Launching Into Life After College

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This chapter reports on a course that is designed to facilitate the students’ transition out of college and into life after graduation. It describes how the course foregrounds the problems students face, both the technical aspects of the transition and the emotional experience, unthought out ideas about what the students want, their goals, and how they might go about achieving their goals. The authors report on the course culture, assignments, observations from teaching the course, student feedback from focus groups, surveys, behavior, as well as summaries of data on the student’s experience.

The need for this course is supported by the research literature on emerging adulthood. In addition, the authors report on focus group and survey data gathered. The modern discourse on the post-college transition commonly emphasizes economic and practical hurdles, such as educational loan debt, student employability, skill transferability, career networking, and job interviewing. Receiving far less attention are the psychosocial and developmental dimensions that color the student experience of the graduation transition.

Yet very few colleges and universities have paid attention to this glaring need, especially public institutions with many first-generation college students. This chapter describes a college course dealing with the problem of transitioning to life after college taught in an intellectual, communal, and personal atmosphere.