David Hummels, the Dean of the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University, had a vision that students should be active partners in their own professional development. This vision began with the CareerBound Initiative, which develops career-ready leaders through access to world-class experiences, academic opportunities and support from the Krannert community. Krannert’s CareerBound Initiative is implemented through Suitable’s platform with its gamified co-curricular approach and portfolio of personalized professional development opportunities. Students complete experiences to earn badges, points and prizes in a framework designed to help them develop the eight NACE competencies that Krannert focuses on.
Established in 1962, the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University is located in West Lafayette, Indiana. With over 2,700 undergraduate students and a 74% four-year graduation rate, this public research university has rightfully earned the AACSB accreditation. In 2021, the U.S. News & World Report ranked Krannert as the #10 best undergraduate programs in Production/Operations Management and Supply Chain Management/Logistics.
Student engagement has always been a challenge at Krannert, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. There was no gamification or incentives, which led to mixed engagement results. The Krannert team wondered if there was a solution that could provide students the opportunity to engage in a way that is not only rewarding, but fun. They developed the CareerBound Initiative but needed an intuitive way to track student progress and the associated student involvement data. This is where Suitable came in. Krannert wanted a platform that was easy to use and accessible for both students and staff members that also provided flexibility and personalization. Beyond just the superior technology, Krannert also valued the great client-vendor partnership Suitable offers through their University Success division. The staff at Suitable was able to serve as a trusted advisor and consultant to Krannert, which was instrumental in realizing their vision of transforming their undergraduate experience.
To catch incoming students as early as possible, Krannert has an introductory module on Suitable about their CareerBound program that students can complete at their own pace. This module introduces the eight NACE competencies and the intention behind the program in a way that is manageable for students. These competencies are also baked into Krannert’s curricula through various types of assignments. Through collaboration with their faculty, Krannert is able to identify opportunities to pull activities from the classroom and integrate them into Suitable to concurrently give credit to students for the professional development that’s happening during their academic experiences.
Krannert launched their pilot program in 2020 with 100 first-year students in a learning community that acted as one cohort. Even during the pandemic, the Suitable platform got these students excited to engage remotely. Suitable’s mobile-first technology made it possible for Krannert to continue reaching students even when campus was closed . The Suitable app was a game changer for Krannert as it provided an easy access point to the student’s schedule and student experience regardless of where they were. Providing the students with this platform allowed them to take ownership of their professional development, whether it be through just-in-time experiences or asynchronous on-demand activities. Not only is each student’s experience personalized, but also efficient.
One of the major capabilities of Suitable is the badging system. How badges are made is completely unique and customizable to the school. This unrivaled flexibility lets Krannert meet their students, student organizations and industry partners in ways never before possible. When students earn a badge on Suitable, that collection of experiences appears in their portfolio of accomplishments that they can share with their network – their Co-Curricular Transcript. Additionally, the dopamine push that students get when they complete a badge is an incentive to keep them coming back for more.
After a short year and a half of partnership with the Krannert School of Management, the outcomes continue to speak for themselves. Even through the pandemic, student involvement grew year over year. Participation in different events that focused on the Krannert’s CareerBound competencies encouraged students to feel a sense of belonging, accomplishment and well-being. Plus, Suitable’s platform collects student reflections and feedback on their co-curricular experiences, providing both qualitative and quantitative data about their learning and development.
With initial success with Suitable, Krannert looks forward to furthering platform adoption with students to achieve their short-term and long-term goals.
In the short-term, the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University hopes to:
As for Krannert’s long-term vision, they plan to form a student resilience team to incentivize participation and receive student feedback through Suitable. This goal will help with identifying earlier opportunities for career exploration, career readiness and career learning. Additionally, Krannert can use the retention data on Suitable to identify at-risk students and intervene earlier. Finally, Krannert hopes to connect their CareerBound competencies to the AACSB accreditation standards when they’re up for re-accreditation.