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Connecting with the Classroom to Career Hub

Expand opportunities for students, plus the latest on new partnerships and streamlined processes.

November 11, 2019

Student working on equipment in AES Building.The Classroom to Career Hub is embarking on a “road show,” visiting with faculty, staff and students to share the latest updates on partnerships and processes, as well as to gather feedback from the community.

Here is a taste of the topics you’ll hear about during their visits.

Student career development

The C2 Hub has undergone structural and organizational changes since its inception. Among those was the consolidation of Career Services and the Applied Learning Center.

Adrienne Martinez, associate vice president of classroom-to-career initiatives, said the move has helped streamline processes to provide better service to students and employers. As an example, she cited how internship coordinators in the ALC and career liaisons in Career Services used to work with employers to develop opportunities for students. Those positions have since been integrated as industry navigators, ensuring that companies have a single entry point and primary point of contact at Metropolitan State University of Denver with regard to internship and employment opportunities.

Several components of the former Roadways program are now also a part of the C2 Hub. The addition of Scholar Success and Retention, Peer Mentoring, and Undeclared and Exploratory Advising allows for more seamless career-success integration into the student experience.

“The core principle guiding the formation of the C2 Hub is connectivity and pathways to opportunity,” said Will Simpkins, Ed.D., vice president for Student Affairs. “Our charge to the newly formed C2 team is to create pathways for students that link academic and career decision-making, to support engagement opportunities across the University and to encourage industry participation in support of our community.”

Among recent innovations is the launch of the Career Lab, a drop-in space for students to receive assistance with résumé basics, cover-letter construction and salary negotiation. Other developments include the integration of digital tools, such as a streamlined Career Link database and pathway-tracking tool LinkedIn Learning.

Industry partnerships

There are several new industry partnerships in the works, Martinez said. Among those is an exciting emerging collaboration with DaVita, a leading global health organization.  

The partnership includes the development of a pilot program for students interested in health careers, giving them access to entry-level jobs as patient-care technicians at DaVita. The program would allow students to take advantage of the company’s tuition benefit to pay for school as they go, while also affording them real-world experience in their field and building a professional network.

“This partnership is exactly the type we are trying to develop across Colorado,” said Martinez. “Our students get access to meaningful and impactful learning experiences, and the partner organization gets to have a hand in shaping potential future employees.”

Faculty engagement     

The road show will also be an opportunity to engage industry experts on campus – faculty.

“Our goal is to connect with people in every academic unit, partnering with chairs and deans to share in this reciprocal work,” Martinez said. “We rely on the content expertise of our faculty members to help us cultivate student opportunities directly tied to the majors MSU Denver provides.”

She noted that the C2 Hub team is always looking for new ways to engage with faculty, such as the year-long faculty learning community launched this fall that is exploring the connection between academic instruction and the workforce. The group is still welcoming participants. If you’d like to get involved, email Rachel Sinley, Ph.D., associate professor of nutrition.

“We are currently working on developing a survey to understand faculty practices and perceptions of career preparation in higher education generally and at MSU Denver specifically,” Sinley said. “If you can’t participate in the monthly FLC, we would encourage you to fill out the survey, which should be coming out in the spring.”

Any faculty member who wants to partner on career and applied-learning initiatives can contact Rhonda Eaker, Ph.D., director in the C2 Hub.     

Building for the future

Another topic to be discussed during the road show is a potential building to house C2 Hub initiatives among other student- and alumni-engagement programs and priorities.

Martinez cautions that the project is still in its earliest stages. Any proposed facility would include an emphasis on student engagement and wellness, classrooms, a place to house the C2 Hub’s student-development resources and a physical location for employers, alumni and students to come together.

Partner architects are working on a plan that incorporates ideas from the campus community. The project would then need to be approved by University leadership before plans are submitted to the state.

Topics: Classroom to Career Hub, Collaboration, Events, Student Success

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