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Sophomore Checkups offer guidance

September 23rd, 2010

The Career Center at John Carroll University is currently conducting Sophomore Checkups. This is the second consecutive year these checkups have occurred. The Career Center mailed appointment cards to sophomore students.  The checkups last around fifteen minutes. These sessions emphasize the resources available to students at JCU. 

Graduate Assistant of the Career Center, Paul Clapp scheduled the checkup meetings between sophomore students and career assistants. There are six career assistants available at the Career Center to conduct checkups. Clapp and his six CA’s collaborate year-round on projects to help make students aware of the opportunities that the Career Center offers. 

Sophomore checkups with career assistants are not mandatory, but attendance is strongly encouraged. They are not required for other grade levels. 

Clapp said, “We have identified the sophomore year as one of the most important times for students. Sophomores are in a unique time because they have a full year under their belts. They are familiar with school, but still have questions about the resources available to them.”

Sophomore Andrew Martin said, “Going into the meeting I thought it could possibly be a waste of time.  I felt that since I knew my major and possible career choices that the Career Center could not be of any use.”

Even for students certain of their career path, Martin insisted the meeting was surprisingly helpful.

Martin said, “Even though I know my major will be Accountancy, I learned valuable information about the assistance that is offered at John Carroll regarding career opportunities.”

Even if students know their intended major or have already declared a major, the checkups will be helpful in further guidance and steps to take for internship and career opportunities. 

“The Sophomore Checkup gave me more of an understanding of what the Career Center has to offer.  Even as a sophomore I like to know that when it comes time for internships and job opportunities there is a place for help,” said Martin.

Clapp said that this meeting is concerned with revealing all the resources available to students.

Clapp said, “It is our goal to educate the students on a variety of things. It is important for the students to actually step foot in the Career Center because some students don’t know where we are located on campus. We talk about four main points with the students, career education (CE) classes, all the available appointments within the Career Center, Career Connection is explained, we talk about our internship program.”

The internship programs consist of classes for which students can receive credit hours.

“These classes can be taken for zero, one, two or three credit hours. The zero credit hour transcript notation is really helpful for students who don’t have room to add another credit hour but need college credit. For those students who have internships that require college credit but have a full load, they can sign up for a zero credit transcript notation,” said Clapp.

Besides internship classes, the Career Center offers other classes.  Students can apply for a maximum of four career education classes.  Students who find themselves struggling to find a career path are encouraged to take either Introduction to Careers or Exploring Your Options. There are also introduction courses that aim toward specific majors such as accounting and psychology.

The Sophomore Checkup meetings help students learn to balance college credit hours, as well as internships with a full schedule. The Career Center helps students learn more about their academic goals and how to attain them.

“It was helpful to know that when it comes time to pursue an internship that the Career Center was there for guidance,” said Martin.

Clapp points out that students are paying for these services anyway, so why not use them.

“We explain our mission of the Career Center. The fact is students are paying a lot of money to go to school here, and everything we offer is at no charge to the students. We want to make sure we are able to help the students identify what they are passionate about, where they are needed in the world and how they can get there,” said Clapp.

 The Career Center is there to provide support for the students, to encourage them to utilize the center’s resources and services in order to be academically successful.

In reference to how the checkups are helpful, Martin said, “Now when I am trying to land an internship I will know who to contact for direction, since it can be quite competitive to find an opportunity.”

According to the Career Center, last year’s sophomore checkups were successful. Clapp said, “last year we had over 55 percent of the sophomores attend their checkup, which is a great number when compared to other universities around the country who do similar programs.”

The Career Center is available to students for academic resources. These check ups are provided so that students may better know how to set themselves up for success.