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The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire recently was chosen as a pilot site for an online, self-directed, interactive computer program designed to help students explore career options and make informed decisions about their futures.
The program, SIGI Plus also known as System of Interactive Guidance and Information has been available at UW-Eau Claire for 12 years but only on two computers in the Career Resource Lab, said Jean Wilcox, career development and information manager in Academic and Career Services. The program now is accessible on all campus computers, as well as off-campus computers connected through the university.
Users can access the program through a link on the Career Services Web site. A firewall prohibits unauthorized users from accessing the program.
Wilcox is managing SIGI Plus at UW-Eau Claire, providing assistance to faculty and advisers on how to use the program with their advisees and in their classes. She also makes decisions about customizing the program.
The program is very easy to use, Wilcox said. Its easier online than it was stand-alone.
SIGI Plus is divided into nine sections, each section focusing on a different stage in the career decision-making process. The program saves students information so they may use the program throughout their time at the university. Offering various career options, SIGI Plus also provides information about continuing education and graduate schools, as well as coping issues relevant to nontraditional students.
SIGI Plus not only provides assessment but also career information, Wilcox said.
The program supplies information on more than 500 occupations, giving job descriptions that include necessary skills and salary ranges for each occupation.
Wilcox added that SIGI Plus suggests options and provides information, but it doesnt tell you what to do.
UW-Eau Claire was chosen as a pilot to represent schools with 10,000 students. Being a pilot school for SIGI Plus allowed UW-Eau Claire to purchase the program at a reduced cost. Academic and Career Services provided funding for the program.
Wilcox said other schools similar to UW-Eau Claires size will contact the university to observe and analyze how the program has worked at UW-Eau Claire.
Educational Testing Services created SIGI more than 20 years ago.
For more information, contact Wilcox at (715) 836-5359.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: Nov. 7, 2000