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Coe College named Iowa's Career Preparedness Exemplar

Rod Pritchard, Secretary of the College
(319) 399-8605 or rpritcha@coe.edu

2017-03-23 11:03:49 - General

ACT Career Preparedness ExemplarIn recognition of creating innovative programs to prepare students for career success, Coe College was recently named Iowa's ACT Career Preparedness Exemplar as part of the 2016-17 ACT College and Career Readiness Campaign. The campaign identifies exemplars in each of four categories - students, high schools, postsecondary institutions and employers - from each participating state.

Coe received the award for two specific initiatives, both of which link Coe's broad-based liberal arts education with career preparation. As part of college's current strategic plan, "A Bolder Coe," the college has created a new Center for Creativity and Careers. Within this center, Coe focuses on providing meaningful connections between students and the world of work, with an emphasis on leveraging alumni connections. Last September, the college created a new internship specialist position to expand and improve the college's internship program across all disciplines.

"Coe's mission includes goals that prepare students for life following graduation and emphasizes the fundamental abilities of communicating clearly, working productively as team members, making informed judgments, and fostering and sustaining an attitude of intellectual curiosity and creativity," said Executive Director for External Partnerships Barb Tupper. "We believe the new Center for Creative and Careers not only helps Coe achieve its core mission, but also enhances students' experiences and leads them to career success beyond academics."

Erick Danielson (left), chair of the Iowa ACT state organization and Tim Osborn (right), district manager of ACT state organizations for the Midwest region, present Coe Assistant Professor of Psychology Benge Tallman with Iowa's ACT Career Preparedness Exemplar award as part of the 2016-17 ACT College and Career Readiness Campaign.
Erick Danielson (left), chair of the Iowa ACT state organization and Tim Osborn (right), district manager of ACT state organizations for the Midwest region, present Coe Assistant Professor of Psychology Benge Tallman with Iowa's ACT Career Preparedness Exemplar award as part of the 2016-17 ACT College and Career Readiness Campaign.

Along with the Center for Creativity and Careers initiatives, a pilot psychology internship program has been developed to promote career success by helping students explore psychology-related careers and develop the applied knowledge necessary for those careers. Students enroll in the Applied Contemporary Psychology (ACP) class before undertaking an internship experience. The ACP course serves as a guide for students to gain a better sense of their vocational abilities, potential areas for professional growth and career-related interests. Course content focuses on critical prerequisite skills, including written and verbal communication such as mock interviews, networking, leadership, and preparation of professional resumes, cover letters and personal statements for the job market.

The Applied Contemporary Psychology (ACP) course was developed by Coe Assistant Professor of Psychology Benge Tallman. In its second year, the course has already increased the number of psychology students completing internships by six-fold.

"The psychology internship program, in conjunction with the Center for Creativity and Careers, has significantly strengthened Coe's footprint in the Cedar Rapids community as an emerging leader in training critical thinkers who are flexible, adaptable and liberally educated," said Tallman. "Above all, the most exciting and influential impact of the psychology internship program has been the student success stories. Students rave about how transformational their internship experiences have been toward their personal and professional goals."

Established in 2013, the annual ACT College and Career Readiness Campaign celebrates achievements and creates awareness around the goal of college and career readiness for all. ACT developed the campaign to recognize the individuals and institutions doing more with less, overcoming personal or community obstacles, and serving as examples to others working to improve the condition of college and career readiness for all.

ACT State Councils - comprised of education and workforce professionals in each state - selected the Coe College programs for the state exemplar designation from a group of applicants for the Iowa ACT Career Preparedness Award.

"Each year we are proud to recognize exemplary students, high schools, postsecondary institutions and employers working to advance the condition of college and career readiness in their communities," said Scott Montgomery, ACT senior vice president of public affairs. "The individuals and groups named ACT state exemplars demonstrate perseverance and innovative thinking, and serve as examples to others working to improve college and career readiness for all."

Coe and the other state exemplars will now be considered for national semifinalist status by an ACT Selection Committee, which will narrow the talented group into four national semifinalists per category. Finally, a national selection committee will choose one semifinalist per category to make up four national exemplars. These national exemplars will be honored at an ACT recognition event in late fall 2017 in Iowa City.

Coe College offers superb academics and exciting co-curricular activities in a thriving urban setting that promotes student growth and success. Established in 1851, Coe has a national reputation for academic excellence enhanced by a student-centered, highly supportive campus environment. Coe's vibrant Cedar Rapids location provides an abundance of internships for students and career opportunities for graduates.