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Student Engagement

Inside Illinois State University’s Redbird Career Portfolio

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With the goal of improving their students' professional development and career readiness, the business school at Illinois State University has developed the Red Bird Career Portfolio (RCP). After transitioning the program onto Suitable's platform, within just a year their student engagement tripled! 

About the School

The business school at Illinois State University has over 4,000 enrolled students. The school has developed a professional development program called the Red Bird Career Portfolio (RCP).

Challenge before Suitable

The Dean at the Illinois State business school was noticing that their students were well prepared academically but needed more assistance in improving their professionalism and career readiness. To help their students feel more prepared and confident in their future career, Illinois State needed to fix this problem and begin engaging their students in career development earlier on. Illinois State needed to find a way to motivate the [middle 60%] of students that are not consistently engaged. The college constructed the Red Bird Career Portfolio (RCP) to better encourage, track, and assess their students' involvement. When the program was first started, Illinois State was using a different system but they started realizing that students were not happy with it because it was difficult for them to see their progress and the value of their participation. This is when Illinois State heard about Suitable and quickly learned that it is much better for their school and students.

Life with Suitable

The RCP had a slow start when it was stuck in the old system, but once Illinois State adopted Suitable, they saw a tremendous increase of participation in student activities. With Suitable’s intuitive platform, students have made a smooth transition and really appreciate the app because of its simplicity, single sign in, and how information and events are right in front of them. With Suitable, faculty and students are able to instantly track all learning experiences outside the classroom in real-time. Another way Suitable was able to help elevate RCP was through our “Levels of Proficiency”. This enables Illinois State to scaffold the student’s experience overtime, in a logical and personalized way. It also doubles as an engagement tool that helps students measure their own progress and stay engaged like never before. 

Suitable’s gamified learning experience has also provided the RCP with a badging system that showcases skill development and recognizes their achievements outside the classroom. Suitable provides each student with a personalized Experiential Learning Record that automatically logs all the experiences that students participate in and helps students tell their unique story. On Suitable, students can differentiate themselves by sharing their records with employers and posting it on their LinkedIn. Since elevating their student experience with Suitable, it's been not only helping Illinois State achieve far greater levels of student engagement but it’s also improving the value offered to students.

Outcomes Achieved

Illinois State’s partnership with Suitable has helped the college better track their student’s success outside the classroom and offer insights into what’s working. Student engagement in the program has increased from 557 students to 1,544 active students, nearly tripling. Of this, over 3,100 badges have been awarded to students. In total, 10,084 activities have been completed in just one semester on Suitable, with the top students completing over 40 activities. Plus, Illinois State business faculty completely supported the initiative which was a critical component of the successful launch and ongoing success of RCP.

Plans for the Future

In the future, Illinois State’s business school plans on expanding their use of Suitable’s student experience software. The school plans on maintaining student engagement with all cohorts while continuing to enroll new ones over time. They are also planning to start involving employer partners so that recruiters can identify activities that best fit within their organization and interested students can participate in those activities. Illinois State is excited to use the data that was achieved with Suitable for AACSB accreditation reporting because it gives a breakdown of levels of activity within core competencies and Student Learning Objectives.