All Things New: The Expansion of the Career Development Center

by Emily Webb

Editor-in-Chief, ’17, English

resume (2)The Source Center was a valuable asset to LaGrange College students.  It helped students with graduation petitions, writing résumés, choosing a major or minor, as well as other duties.  Many of the students were shocked, confused, and intrigued when they received Dean Shook’s e-mail that Mrs. Goldwire had left LaGrange College, and the Source Center was going to transform.

The Source Center started five years ago, and Dean Shook says there were three different levels in its creation:  “One, it took some of the projects that went to the Registrar, like academic and graduation petitions.  The second level was to be a bridge between the students and the alumni, and the third was to help with family programming.”  After Mrs. Goldwire’s departure, the school decided to re-envision what the center needed to be.

For nearly two years, the Institutional Planning Committee, the Board of Trustees, and the Leadership Council had discussions about how to improve the center.  The Source Center has been dissolved, and in its place has risen a new Career Development Center.  Todd Prater, who used to work in the Source Center, has become the Assistant Registrar and Retention Coordinator.  The Registrar duties the center used to have, such as graduation petitions, withdrawal forms, and other paperwork, have followed him.  The Career Development Center will have a new focus, and Dean Shook believes there will be “a new organizational structure.”

Part of this organizational structure will be an Internship Coordinator and Career Advisor.  The focus on internships is meant to help foster the growth of the internship program, or what Dean Shook calls, “experiential learning,” since the position will help students find internships as well as job-shadowing opportunities.

Todd Prater says, “This change will be excellent.” Todd believes having the students talk to one person will be the most beneficial for them.  Career Advisory will assist with career counseling, including helping students decide what steps they need to take to prepare for a career.  The Director will focus on building new markets and connections in places like Columbus, Atlanta, Birmingham, and Nashville.

The college is in the process of interviewing and hiring people for these roles.  Until then, Meghann Smith, Whitney Lott, Lindsey Elkins, and Morgan Henley, who have been trained in career advising by Mrs. Goldwire, have taken up the position of offering support for students. They can help students with résumés, graduate applications, job searches, and interview preparation. They are available in Smith Hall from one to five Monday through Thursday and all day on Fridays

Dean Shook is enthusiastic about these upcoming changes, as this expansion of the center will cater to the needs of all students.  By taking the focus away from the duties of the Registrar, the center will be better prepared to focus solely on the students, whether they need help with creating a résumé or obtaining an internship.  This center will also allow students to obtain new shadowing and job opportunities in markets different from LaGrange.  While the Center will still perform all of its old functions, it will be better equipped to help students with all of their school and job concerns.

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