By Brittney Payette
Cameron’s Student Enrichment Center (SEC) is ready to help Aggies succeed in their careers- even after graduating.
The workforce readiness program in the SEC has recently expanded and now includes more resources as part of the CU Advance Initiative’s Learn to Earn Program. Cameron established the CU Advance Initiative as the university’s career pathway project in order to help students network and advance their careers.
Work Based Learning Experience Coordinator Isabella Myers said that the program offers a variety of resources to students that can help them prepare to enter the workforce.
“The expansion came after some changes internally,” Myers said. “We have acquired some of those (resources) that were previously under career services and so we’ve opened up our services to help there not be a lag in things that are offered to students.”
According to the press release on the Cameron website https://www.cameron.edu/press-releases/cameron-university-receives-21-million-grant-to-establish-student-enrichment-center the SEC is under a five-year 2.1 million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Strengthening Institutions program.
“Originally, it (the CU Learn to Earn program) was started to help students get more experience aside from just on-campus jobs and internships,” Myers said. “We also wanted to offer job shadowing because that wasn’t previously offered at Cameron too much.”
Myers said the program also helps students prepare for both off-campus and on-campus jobs.
“They wanted to expand that and give students a better way to do some job shadowing in the community,” she said. “Some students hadn’t had experience applying before, so we wanted to help with a little bit of resume help, a little bit of cover writing help to help supplement some of the things that student development was doing.”
Moreover, Myers said there are places in the community where students were welcome to do some job shadowing in the past, such as at the Comanche Medical Center and the Southwestern Medical Center in Lawton.
She said the SEC’s workers offer one-on-one meetings with students so they can focus on helping individual students with their unique career path. One way that the workers help students prepare for jobs is to teach them what Myers called professional skills.
“So, helping build those sort of skills through either workshops or one-on-one training,” Myers said. “Or, them doing some things on their own through some of the programs we have. A big part of it is SkillsFirst, which helps students build their resumes.”
She said that SkillsFirst is a good tool that can help students do cover letters, create their resumes, and even practice interview questions and elevator pitches.
“We work a lot with Focus2,” Myers said. “Focus2 helps students maybe narrow down their search, especially if they haven’t decided on a major or if they’ve decided on a major, but don’t know what to do with it.”
An additional resource that is available is the College Central Network, which is where people can post jobs locally, on the state level, and even worldwide.
Myers said she wishes more students knew that the workforce readiness center in the SEC is there to assist students.
“We are here for them to use these resources and not be afraid,” she said. “We have great stuff here. We have the student success coaches (and) they can help with a variety of things. They even help with some advising now.”
Myers said that the SEC has a Financial Resource Specialist who can help with financial coaching.
“He can help with budgeting or talking to them about how to apply for certain things,” she said. “(Such as) certain scholarships that students may not know about that are connected with Cameron that they can apply for… Also, helping students know how important filling out their FAFSA is, and we help with community resources. A lot of students don’t know that we can help with food insecurities, housing insecurities, those sorts of things.”
Myers said she hopes more students will take advantage of what the SEC has to offer and that she is really excited to help more students become connected to their career paths that they have a passion for.
For more information, go to the SEC website at https://www.cameron.edu/office-of-teaching-and-learning/student-enrichment-center/workforce-readiness or contact the SEC at email@example.com.