How a N.Y. college helps STEM students succeed

Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology's partnership with a digital marketing agency is helping its graduates land great jobs and also helping it recruit new students into its post-secondary STEM education program.

gopro vaughn college stem careers
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Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology is taking a unique approach to building its pipeline of incoming talent and helping its outgoing seniors land prime jobs after graduation through a partnership with digital marketing agency EGC.

Through the initiative, the college provides GoPro cameras to students and lets them use the technology to create videos to show off their achievements, interests and skills. "These students are the future generation of tech employees. Our Next Generation Education campaign is designed both to elevate the Vaughn College name throughout the greater New York City area and beyond to help these students land great STEM jobs and also to encourage incoming freshman to pursue their education there," says Nicole Laurrari, managing partner, EGC.

Lights, camera, action

The campaign gives these Vaughn College students, referred to as student ambassadors, the opportunity to spread their creative wings and show off their value to potential employers. "This is a great opportunity for these students to publish. They're blogging, they're creating content, they're publishing their videos on social media and in portfolios they can use in their job search; they take tremendous pride in their education and are excited to have this voice in directing their own career path," Laurrari says.

Considering Vaughn's specialty in aeronautics and technology, most graduates are headed to careers in STEM fields like engineering, mathematics, aviation and mechatronics.

Vaughn's GoPro initiative with EGC is also helping advance more women into technology fields. "Vaughn College is seeing a lot of women interested in their programs and in STEM careers, and they're using these experiences and the ability to publish and document their experience and skills as a way to launch into these fields," Laurrari says.

The next generation of talent

It's also helping drive more high school seniors' interest in the school and in tech careers in general, which will help companies looking to build a pipeline of tech talent for the coming generations.

"Our conversations around what influences students and parents to choose the school highlighted the unique opportunities Vaughn offers. Vaughn students are doing things that aren't typical at other schools: They're in robotics labs. They have a flight simulator. They're doing experimental work with mechatronics and helping drive the innovation of technology. It's hearing from other students about the actual experiences and the hands-on learning they're doing that will help increase enrollment," she says.

You can find examples of Vaughn's student ambassador videos on its YouTube page; as students create new videos and portfolios, they'll be sharing their work and insight on Vaughn's blog, says Laurrari.

This story, "How a N.Y. college helps STEM students succeed" was originally published by CIO.

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