Career Centers must prepare high school, and college students to job search for life. It is a hindrance to the student if the teaching and engagement is short term or assumed.
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Denise Felder (@DeniseMpls) is the Director of Professional Development, Career Technical Education for the State of Minnesota Colleges and Universities. She has been a Career Advisor for 15 years working with teens and adults in nonprofit agencies and schools. She currently helps educators, administrators, and advisors who teach in high schools, colleges and universities. She still volunteers with community organizations helping low-income people to make education and employment decisions.
Highlights from our conversation:
- Schools that have placement offices can be a hindrance because it is not teaching students the job finding skills, and additionally puts pressure on staff to find any job. Her goals are to teach students life long skills to go with the mentality of, “… Teaching them how to fish…”
- The local economy impacts the success of the program, but the entry level jobs help a student see their specific career trajectory
- Faculty can aid in the students’ vision if they are familiar or working in the current field to understand career trends in hiring. If the faculty doesn’t, then enlisting the help from career services
- Alumni can play a huge and relevant role in mentoring students. They can provide experience to student through informational interviews
- Denise talked about the “new world of work” as each student and job seeker needs to prepare to be an independent contractor. Her advice is to think long-term and your “career identity”