Josh Domitrovich, doctoral candidate of Administration and Leadership Studies, presented at the National Association of Colleges and Employers Conference in Orlando, Florida, in June 2019. His conference proposal-turned-paper, through the guidance of Julie Ankrum in the doctoral class Writing for Publication, was submitted to the NACE Journal for publication, and was accepted for print in February 2020.

His paper was titled "Creating a Mentoring Program: Using Gamification to Increase Students' Career Readiness and Graduation Outcomes."


In 2015, Clarion University of Pennsylvania's Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) challenged its staff to consider innovative and progressive ways to develop new and re-engineer existing programs and services. With NACE's career readiness competencies in mind, the office inter-departmentally collaborated with selective academic departments to understand how it could (1) enhance students' career readiness competencies, (2) strengthen faculty collaboration and support of CCPD initiatives, (3) increase students' first destination outcomes, and (4) boost alumni engagement.

This article presents how Clarion University, an institution with less than 5,000 students, researched, developed, and institutionalized a high-impact student-to-alumni mentoring program, which has increased student and alumni engagement by 200%, faculty collaboration by 75%, and continues to achieve first destination outcomes of over 90%. The article will outline two unique life cycles of mentorship programs: the program life cycle and student life cycle. The program life cycle outlines research, (re)development of programs and services, and assessment criteria. The student life cycle presents data from Clarion University to showcase how the (re)development of programs and services positively affected students' transition from college to career. The article concludes with lessons learned and recommendations.

Department of Professional Studies in Education