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Message from the CCWT Director

Since the Fall 2018 semester finished on college and university campuses worldwide, it’s time to take a deep breath and take stock of the past year.

For our team here at CCWT, it’s been a busy and gratifying year as we’ve begun sharing our research and programs with students, educators, and others engaged in college-workforce issues around the entire country.

Some highlights of the year include fantastic speakers at our monthly seminar series like Dr. Angela Byars-Winston on implicit bias, racism and career development, the 1st annual symposium on college internship research, and our Participatory Action Research project with Hmong-American (HMoob) undergraduates about their experiences with the college climate and career planning.

As 2019 begins we plan to keep on cultivating a community around these projects and issues, all the while keeping students’ experiences and welfare at the heart of our activities. Providing an outlet for students’ voices and experiences is a central part of our mission, and we hope you’ll join us in continuing to add a student-centered perspective to national and even global debates about college-workforce transitions.

New Research and Publications from the CCWT Team

The Center has released two new reports:

Symposium Event Summary Report

The first is a summary of the 1st annual symposium on college internship research that was held on September 28th, 2018 in Madison, WI. The report was prepared by Mun Yuk Chin, who is a graduate student in the Counseling Psychology PhD program at UW–Madison. Check out the report and videos from the event at the CCWT website.

Results from the College Internship Study at Madison College Report

The College Internship Study logo

On Friday, December 7th, we released the first report from the College Internship Study, with a presentation to faculty, staff and administrators at Madison Area Technical College in Madison, WI. We presented key findings from the first wave of data collection (Spring 2018) and engaged in a spirited conversation about implications for internship programs, student outcomes, and future data collection effort. The report is located at the CCWT website.

One of the insights we’ve gleaned from our research on internships is how students themselves are experiencing these programs. CCWT researchers Matt Wolfgram and Emily Parrott wrote about the role of risk in internship programs in our CCWT blog.

Our Participatory Action Research project with Hmong-American (HMoob) undergraduate students at UW–Madison is in full swing! CCWT researchers Matt Wolfgram and Bailey Smolarek wrote about the project, which is exploring how HMoob student experiences on a college campus are influencing their education and career goals.

New research reports and articles: Internships in East Asia

This month we’re featuring a batch of research papers about college internships in East Asia. Internships and other forms of work-based learning are a worldwide phenomenon, and at CCWT we’re engaged in a research project comparing internship programs in China, Japan and the US. So check these out if you’re interested in internships in another cultural context.

-Lian, J. K., Foo, Z. Y., & Ling, F. Y. Y. (2018). Value of internships for professional careers in the built environment sector in Singapore. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 25(1), 77-89.

-Xiaohao, D., & Feifei, Z. (2018). Returns to Chinese College Student Investment of Time in Internships and In-School Learning: A Theoretical Model and Empirical Analysis. Chinese Education & Society, 51(4), 294-306.

-Rose, P. (2018). Internships in China: exploring contextual perspectives. Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning, 8(4), 438-450.

-Smith, C., & Chan, J. (2015). Working for two bosses: Student interns as constrained labour in China. Human Relations, 68(2), 305-326.

In the Field: CCWT learns from Milwaukee-area employers and higher ed stakeholders

CCWT researchers joined Milwaukee-area employers and campus stakeholders at the Milwaukee Area College Internship Symposium’s most recent professional development event on Friday, December 7.

The event, “Wait…What About Me?”, centered on the value of recruiting and hiring humanities degrees. The event featured the unique voices and perspectives of employers, faculty, career services professionals, alumni, and current students. Many participants spoke about the well-rounded skills that humanities graduates can bring to the workplace, while employers shared advice about how humanities graduates can distinguish themselves in the application process. Employers reinforced the importance of exhibiting confidence and submitting well-crafted application materials, and several employers also discussed the advantages of developing supplementary technical skills. While employers in attendance expressed a willingness to train new hires in more technical areas, there seems to be a labor market advantage for a humanities graduate who can demonstrate a foundational knowledge in a technical area like programming. Overall, our team was pleased to be part of a shared conversation about how to better support college students while also meeting the workforce demands of Wisconsin.

Hmoob Study StaffPresenting “Our HMoob American College Paj Ntaub”

CCWT is partnering with a student organization at UW-Madison called the HMoob American Studies Committee in a qualitative research project to document the sociocultural and institutional factors that impact the college experiences of HMoob American students. Flyer
Please join us for a presentation and discussion of our research findings:
February 1st 2019, noon,
Wisconsin Idea Room
 (Education Building, Room 159).
Lunch Provided!

Teaching “soft skills” college course available in spring 2019.

With this seven-module online certificate, CCWT Director leads postsecondary professionals through the history and science of four important skills – communication, teamwork, critical thinking, and self-motivated learning—and how to integrate them into college courses.

Center for Research on College to Workforce Transitions (CCWT)

1025 West Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53706
For more information contact Project Manager Amy Rivera at

The Center for College-Workforce Transitions (CCWT) is housed within the Wisconsin Center for Education Research (WCER) at the School of EducationUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison. ©2017 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.