MAILED: Sept. 15, 1997|
EAU CLAIRE -- University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students hoping to graduate and get the jobs they want right out of college must learn to pace themselves through the education and career process, experts say.
To help that process, UW-Eau Claire students can take part in Participating Actively in Career Experiences, also known as Project PACE, said Rita Webb, student services coordinator in the American Ethnic Coordinating Office.
The project -- which was funded by a grant from the West Central Wisconsin Consortium as part of UW-Eau Claire's ongoing retention efforts -- will run with another project titled the Academic Strategies Workshop and will be targeted toward incoming American ethnic students, Webb said.
"It's going to take these new students through the whole career development process," Webb said.
The beginning of the project will focus on self-assessment, said Webb. Students who take part in PACE, with the help of faculty and mentoring students, will try to discover who they are and what kinds of skills they want to develop while studying at UW-Eau Claire.
One of the objectives of this phase is to help American ethnic students new to UW-Eau Claire discover how their individual personalities match a specific field of study and possible post-graduate job opportunities, Webb said.
"Hopefully, as they get to know themselves better, they can find a better match as far as majors and minors go, and feel more comfortable here at UW-Eau Claire," she said.
Part of the project -- the attempt to retain American ethnic students through graduation -- will involve showing students the opportunities they have once they choose a major or minor, Webb said.
"We really want to connect these students with the available resources here because if they aren't comfortable and connected with their environment, they probably won't stay motivated," she said.
After the self-assessment and goal-formulating phase, the students and mentors, who will be upper-class American ethnic students, will culminate the yearlong project with a career-development experience, Webb said.
Guided by the mentors, the first-year American ethnic students will undertake a career experience in their areas of interest. Whether it be an on-campus job, a service-learning opportunity or job shadowing, the students involved with PACE will experience the rewards of work, Webb said.
"We'll try to match each student to a situation that benefits his or her area of career interest," Webb said.
While it'll be difficult to get all of the incoming American ethnic students involved in PACE -- there are more than 100 of them -- it's available to all new American ethnic students.
"That's a lot of students to try to connect with, and we know that," Webb said. "We are just hoping to help as many students as possible. The sooner these students feel comfortable here and know what is available to them, the chances are better that they'll graduate from UW-Eau Claire and get the job that they want. We want to help that process along the best way we can."
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Sept. 15, 1997