Career Development makes changes to better serve students

8/29/2007 7:00:00 AM

The University's Career Development Office recently made various changes to make its services more accessible to students, prospective students and alumni. The office recently launched an online job fair, established walk-in hours and waived program fees for three of its existing services.

"Fees for our services were a perceived barrier," said Kevin Gaw, Director of Career Development. "We decided that keeping our students enrolled and on the right path was more important than the revenue."

According to Gaw, the fees associated with the prospective students program, the career opportunities program and the displaced alumni program had minimal impact on the office's funding. They were only making about enough money to buy one or two new computers a year, he said.

"After observing the effects of Hurricane Katrina and witnessing layoffs of hundreds of people recently, we felt it was important to waive the displaced alumni fee," Gaw said. "Many employers have heard about this program and have asked us to refer our alumni to their companies."
Gaw said companies benefit from this initiative because it is a way to formally endorse Nevada alumni and helps them locate experienced employees.

Career Development has also waived the fee for prospective students' career counseling. While waiving this fee will allow high school students to receive effective college-level career counseling, it will also expose them to the University and what it has to offer.

"We are trying to find a meaningful strategy for recruitment, retention and persistence," Gaw said. "We want students to realize that Nevada really is a great university."

The online job fair opened August 27 and will run through Thursday August 30. Its purpose it to help employers find students who are interested in starting a new job with the beginning of the school year. Gaw said Career Development works hard to recruit quality employers who understand that school is a main priority for University students.

"We've talked to employers about providing added benefits to suit students' lifestyles," Gaw said.

Although the online job fair is similar to Career Navigator, the University's online job board, Gaw said that the online job fair has been aggressively marketed to students to make recruitment more effective for employers.

Career Development also recently implemented walk-in hours Monday-Friday from 1-3 p.m. to ease the career counseling process for students. Students who visit the office during walk-in hours will meet with a counselor for a 20-minute consultation to evaluate which career services will meet their individual needs. Career Development hopes that walk-in hours will speed up the career counseling process as it sometimes takes up to a month for students to get an appointment with a career counselor.

"We're able to serve some students very quickly," Gaw said. "For others, walk-in meetings will help students prepare and know what to expect for their first appointment.

Career development is also planning to launch an intensive career counseling intervention group designed to serve students who are academically adrift, or confused about what to do after college. This group will meet to discuss each student's values, interests and passions to determine which academic path is appropriate for their situation.

"We don't want to tell these students what they should do," Gaw said. "We want it to come from the self. We want to help students follow their value sets."

With many new changes in place, Gaw said Career Development looks forward to the Fall Semester. Students who are interested in more information about career development and their services are encouraged to contact Career Development at (775) 784 – 4678 or visit the website.


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