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Recognizing outstanding initiatives in college and university career services. 

We are excited to celebrate our winners of the 2024 Career Leadership Collective Career Innovation Awards and our Career Services Pursuit of Excellence Awards! 

2024 Career Innovation Awards

These awards celebrate unique and impactful career development initiatives that are related to at least one of the following: scaling career development or employer relations, using career data effectively, embedding career development into the campus ecosystem, DEI in career services, faculty engagement in deploying career development, and/or brand/marketing success. 

Join us in congratulating our 2024 winners!


Georgia Institute of Technology

"AuthenTECH Partnership Program"


Loyola University Maryland

"Starting Your Career Journey"

San Diego Miramar College.jpeg

San Diego Miramar College

"Discover Series:  Discover your Drive, Discover your Superpower, Discover your Passion"

2024 Career Services Pursuit of Excellence Award

This annual award is for campuses that embody a holistic and long-standing commitment and pursuit of excellence in career services. 

These campuses exude a high commitment to growth and quality in the following five areas: 

  • Career Services Strategic Planning

  • Career Staff Leadership Development 

  • Career Outcomes Data Analysis and Visualization

  • Scaled and Equitable Career Services

  • Career Team Professional Development

We're excited to announce the 2024 Career Services Pursuit of Excellence Awards!


The University of Connecticut


George Mason University


Bowling Green State University


Carthage College

2024 Innovation Award Detail

2024 Career Innovation Award Initiatives

Georgia Institute of Technology
"AuthenTECH Partnership Program"

Over the past three years, the Georgia Institute of Technology Career Center has systematically cultivated meaningful programs and partnerships to address distinctive challenges our underserved communities may encounter in their career development journey. Guided by the framework of Equal Employment Opportunity protected classes and assessing the student landscape at Georgia Tech, we instituted the authenTECH liaison model to engage in concentrated efforts for our high-priority populations: LGBTQIA, First-Generation and Limited Income, Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Women, International, and Students with Disabilities.

The Georgia Tech Career Center identified these top two priorities in their strategic plan:  

  1. Cultivate an inclusive and robust career education experience for all Georgia Tech students. 

  2. Advance equitable college hiring practices.

Through our 30+ yearly programs and partnership initiatives focused on our high-priority populations, the Georgia Tech Career Center has achieved remarkable results, nearly doubling or, in many cases, more than doubling student engagement across a spectrum of demographic factors including gender, ethnic background, work authorization status, and more. Examples of these programs include:

  • Diversity First Career Mixer for Students: The Georgia Tech Diversity First Career Mixer provides the opportunity for employers committed to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce to network with underrepresented students in a relaxed setting. Over 200 students participated in spring 2023 and 750+ students in Fall 2023.. In the ensuing employer assessment, 70% of the employers indicated “definitely yes” and 30% “probably yes to the question “Did this event effectively support your DEI efforts at Georgia Tech?”

  • First-Generation Shadow Program: In collaboration with First Generation & Limited Income Student Initiatives, the Career Center matched 147 first-gen students with 55 employer hosts.  40% of student participants were from underrepresented populations.  88% of student participants were satisfied with the program and expressed the program expanded their career connections and raised their awareness of additional career pathways.  

  • OMED Career Pathways Program: The Career Center partnered for the past three years with the Office of Minority Educational Development (OMED)’s Career Pathways Program by collaborating on a 3-week career immersion.  This program was established as part of the 2-year Career Alliance, which was an initiative designed to ensure full and equal access to career readiness experiences for all students.  20-25 students participated each year, and as a part of the registration process students were asked to rate their confidence and abilities for a variety of career factors (networking, interviewing, etc.) Each year, students indicated an increase in confidence across all measures.

Our success shows not only in attendance but is underscored in the 97% event satisfaction rates we consistently received over the past three years. Enrollment has increased at Georgia Tech over the past three years, but the Institute’s growth is not proportional to the dramatic increase in student engagement the Career Center has generated (5,393 student engagements in 2021; 10,937 in 2023). We attribute our authenTECH relationships to our continued success. We have developed a reputation of authenticity and genuine care for our stakeholders of all backgrounds resulting in the success we see today.

