Eastern Gateway Community College is expanding career development beyond traditional learning with digital platforms that will connect students to industry leaders and alumni for a broader view of career pathways.
The Career Development Success Series kicks off the week of April 27 with a Zoom video session exclusively for students to hear from top industry leaders about innovation and career development and paths students may not have been exposed to in traditional class work. Speakers will align their topics with degrees offered at EGCC, according to Zachary Steiner, director of career development.
Some executive leaders lined up for the series include Sherry Neubert, chief information officer for Goodyear. Steiner says she has a wealth of information about what is possible for students interested in an IT degree.
Sarah Brown Clarke, Youngstown clerk of courts, will talk about career possibilities and the changing fields of paralegal and criminal justice degrees.
“We’ve had Zoom capabilities for several years and this is a way we can take learning about career pathways to the next level,” Steiner says. “This will feature boardroom leaders telling students how to survive in the new world that will come on the other side of this pandemic. It will allow our students to be ready for interviews, to know what’s happening in their field and how they adjust to that.”
Since the coronavirus pandemic closed schools and colleges, forcing them to use distance learning, EGCC is using its established online learning capabilities for campus members to have access to real-world stories from those in the field, as well as alumni.
“I want to make these a continued series of conversations with HR managers and leaders in different industries because students can engage and hear about new industry and new opportunities,” says Art Daly, vice president of EGCC’s Youngstown campus.
EGCC is also developing a series called Alumni Career Chat Employment Success Series, or Access. Steiner is lining up alumni from the college’s Health Information Technology, Medical Coding and Medical Scribe programs, who are currently serving on the frontlines of the health care industry.
“We feel that highlighting some of our health-care frontline workers is a great place to launch this series,” Steiner says.
Other initiatives focus on self-care and coping tools for maintaining good mental health and wellness while staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Eastern Gateway is offering Fresh Check Day via virtual platforms since the annual in-person Fresh Check Day that was scheduled to take place on both the Youngstown Steubenville campuses earlier this month was canceled per Gov. Mike DeWine’s schools closure order.
Fresh Check Day is based on a program developed by the Jordan Porco Foundation, which was named after a college student who committed suicide. More information is available at RememberingJordan.org/check-in-at-home.
While typically done at physical locations, EGCC adapted the concept into an online tool at EGCC.edu/fresh-check-days. “It’s a way to connect EGCC’s campus community to ‘check-in’ on the mental health and wellness of the college,” Steiner says.
Eastern Gateway’s version adds a local element with virtual video discussions with community, political and professional leaders. Since its launch on April 6, the website has had 22,346 visitors, according to Steiner.