Fireside Chats

Thursday, December 12
11:00 am - 11:30 am
Mark Thomas Foyer (First Floor)

Fireside Chats

Engaging Underrepresented Students in Career Development Through Volunteering

Presenter: Megan Odom, California State University Chico
Audience: College

Description: As a means to engage historically underrepresented students in career development, the Chico State Career Center has developed a Volunteer Team of over 120 students, who assist at various Career Fairs and events. A dedicated Student Assistant/Volunteer Coordinator manages the recruitment and outreach of volunteers, maintains consistent communication with them throughout the semester, and oversees volunteers during events.

The Volunteer Coordinator works closely with various offices on campus to recruit students. This includes hosting class talks, targeted emails, and tabling to groups such as TRiO, the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), and Path Scholars (former foster youth), among other organizations.

Over the last five years, we have had over 120 different students volunteer for the dozens of events hosted throughout the year, with approximately 25 students regularly volunteering at each event or career fair. Student volunteers are able to engage with employers by helping them load/unload their items, get recruiters oriented to the event, and ask questions as visitors to campus, making for connections in a low-stakes way. The volunteers play a vital role in helping the Career Center staff with up to nine career fairs and multiple special events each year, in addition to assisting in promoting these opportunities. The early engagement in career services and the social benefits of the program further assists the University with its overall retention goals.

This program is funded through sponsorship by a corporate employer, allowing for volunteers to be given a t-shirt, free lunch at each event, and a thank you dinner every semester. This sponsorship also includes the salary for the Student Assistant/Volunteer Coordinator.

Presentation Outline:

  • Introductions of Presenters
  • Background information on campus demographics, # of students who visit the career center, % of student visits who are URM, challenges which these students face in engaging with career development
  • Introduction of the Career Center Volunteer Team
  • Volunteer Coordinator Position and Program Logistics
  • Volunteer Team Success Stories

The November 2016 NACE Journal outlines the importance for career development for first-generation and/or historically low-income students. As there are many barriers faced by such populations, career services can play a vital role in aiding in their college retention, overall success, and transition as emerging professionals. Through the Chico State Career Center’s Volunteer Team, we have been able to inspire students to build confidence in themselves, shift the landscape of their post-graduation opportunities, and act on their plans within and outside the college landscape.


Redefining the Transfer Experience and Identifying Missing Components for Successful Career Outcomes

Presenter: Stan Inman, University of Utah Career and Professional Development Center & Phil Gardner, Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University
Audience: Both College & Employer

Description: This presentation is focused on addressing how best to support the career development of transfer students, we found that the concept of a transfer student is in need of redefinition as well. Transfer students are themselves as heterogeneous as their career development experiences. Some transfer students attend a two-year college prior to transferring while others move from one four-year institution to another. Transfer students can be traditional-aged, non-traditional or returning adult students, single, married, with children, childless, caregivers, single parents, or homemakers. They can have variations in economic status, work full or part-time, commute, or live as residential students. We will discuss a previously overlooked category discussed below: the forced transfer.

Simply put, there is no single working definition that captures completely the complexities and needs of the ‘transfer student’ and no single solution that ensures success of this population. Therefore, the label ‘transfer student’ as an all-encompassing population simply is not useful. Applying a one-sized fits all student success solution is undeniably short-sighted and might lead to inaccurately employing supports that may or may not be needed—or successful. The end result is the neglect or alienation of those students who do not fit the assumed support model. A secondary purpose of this presentation is to re frame the experience of transferring so as to better address the career development needs of those students who experience such an event.


How to make the most of your MPACE Membership and Enhance Your Professional Development

Presenter: Kelly Dries Ph.D., Craig Oka, Michelle Levy, Sarah Raymond, & Andrea Hanson, MPACE Education & Professional Development Committee
Audience: College

Description: Hear from members of the Education and Professional Development Committee as they share ways that you can get involved at a deeper level with MPACE and take advantage of all that MPACE has to offer. From discussing involvement in webinars, blogs, and scholarships – join in conversation to learn ways you can enhance your professional development, and share strategies and best practices.