of Radier Ready into the academic curriculum has proven highly successful in acquainting students with the platform. Collaborating with faculty in seminar classes has further bolstered student engagement with the program. Moreover, Shippensburg University extends a comprehensive “turn-key program” to faculty, managing all technical, presentation, activity validation, and reporting aspects of the initiative.

Through the automated capture of student progress data, Raider Ready continually leverages feedback to refine and enhance its program. The strategic focus on specific developmental areas, such as distinct careers, industries, athletics, or overarching themes like professional development and wellness, has yielded exceptional results. By honing in on these particulars, the platform consistently enhances the overall learning experience, facilitating the effortless generation of reports for professors, staff, and coaches.


Plans for the Future

In the future, Raider Ready is poised to embark on a significant expansion of its leadership development program, driven by a commitment to fostering the holistic growth of its student body. This strategic initiative goes beyond the mere augmentation of existing frameworks; it is a visionary step toward creating a comprehensive leadership ecosystem that transcends traditional boundaries. Raider Ready aims to not only fortify the current leadership development program but also to introduce innovative incentives specifically tailored for upperclassmen, adding a nuanced layer of support and resources to propel them towards successful career trajectories.

The envisioned expansion includes the introduction of a specialized career fair designed to cater to the unique needs and aspirations of upperclassmen. This bespoke event will serve as a nexus, connecting students with tailored opportunities, industry professionals, and potential employers. By cultivating an environment where upperclassmen can explore and chart their career paths with precision, Raider Ready seeks to empower them with the tools and insights necessary for a seamless transition into the professional world.

The organization is further committed to enhancing the growth of student-athletes by fostering engagement through various touchpoints and activities in collaboration with the Career Center. Raider Ready aims to command consistent attendance among specific student-athletes and establish checkpoint assignments to augment the efficacy of student-athlete development programs.

Additionally, in the realm of expansion, Raider Ready is on the brink of introducing a groundbreaking initiative that involves the creation of badges tailored to distinct majors and departments. These badges would be meticulously designed for disciplines such as the School of Engineering or the esteemed Raider’s Edge Professional Advancement Program, aiming to provide students with tangible recognition of their expertise and accomplishments within their specific academic domains.

Screenshot 2024-02-05 at 2.35.00 PM

Beyond the creation of badges, Raider Ready wants to actively pursue a holistic integration of its program across various campus departments. This visionary approach seeks to forge collaborative partnerships, not only with academic entities but also with first-year students and Greek life, enhancing the program’s reach and impact. By fostering symbiotic relationships with these diverse sectors of campus life, Raider Ready envisions a multifaceted support network that transcends traditional boundaries, fostering a dynamic community committed to leadership development and career success.

A strategic refinement they are looking to make focuses on their incentive structure. They believe making these refinements to their organizational agenda, will represent a calculated move to elevate the overall student experience. Raider Ready plans to implement a series of networking events that provide students with valuable opportunities to connect with professionals and industry leaders, thereby enriching their professional networks. Additionally, the organization aims to grant early access to career fairs, ensuring that students actively participating in the program are at the forefront of potential career opportunities.

Lastly, Raider Ready plans to make a distinctive move by issuing “no ticket” cards as part of its incentive structure. These exclusive cards will serve as golden tickets, affording highly engaged students special access to premium professional development opportunities and a preview of future career prospects. This forward-thinking strategy reflects Raider Ready’s dedication to not only recognizing but also actively cultivating the potential of its student body, creating a trajectory for success that extends far beyond the confines of academia.