Ivy Tech strives to bridge the gap between graduation and careers with new Career Coaching and Employer Connections program

Ivy Tech strives to bridge the gap between graduation and careers with new Career Coaching and Employer Connections program

You took the leap. You decided to further your education. You worked hard. You got your degree. Now, you are ready to take on a career in your field, but it feels like you missed a step. 

Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana is making sure students do not feel a disconnect between graduation and their first job post-graduation with their system-wide roll out of the Career Coaching and Employer Connections program (CCEC). The program idea sprung from trends leaders of local Ivy Tech campuses noticed. 

“We were seeing that there was a gap between students finishing their education and being ready to go directly into the workforce,” said Patti Shields, Executive Director of CCEC at Valparaiso’s Ivy Tech campus. 

According to Shields, the main goal of CCEC is to bridge this gap, and to get students connected with future employers before they receive their degree to ensure a smooth transition into the workforce. After developing three areas of assistance available for students, Ivy Tech stresses that networking through this program is worthwhile.

“We are much more comprehensive now in helping connect our students while they are in school instead of waiting until the end,” Shields said. “We want to be intentional when connecting students.”

First, students work with CCEC coaches to build interview skills, resumes, and cover letters. Coaches also dive deeper into career exploration one-on-one to better focus students on a specific career that will be a good fit for them.

Next, career experience specialists will link students to employers in the workforce. Together, students and specialists will research job postings, position openings, and availability, as well as internship opportunities. This process is in conjunction with HireIvy, a solution created by Ivy Tech to assist students with career development. 

Lastly, students and employer consultants meet to work with employers to find out what they need from students to succeed at their place of business. Whether this be internal training, classes, or other prerequisites, consultants walk through these necessary steps with students to ensure that they are ready for their next step.

Shields says this program is new since it just launched at the Valparaiso campus in January. As the college forges new territory with CCEC, she is confident that it will lead to success.

“I have worked with workforce development for most of my career. I’ve never really seen a college bring all of the aspects together like Ivy Tech does.”

The program is one that Shields believes has a great foundation to shape the college community and the students who participate.

“Our coaches have been going through extensive training so that they can really learn how to engage with students and find out how to help them meet their needs,” she said. “We don’t want to just give them a checklist. We want students to really explore what they want to do.” 

For students who are interested in CCEC, visit https://www.ivytech.edu to connect and get started.