August 23, 2019
Ursuline College is taking personalized service to the next level this fall, offering its students personal career coaches and personal librarians to help them navigate both career choices and academics. The changes are designed to add value to the student experience at this Catholic liberal arts college where one-on-one attention has long been a hallmark.
“We are very excited about the new opportunities we are rolling out for students,” said President Sister Christine De Vinne, OSU, PhD. “In effect, each Ursuline student will have her or his own board of advisors providing guidance throughout the college experience.”
Each new undergraduate student at Ursuline this fall – whether a first-year or transfer student – is assigned a librarian, with five librarians covering some 200 students, explained Library Director Suzanna Schroeder-Green.
“We need to teach students about all the resources available to them, especially for research,” said Schroeder-Green. She said personal librarians will meet with students regarding their research projects, offer advice, instruct students in accessing millions of titles available through library networks, refer students to various services on campus, and communicate with students throughout the year.
Emerging Technology Librarian Sharon Gravius explained, “Many high schools no longer have libraries or perhaps have only one librarian for an entire school district. Consequently, many students lack the introduction to libraries that students commonly had even a decade ago. And we have so many new resources – electronic and human – that we want them to know about. Personal librarians will bring students up to speed and stick with them throughout their college career.”
The shift in service delivery coincides with a recent renovation of the main floor of Ursuline’s library into a learning commons, where students can access collaborative learning spaces, a computer lab, coffee bar, and assistance from tutors and IT specialists.
Personalized Career Services
Ursuline has partnered with the organization Future Plans to bring on board a new career development and placement specialist consultant, multiple consultants to serve as career coaches, and powerful new software tools that will enable students to earn certification in key professional skills.
Future Plans software also includes an assessment or test that matches students’ aptitudes, values, interests and personality with high-demand careers. Once a student takes this assessment, they will meet with one of the career coaches to discuss the meaning of the results, map out their educational plans, and explore careers.
“We are not leaving career preparation to chance; we are being very intentional in the services we provide and the way we communicate with students,” said Deanne Hurley, vice president for student affairs.
The Future Plans partnership also enables Ursuline students to enroll in at least two – or as many as five – online professional skills certification courses on topics ranging from communication to teamwork. Successful completion of these modules will result in certification in each area, providing tangible validation of career readiness from an external source. “Employers like to see this evidence of a student’s preparation for the work world,” said Hurley.
Career services at Ursuline are made available to undergraduates, graduate students and alumnae/i.