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Loyola receives grant supporting career readiness integration in courses

Students gather on couches and at tables in the Rizzo Career Center atrium

Loyola University Maryland received a $15,000 grant from the American Association of Colleges & Universities to help faculty integrate career readiness skills into their courses and work with students. Named in the fall of 2023, three career faculty fellows in Loyola College, the University's school of arts and sciences, will help lead the effort in partnership with Loyola’s Rizzo Career Center.

The career faculty fellows will infuse their curricula and academic advising with vocational discernment and career readiness information. The fellows meet monthly and receive training in career development resources, including the services of Loyola’s Rizzo Career Center. In addition, they will co-write a career toolkit for faculty outlining how faculty members can integrate career readiness into student instruction by maximizing and reframing their existing work.

Loyola’s career faculty fellows are:

In addition to their collaborative work, the fellows are pursuing individual projects. Projects may include developing syllabi language to highlight career readiness skills students will learn in their courses, rewriting student leadership role descriptions to highlight career skills students will learn in the roles, and creating career development resources for advisors in their departments.

“This initiative allows the Rizzo Career Center to further our efforts to build strong partnerships with faculty, which has been an intentional focus for our team,” said Christina Spearman, Ed.D., assistant vice president for career development. “We recognize the meaningful relationships our faculty form with students that position them well for future success. Integrating career development across the University allows us the opportunity to expand and scale our resources to impact every student.”

The fellows are also developing a four-year pathway for students using the Rizzo Career Center’s model, which guides students to “discover,” “explore,” “prepare,” and “pursue.” In partnership with the Career Center, the fellows will work to adapt this model for students and advisors across disciplines. The pathway will support students in discerning their goals, gaining the experiences and education they need, and connecting them to additional campus resources.

“As we pilot the career readiness program, a major focus will be to identify the needs of first-generation college students and those from underrepresented backgrounds. Integrating career and vocational readiness into the curriculum helps all students be successful, but particularly those who have not historically had access to higher education.” said Frank D. Golom, Ph.D., interim dean of Loyola College. “That is a priority for us.”

Loyola’s first-year class includes 40% students of color; 26% first-generation students, whose parents did not graduate from college; and 22% students eligible for Federal Pell Grants for financial need.