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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


New funds help create new career institute

The Office of the Governor recently selected the UA to receive funding to create the UA Institute for Career Readiness and Engagement, a new addition to the 100 percent Student Engagement Initiative.

In an email, President Ann Weaver Hart said that the 100 percent Student Engagement Initiative was announced a year ago with the promise that every student would have an opportunity to gain real-world and hands-on experience in their chosen field before they graduate.

“I think it’s incredibly exciting that we’ve got a workforce grant from the Office of the Governer and the fact that they’re recognizing our efforts toward 100 percent engagement and in working on this and conceptualizing what it would do,” said Eileen McGarry, executive director of Career Services and Student Engagement at UA.

McGarry said the goal of student engagement is for students to get real applied experience through multiple channels. She said one method of increasing student engagement and experience is early career readiness programs, which involve making more resources available for students to find out who they are.

“We want students to engage with their career planning process early,” McGarry said.

Hart said in her email that the UA is working with employers to help students obtain work-related skills and get jobs in Arizona.

“We’re going to be proactive in working with employers to build a talent base that answers their future workforce needs,” Hart said, “and we’re going to give students the skills and experience they need to get jobs right here in Arizona.”

A second way to gain real experience is through internship readiness programs. According to a UANews press release, students will have access to more resources from the UA Internship Readiness Program through the UA Institute for Career Readiness and Engagement.

“I know as students, sometimes you think it’s going to be easy to get,” McGarry said. “But often, we really need to prepare and get comfortable approaching employers or organizations that have key opportunities that are competitive.”

McGarry also said there is a program that takes students out to employers through tours that they will set up with companies and organizations that want to be spotlighted.

This funding for the institute is going to help Career Services expand a couple programs, McGarry said, and things they already do, by adding a whole different dimension to them. She said the start of this institute also includes a full-time position in the Phoenix market to develop the Maricopa employers for exploration opportunities.

Students can get involved in these programs through Career Services.

“We will certainly be working with all of our college departments to outreach students everywhere,” McGarry said, “but Career Services is going to the be the hub of the activities.”

McGarry said they are still in the planning process, and there will be more information on staffing and opportunities in spring 2015.

“[The] UA will be able to pursue a unique approach to connecting students with future careers,” Hart said.


Follow Brandi Walker on Twitter.

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