Friday, February 27, 2009

Career Placement? What's that?

Are you struggling to find a job in this economy? Don't know what to do or say while being interviewed? Can’t figure out how to write your resume?

Located in the 100 building on our East Campus (sometimes referred to as the Annex) in room 102, the Office of Career Placement, Cooperative Education, and Service Learning was created to help Vol State students and graduates in their search for a career in their chosen fields.

Dr. Rick Parrent, Director of Office of Career Placement, Cooperative Education, and Service Learning, said about the purpose of his office, "We provide resource and info to equip our students to be competitive in the market place. If students have taken the opportunity to do I can tell them that they're being bridge take the knowledge from college and build the bridge so when they start to connect with the real world, they can have the skills to be successful.”

So, what exactly does that big fancy title mean? Splitting the subjects apart:

Career Placement is, quoting the pamphlet, “[Career Placement] is a valuable resource center providing services to help you develop and enhance effective job seeking skills. Our services are designed to teach you how to successfully market your skills, experiences, qualifications, and abilities to potential employers as you pursue your career goals.”

Cooperative Education is another part of the laundry list of titles the office has. In laymen’s terms, the program offers students the chance to earn college credit while working off campus in a job related to their field of study. For all the information on how to participate, visit:

Service Learning gives students the chance to make a difference in their community and, in the process, learn valuable skills in critical thinking and problem solving, civic and community responsibility, and personal development. Professor of Sociology Bonita Harold is known for doing a service learning project in each of her classes every semester. When I had her for Introduction of Sociology, we did tornado clean-up and fed the homeless.

The Department does more than just those three topics listed above. They also run the Career Alumni Network, Credits for Life, and the Job Listings website.

The Office of Career Placement, Cooperative Education, and Service Learning recently started another program called the Career Alumni Network, or CAN. According it its pamphlet, "CAN has been created in collaboration with area business and industry partners of Vol State to assist students of the College in exploring several career development opportunities. The 30 members of CAN have volunteered to help students by serving as a contact, shadow, mentor, or referral to enhance students' awareness of existing career opportunities and options." Check out this website to read a couple of bios of CAN members:

Credits for Life is a program offers those students a chance to skip the classroom if they already have and can prove they already have the knowledge and experience that they would have been taught. The whole process is explained here:

On the Office of Career Placement, Cooperative Education, and Service Learning's website, they have a place where local employers can post help wanted ads for completely free. To visit the current job listings, visit:

Want to know more? The office is located in the 100 building on our East Campus (sometimes referred to as the Annex) in room 102. The office hours are from 8am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday, and the phone number is 615.230.3321. Walk-ins are welcomed, but making an appointment and calling in ahead of time is preferred.

Vol State. Volunteer State Community College.

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