New Job For Career Services

Career College Central summary:

  • As students keep struggling to find good jobs (or any jobs at all) in the post-recession environment, many colleges have developed new or revamped career services in an attempt to reach more students and show they are doing more to ensure gainful employment. Now, initiatives at two small liberal arts colleges are bringing students to campus for career development programs when school is out of session — and the institutions are footing the bills.
  • Actually, at Northland College, the participants aren't technically students. They're recent graduates who just finished their senior year and find themselves lacking a paid job or career skills. Through Northland's "career bridge semester," they get both. Free.
  • "We were seeing a need and we thought we could help fill it," said Michele Meyer, Northland's vice president for student affairs and institutional sustainability. "Colleges and universities, as they bring their new students into the college, they really do a lot to transition…. There hasn't been as much help, I think, for students as they transition out."
  • The program connects graduates with local employers for three-month jobs, with stipends and a "small monthly living expense." (Northland is still considering funding options, either through the college, the employers or grants, or some combination of those.) About 60 percent of the jobs will be at the college — for example, doing environmental research or working for the outdoor recreation program. The rest will be off campus at nonprofit organizations and different agencies. The graduates, who will work on teams of four or five, will also get simultaneous career education on things such as work place behavior and email interaction.
  • Experts say the programs at Northland and at St. Lawrence University, where sophomores attend a two-day Career Connections "boot camp" between semesters, are further evidence of the pressure liberal arts institutions are facing to demonstrate their post-graduation value.

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