Introducing the Career Champions Program

by Brenna Gomez, University Innovation Alliance Fellow, Office of Undergraduate Education.

The Career Champions Program is a professional development opportunity for faculty and instructors to learn about barriers to access for first generation students, students of color, and low-income students, while also incorporating more career connection in the classroom. Our curriculum was developed collaboratively with a cross-campus group of teaching and professional faculty.

This six-week program is run in partnership with the Office of Undergraduate Education and the Career Development Center. Cohorts of 14-15 faculty/instructors will receive a $500 honorarium for their participation in the program. Over the course of the six weeks, faculty will participate in one synchronous session per week and one-two asynchronous hours of work on their own. At the end of the course participants will have completed:

  • a National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) competency map to align their curriculum with career readiness competencies
  • the development of a NACE career competency statement for their syllabi
  • the redesign of an activity or assignment of their choice
  • a teaching philosophy that outlines the other changes they will make to their course and why

Applicants should have completed some form of diversity, equity, and inclusion training at OSU or elsewhere. Applicants need not be DEI experts but should have some familiarity with DEI concepts. Career Champions is accepting applications February 8- March 12, 2021. Apply here. The Spring 2021 cohort will convene April 12th-May 21st. Participants must be available for all sessions to be accepted in the program. Synchronous sessions will occur on Friday afternoons at 1:00 p.m.

This program was originally piloted as part of the Bridging the Gap from Education to Employment (BGEE) project with the University Innovation Alliance. The University Innovation Alliance is a coalition of public research universities committed to increasing the number and diversity of college graduates. Over 50 students were interviewed for BGEE, and they overwhelming stated that they wanted to learn more about career opportunities and pathways from their faculty members. Career Champions is grateful to our extensive list of former committee members.

In particular we’d like to recognize the following individuals who were responsible for the creation of the curriculum in this program:

  • Charlene Martinez, Associate Director of Student Experiences and Engagement
  • Liddy Detar, Senior Instructor and Academic Advisor
  • Jeff Kenney, Director of Institutional Education for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Kenton Hokanson, Instructor, Research Associate, and Director of Electrophysiology Core Facility
  • Brian Fronk, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering
  • Scott Paja, former Assistant Dean of Experiential Learning and Employer Relations in the College of Engineering

Career Champions Facilitators:

  • Jonathan Stoll, Director of Career Education, Career Development Center
  • Brenna Gomez, University Innovation Alliance Fellow, Office of Undergraduate Education

Program Coordinators:

  • Brandi Fuhrman, Executive Director, Career Development Center
  • Brenna Gomez, University Innovation Alliance Fellow, Office of Undergraduate Education
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