BOONE, N.C. — As an Appalachian State University student, you’ve written the papers, taken the tests and mastered the art of the PowerPoint presentation, but have you established your social media presence or thought about how you will introduce yourself at a networking event?
Beginning in spring 2019, Appalachian juniors and seniors will have the opportunity to take a one-credit course titled College to Career, designed to facilitate students’ professional and career development path. The course is a collaboration between Appalachian’s Student Learning Center and Career Development Center.
“The course is designed to provide structured guidance and assignments that help prepare students for next steps after graduation,” said Michelle Brown, assistant director of career exploration in the Career Development Center. “Various reading assignments, guest speakers and experiential activities, including attending career fairs and related events, will be incorporated to provide students a real-world view of the world of work.”
Brown said objectives for the course include:
- Self-discovery related to career decision making.
- Understanding the workplace.
- Enhancing skills in networking, interviewing, financial literacy and writing.
Heather Lippard, director of academic strategy instruction in the Student Learning Center and an instructor for one of the course’s sections, said the idea for the course came from discussions and meetings in which multiple conversations took place about the need for a career preparation course.
The course provides students a framework for and an opportunity to work on putting together a resume and writing a cover letter, as well as reviewing their social media presence and practicing how to interact with others at a networking event — activities Lippard said people don’t always consider when preparing for the work world after college.
In addition to being required to attend career fairs held on campus throughout the semester, students in the class will have the opportunity to meet and get comfortable speaking with career counselors, and will learn about the career development resources available to them.
“For most of us, when we are hesitant about trying something new, a lot of it is fear of the unknown and not knowing what we can expect,” Lippard said of students’ general hesitation in seeking out counselors. “By easing them in this way, we can give them a little bit of a nudge in the right direction, so they have more of a comfort level with seeking out those individuals that work (in the Career Development Center).”
Lippard described an example of an early assignment in the course, in which students will be tasked with asking professionals around them what they wish they’d known when they were getting ready to graduate and enter the workplace.
“I think once we’ve been out in the job search, we can all recognize the benefit of having a little help with it,” she said.
About the Career Development Center
The Career Development Center at Appalachian State University supports the mission of the university and its Division of Student Affairs in developing lifelong learners and leaders by engaging and challenging students within a culture of care and inclusion. Students who participate in the center’s services are able to identify core values, beliefs and skills and use them to articulate relatable career goals; acquire transferable skills and relevant experiences for future professional endeavors; and utilize resources that are available to gain experiential learning opportunities and cultivate professional networks. Learn more at https://careers.appstate.edu.
About the Student Learning Center
Established in 1972, the Student Learning Center at Appalachian State University, which is part of Appalachian's University College, provides six core services designed to make higher education accessible by providing students the insights they need to navigate their college environment successfully. These services include tutorial services and academic strategy instruction, which are offered to all undergraduate students, and four additional services — ACCESS, Student Support Services, As-U-R and Academic Services for Student Athletes — which serve specific groups of students identified as needing comprehensive support. Learn more at https://studentlearningcenter.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.