By Dr. Elizabeth Clarke,
Pineville, LA (LC News) – It isn’t uncommon for college students to question their calling or not know what they want to “do” with their degrees –even sometimes as upperclassmen. This fall, Louisiana College launches a center for students seeking guidance on their future paths.
The Center for Calling & Career will provide a one-stop shop for students seeking internships, career advice and information about jobs available in their majors. It is located on the 3rd floor of the Student Center.
Rather than just being a Career Center, which many colleges and universities provide, the CCC will help students gain an understanding of how their values and spiritual gifts should be assessed to fully know what God is calling them to do in their lives and careers.
The Executive Director of the Center for Calling & Career Meredith Rennier, who started in her position this summer, comes to LC with a wealth of experience in higher education. Previously serving as center director for Upper Iowa University of Alexandria, and the director of Student Services for Central Louisiana Technical and Community College.
“Students can go online and compare their values to jobs that would be a best fit for them,” Rennier said. Students enrolled in CC 100 will get to utilize this through our website. CC 100 is a required course of all entering freshmen.
The CCC will host events throughout the academic year to teach resume writing and interview skills and will hold career fairs. Services will be provided to alumni, as well, she said.
‘This year’s theme is ‘I am called,’” Rennier said. “This is in keeping with the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) of service-learning that begins in the fall and will last several years.”
QEP Chair Vanessa Graves, who is an associate professor of social work, said the Center for Calling & Career will join with LC faculty to build a commitment to serve by offering training and linking community partnerships.
‘LC Serves Live Connected,’ LC’s QEP title, was aptly chosen to reflect the mission of Louisiana College to learn, lead and serve, Graves said, while also connecting students to local and global communities and their lifelong careers.
“The CCC will serve as the oversight for the College’s Experiential Learning Initiative (ELI) which equips students to complete two of the following during their academic career: research with a professor; study abroad; service learning; and internships,” said President Rick Brewer. “The ELI framework offers students credible learning opportunities which will be legitimate and included as part of a student’s transcript.
“The Center for Calling & Career is consistent with Ephesians 2:10 where scripture informs us that we are God’s Workmanship.” Rennier said she will be working with non-profits in the community to establish service-learning projects. She has also established a Rotaract Club on campus, a student branch of the Rotary Club of Alexandria, which will do local service projects with community leaders.
The Center will also be obtaining internships with local business and industry, as well as networking with local business and industry leaders, to create opportunities for students and graduates, Rennier said.
In addition to the one-on-one mentoring and relationships students develop at LC, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Cheryl Clark said the Center will provide students with even more resources to discover their true calling.
“As a leading Christian college focused on student success and Christ-centered work, the Center for Calling and Career will provide valuable resources to prepare students for meaningful work and flourishing lives,” Clark said. “Regardless of major, background or socioeconomical circumstances, LC students will gain a deep understanding of themselves and their callings in order to launch purposeful careers. Experiential learning opportunities afforded through the CCC will allow students to integrate and apply academic coursework to a professional work situation, gain valuable skills and experiences, and increase their marketability to future employers.”
Look for more information forthcoming at lacollege.edu/CFCC about a fall workshop on “Professionalism in the Workplace” and a spring “Etiquette Luncheon” or for more information or schedule an appointment for assistance.