University of Regina guarantees employment for graduates

Students who enroll at the University of Regina can now rest assured that they will find a career-orientated job after graduation. The university has unveiled a program guaranteeing that students get employment within six months of graduation, or the university will provide them with another year of courses free of charge.

University of Regina president Vianne Timmons said the “guarantee” program is building on the success of the university’s co-op program, the first of its kind in western Canada.

“We currently have a 97 per cent rate of all our students going to either grad school or employment. We want to make this 100 per cent,” Timmons said in an interview.

If U of R students choose to participate in the guarantee program, they must participate in
“academic, leadership and service opportunities,” according to the program website.

This includes career counselors, career fairs, internships, mock interviews, networking as well as participation in a number of leadership opportunities, such as serving the university ambassador and performing community service.

“This program is more about student engagement than anything. Over the four years, [students will] work through a series of activities and experiences that enhance the connection between their studies and their career,” said Timmons.

Kevin Bolen, U of R manager of career services, told the Regina Leader-Post that his department will be working with students who are enrolled in the guarantee program.

“I have to admit I’m very excited about [the guarantee program]. I think if students participate in all the steps along the way, there’s no reason why they won’t be successful at the end of their program,” Bolen told the Leader-Post.

“During the course of those four years, they will have done a lot of self-reflection and they will have determined what their skills are, and also how to promote those skills to potential employers.”

Timmons said that the program is intended to have students utilize all available supports and services that they may have not known were available.

“The transition to university is such a big one for [students]. They often don’t take advantage of all those supports unless they run into difficulties. We want this to be proactive so that they take advantage of the supports so they don’t run into difficulties,” she said.

Timmons said that once students graduate, the university will work with them for six months to help them find career-oriented employment.

During the six months, students will be asked to maintain a networking and job search log and complete a professional portfolio that includes a resume, job search letter, job search plan and 20-40 employer contacts.

“The students, once they graduate, we will work with them on career placement. If in six months we’re not successful and I say [the issue was] we, the university, [and] not the student, then we will provide an opportunity for that student to take a whole year of courses where we cover the tuition,” she said.

“All through that extra year, they will still get the career counseling and support. What we’re guaranteeing is that 18 months after you graduate, U of R will work with you to get you a job.”