About the Program

Dean Career Advantage (DCA) is a four-year program with a holistic approach that embeds career services into everything that you do at Dean College, both in and out of the classroom. Career preparation is unavoidable at Dean. From student activities to residence life, to conversations with alumni and more, career planning is addressed year one to ensure that you are ready for your future, developing skills and knowledge to be competitive in the global market. 

Two shirts that read "I'm hired" on the frontA student holding up a shirt that reads "I'm hired" on the front

Recognition

Dean College earned National recognition in 2020-21 as a Career Development College of Distinction for the second consecutive year. 

Colleges of Distinction Career Development Badge 2020-2021

In and Out of the Classroom

Visit the below drop down list to learn more about what you will learn each year, both in and out of the classroom, through Dean Career Advantage (DCA).

Learn more about the courses you will take during year one of the DCA.

In the Classroom 

During the fall semester of year one, you will be enrolled in Campus Connections DCA 100, taught by Success & Career Advisors. Here you will:

  • Be assigned a point person for advising and career exploration
  • Acclimate to college life
  • Learn more about campus resources
  • Get involved and engaged on campus 
  • Access DEAN CareerLink and start your Individualized Career Guide, a year by year checklist to prepare for working in a competitive environment
  • Network among your peers
  • Discuss the importance of your resume

During the spring semester of year one, you will be enrolled in Career Connections DCA 110 where you will: 

  • Utilize Focus2 to explore career options both in and out of your major
  • Explore careers that align with your major
  • Determine strengths and passions as they pertain to your future career goals
  • Create your first professional resume
  • Create your first LinkedIn account
  • Revisit DEAN CareerLink and check off steps in your Individualized Career Guide

Outside of the Classroom

Outside of the classroom, the Dean Career Advantage (DCA) will help you to:

  • Get involved on campus
  • Receive mentorship by faculty and staff and leaders within clubs and organizations
  • Get involved with residence hall programming, developing essential workplace skills
  • Make connections with faculty 
  • Attend Dean Leadership in Action speaker series to learn about individual career paths and journeys. 
  • Learn from leaders in their fields by way of guest speakers
  • Gain encouragement from Success & Career Advisors, gaining real-life work experience by way of work-study, part-time on and off campus jobs and summer jobs
  • Attend workshops to reinforce resume, cover letter, LinkedIn, networking, interviewing and more
  • Attend employer showcases, graduate school information sessions, career fairs, alumni panels and more

Additional Career Development Resources 

Through additional course work not related to the Dean Career Advantage (DCA) courses, you will gain knowledge in:

  • Real-world applications across all disciplines 
  • Essential skills needed for your career 
  • Creating a summer plan (work or volunteerism) with your Success & Career Advisors to gain experience
  • Digital skills in Communications, English and more

Learn more about the courses you will take during year two of the DCA.

In the Classroom 

Year two, you will complete DCA 200 Internship Connections – Creating Your Plan, taught by faculty within your major. In the course, you will learn how to:  

  • Prepare for experiential courses and internship opportunities  
  • Navigate your way through internship requirements
  • Update your resume so that it is internship ready
  • Draft a cover letter for internship applications
  • Practice for mock interviewing
  • Prepare for informational interviews to determine the best career options
  • Review and discuss appropriate workplace behavior
  • Complete your Individualized Career Guide 

After this course, you can choose your own adventure and explore a variety of DCA courses. 

Outside the Classroom 

Outside of the classroom, during year two of the Dean Career Advantage (DCA) you will:

  • Explore study away options
  • Maintain involvement in the clubs/organizations you joined previously, taking on leadership roles
  • Join additional clubs/organizations that might fill skills gaps
  • Volunteer, gain additional certifications, badges, etc. and to enhance your resumes and increase your skillset
  • Participate in workshops to reinforce resume, cover letter, LinkedIn, networking, interviewing and more
  • Participate in employer showcases, graduate school information sessions, career fairs, alumni panels and more
  • Gain real-life work experience by way of work-study, part-time on and off-campus jobs and summer jobs

Additional Career Development Resources 

Through additional course work not related to the Dean Career Advantage (DCA) courses, you will gain knowledge by:

  • Working on experiential course work 
  • Volunteering for sports events, assisting in front of house management for campus performances, etc.

Learn more about the courses you will take during year three of the DCA.

In the Classroom 

In year three, you will complete DCA 350 Future Connections: Launching Your Career. In the course, you will:

  • Think about life after Dean
  • Revisit and perfect your resume 
  • Revisit and perfect your LinkedIn profile 
  • Participate in networking opportunities 
  • Participate in mock interviews with industry professionals
  • Learn about student loan repayment options
  • Revisit DEAN CareerLink and check off steps in  In your Individualized Career Guide

Additional DCA courses will include:

  • Research to assist social sciences majors gain experiences to enter graduate programs
  • The Global Experience, allowing students participating in the Study Away program to reflect on the experience 
  • The Leadership Experience, to assist to develop leadership skills 
  • The Conference Experience, professional development opportunities  

Outside the Classroom

Outside of the classroom, during year three of the Dean Career Advantage (DCA) you will:

  • Take on leadership opportunities on e-boards for clubs and organizations 
  • Participate in ongoing workshops to reinforce resume, cover letter, LinkedIn, networking, interviewing, etc. 
  • Attend employer showcases, graduate school information sessions, career fairs, alumni panels and more
  • Provide you with encouragement from Success & Career Advisors to gain real-life work experience by way of work-study, part-time on and off-campus jobs and summer jobs

Additional Career Development Resources 

  • Continued hands-on projects that provide you with real-world experiences that you can add to your resume and practice essential workplace skills

Learn more about the courses you will take during year four of the DCA.

In the Classroom

During year four, you will continue to take Dean Career Advantage (DCA) courses that provide you with hands-on resume-worthy experiences, including:

  • Research to assist social sciences majors gain experiences to enter graduate programs
  • The Global Experience, allowing students participating in the Study Away program to reflect on the experience 
  • The Leadership Experience, to assist to develop leadership skills 
  • The Conference Experience, professional development opportunities  

Additional Career Development Resources 

In non-DCA classes, students continue to work on projects that work to develop both hard skills and essential workplace skills

Outside of the Classroom

You will work closely with your Success & Career Advisor and faculty mentors to apply for opportunities and/or graduate school, executing the plan you have created

Revisit DEAN CareerLink and checking off steps in your Individualized Career Guide

Skills Employers Want

Through the Dean Career Advantage (DCA) you will learn the skills employers seek in workers, including communications, problem-solving, critical thinking, teamwork and more.

Below is a list of attributes that employers seek on a candidate's resume.* 

  • Problem-solving skills 91.2% 
  • Ability to work in a team 86.3% 
  • Strong work ethic 80.4% 
  • Analytical/quantitative skills 79.4% 
  • Communication skills (written) 77.5%
  • Leadership 72.5% 
  • Communication skills (verbal) 69.6% 
  • Initiative 69.6% 
  • Detail-oriented 67.6% 
  • Technical skills 65.7% 
  • Flexibility/adaptability 62.7% 
  • Interpersonal skills (relates well to others) 62.7% 
  • Computer skills 54.9% 
  • Organizational ability 47.1% 
  • Strategic planning skills 45.1% 
  • Friendly/outgoing personality 29.4%
  • Entrepreneurial skills/risk-taker 24.5% 
  • Tactfulness 24.5% 
  • Creativity 23.5% 
  • Fluency in a foreign language 2.9%

*Source: www.nace.org. November 2019. Job Outlook 2020