On February 12, Campus Director for the Career Pathways Initiative Dr. Twaina Harris spoke to the Claflin University freshman class on the tools they need to complete their academic journey successfully. The Carolina Cluster Career Pathways Program was created in December 2016 through a $6 million grant by the UNCF® Career Pathways Initiative (CPI), funded by Lilly Endowment, Inc. The priorities of the grant are to improve employment outcomes for graduates through guided pathways, curricular enhancements, and integrated co-curricular engagement.
Dr. Harris reminded the students of how important the CPI program is to their college careers, beginning with the creation of their Focus 2 Career profile. This profile helps students to choose majors and explore career interests based on an assessment of their work interest, personality, values and skills. Once set up, the students are encouraged to join the Handshake Career Management System that connects students with over 200,000 employers from varying industries.
She reassured the students that CPI was put into place for them to be completing one of two things upon graduation - enrolling in a graduate or professional school or applying to jobs in their major. "In order to best benefit from this process and to increase your livelihood after Claflin, you have to engage in this process," Dr. Harris told the students. "You need to have a plan. Have a plan for summer 2019 and for all your summers until you graduate. It's so important."
Students also heard from Whitney Williams, coordinator of experiential learning at Claflin. Each student must complete one of the requirements for experiential learning in order to graduate. To meet the requirement, students can complete an internship, study abroad, conduct undergraduate research, participate in a leadership program, or service learning.
"You all must do your part in making sure you continuously check your emails, meet with your advisors at least twice a semester, plan for summer courses ahead, and stick to your plan of action," said Dr. Harris.