UCM Career Development Services Committed to Student Success
Contact: Mike Greife
WARRENSBURG, MO (Aug. 21, 2013) – In an effort to further strengthen its commitment to student success, the University of Central Missouri has combined two of its successful student services functions into a full-service unit.
The Career Services Center, formerly known as The Office of Career Services, and the Gateway Advising and Major Exploration Center have combined to form the Career Development Services unit, located in the Ward Edwards Building. The unit, under the leadership of Ken Schueller, will report directly to Deborah Curtis, UCM’s provost and chief learning officer.
“The reorganization helps us address two challenges,” Schueller said. “It will allow us to more effectively work with open-option students who haven’t yet decided on a major, as well as ensure even greater success for our graduates when it comes to entering their chosen career fields upon graduation.”
The Career Services Center has moved from Elliott Union 302 to Ward Edwards 1200, joining the Gateway Advising and Major Exploration Center in Ward Edwards 1900.
According to Schueller, open option students make up more than 20 percent of new students enrolled each fall. Career counselors in the Gateway Center will continue to assist open option students in finding their passion and exploring their options while determining the academic program that is right for them.
“All open option freshmen now will be required to enroll in the Exploring Majors and Career course,” Schueller said. “With a 10-year history, this course has provided students who complete it with a level of success that far surpasses their peers.”
He added that the goal is to have all open option students at UCM into a declared academic program by the end of their freshman year, keeping students on track and in line with UCM’s Contract for Completion.
The second challenge is to continue to improve upon the university’s nationally recognized success rate of graduate employment. For the past 19 years, UCM has maintained a record of having more than 90 percent of its graduates employed within six months of earning their degrees.
Reorganizing Career Development Services has enabled UCM to increase the number of career development professionals, without additional cost, to meet the demands of these two challenges.
“According to the Higher Education Research Institute, more than 97 percent of today’s college students identified career success as their top reason for getting a college degree,” Goreham said. “We believe the best way to help them achieve that goal is to increase the level of individualized coaching, with specific emphasis on a comprehensive career development plan that includes opportunities for experiences related to their career choices.”
Goreham added that a as part of a recent survey of by the Education Advisory Board, 75 percent of recent graduates wished they had placed more emphasis on career development while in college.
“This has to be a four-year, co-curricular plan if we are going to improve the competitiveness of UCM students their chosen fields,” she added. “Our goal with this reorganization is to increase student engagement in the career development process over all four years, increasing the opportunities for our students to obtain the tools they will need to find employment or to be accepted into graduate school upon completing their degrees.”