Loyola University Maryland
"Starting Your Career Journey"

Increase first-year student engagement with the Career Center

Loyola University Maryland has a universal first-year program called Messina, which includes an additional hour of content each week (known as an enrichment hour). Messina working groups are encouraged to utilize this enrichment hour to address a variety of topics pertinent to first-year students. In the past, the Rizzo Career Center created 4 modules of career-related content that Messina working groups could utilize to present information to their own students during the enrichment hour. This approach left much to be desired. Not all Messina working groups utilized the modules, some utilized the modules more successfully than others, and some lacked general knowledge of the Career Center services. Additionally, Loyola continues to intentionally recruit a more diverse student body, as the current class is 40% students of color, 26% first-generation, and 22% Pell-eligible. These represent significant increases from seven years ago which was 22% students of color, 15% first-generation, and 13% Pell-eligible. The Career Center needed a new strategy to engage with first year students and address the needs of our evolving student population. We set a goal to engage with 80% of first year students during the 2023-2024 academic year, and we decided to implement a new strategy for Messina. 

Over the summer of 2023, we developed a new workshop for first-year students called Starting Your Career Journey with the Rizzo Career Center. This workshop replaced the old Messina modules and is an interactive introduction to the Career Center resources. The workshop also includes education around the hidden job market and the importance of networking. After developing the new workshop, we created a webpage for Messina groups and outlined the new process for the upcoming academic year. 

We also communicated our new strategy to Messina working groups in a variety of ways. We attended the fall training and presented a brief overview of the new process. We encouraged all working groups to schedule a workshop. Although our workshop is not mandatory for Messina, we worked hard to make it feel necessary. 

We trained our student workers to facilitate the workshop. Many of them are strong presenters, but they had to develop new skills to facilitate interaction, conversation, and activities. It was important that the workshop invite participation and sharing while providing students a chance to log-in to Handshake and explore a few key areas-Jobs, Events, and Career Center. 

By the end of February, we have engaged with 839 individual first-year students out of 1,112, which is 75.4% of the first-year class. We are on target to surpass our goal of engaging with 80% of the first-year class.

We’ve received extremely positive feedback about the workshop from Messina working groups, and we plan to solicit written feedback at the end of this academic year. We’ve also heard that working group members (faculty, staff, administrators, and student leaders) learned from our content and now have more knowledge to serve as strong referral agents to our office.

Relevant Links:

San Diego Miramar College

"Discover Series:  Discover your Drive, Discover your Superpower, Discover your Passion"

1. The purpose of the Discover Series events (Discover your Superpower, Discover your Drive, Discover your Passion) is to expose local high school students to career education programs by experiencing what it is like to be a student in college and learn more about student services such as counseling and financial aid.

2. San Diego Miramar College's Career Education and School of Business, Technical Careers, & Workforce Initiatives team puts on the Discover Series events in preparation for Signing Day so that students can actually experience what it is like be a college student in a career program that they are interested in before committing to attending college there. They get to participate in hands on activities such as putting on a fire uniform, doing lab experiments, using Diesel machines and more!

3. The results we achieve is helping students gain more clarity on choosing their major/career path by visiting a college, sitting in the classroom, meeting faculty, staff, and getting the opportunity to try hands on activities.

Relevant Links:

PAST Winners

  • Ball State University

  • Arizona State University

  • Johns Hopkins University

  • Pomona College

  • Utah State University

  • Belmont University

  • California State University, Fullerton

  • Endicott College

  • New York University

  • Santa Clara University

  • DePaul University

  • Miami University Ohio

  • Northern Arizona University

  • University of Connecticut, Hartford

  • University of Nebraska, Business Career Center

  • University of Redlands

Check Out Our Summer 2024 Virtual Think Tanks

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