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JFF’s Kristina Francis in “If We Truly Want a Level Playing Field, We Must Focus on Social Capital”

March 22, 2022

At a Glance

For students to really benefit from postsecondary education, they need support to understand the world of work, build connections, and activate networks.

Carlin Praytor Communications Manager, JFF Labs
Practices & Centers

To ensure that all college students have access to high-wage jobs after graduation, higher education institutions must offer tailored career-readiness resources and experiences that help learners build social capital.

College career services can play a significant part in efforts to address occupational segregation and racial economic inequities in higher education and beyond. The work Jobs for the Future (JFF) has done to eliminate the economic barriers facing Black Americans, in particular, emphasizes the role of social capital in helping Black Americans navigate the labor market through mentorship, and networking.

In an article she wrote for THE Campus with Andy Chan, vice president of innovation and career development at Wake Forest University, JFFLabs Executive Director Kristina Francis discusses the role of college career services in providing all students with equal access to the connections and networks that will set them up for success and career advancement. In an increasingly virtual environment, digital career services have been embraced by institutions as an accessible way to connect college students with alumni or peer-mentors and address their unique needs as they prepare for the new world of work.

We must ensure that relationship-building and developing social capital, especially for students from communities long under-represented in [higher education], is an essential component of the student experience.

Kristina Francis, Executive Director, JFFLabs & Andy Chan, Vice-President of Innovation and Career Development, Wake Forest University
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On Times Higher Education
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