A $30,000 grant recently awarded to Missouri Southern State University aims to help students prepare for their post-college life in the work force.
The one-year, renewable grant from the state Department of Higher Education will help launch the Major, Minor and Career Preparation Academy at the university this fall, said Nicole Brown, director of career services at MSSU.
“The overall umbrella is to help our students become educated about their career opportunities and taking those soft skills (so) that employers want to hire them,” she said.
The academy will include career and college success counseling through presentations, one-on-one counseling sessions for students who have not chosen a major, workshops, and online and print resources. Career preparation workshops will connect students with local professionals and will highlight a different industry or field each month.
“We want our students to have the opportunity to really get to know people in that profession and have a working knowledge of what to expect when they get out in the work force,” Brown said.
The program also will feature professional development days and leadership development sessions through the Super Leader program, a partnership between MSSU and the Young Professionals Network branch of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce.
The academy will target students who are at risk of not completing a college degree, Brown said.
“Early career education helps students to become engaged and invested in their education,” she said. “It also helps students to connect with professors, clubs and organizations, all of which build a network of support.”
The workshops scheduled through the academy will take place at least twice per month during the semester and will be open to MSSU students, Brown said. Enrollment in the Super Leader program is limited and based on an application approach.
Participants will be taught how to showcase accomplishments on a resume to help employers identify candidates who have gone above and beyond to prepare for the work force, she said.
THE GRANT also will allow the Super Leader program to expand its sessions and provide scholarships for students who are unable to pay the application fee. The program helps students develop leadership skills and explore career opportunities through visits to local companies and businesses.