New center at Lycoming College to expand internship, research and international travel opportunities

New center at Lycoming College to expand internship, research and international travel opportunities

From left: Anne Landon, career adviser for business and education and assistant director of the Institute for Management Studies; Nathalie Montoya, a freshman criminal justice major who came to the center to inquire about internships; Philip Witherup, coordinator of study abroad and travel courses; Kristin Laudenslager, career adviser for natural sciences and mathematics; Susan Ross, Ph.D., associate provost for experiential learning; and Lori Lyons, career adviser for social sciences.

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Lycoming College is pleased to announce the opening of its Center for Enhanced Academic Experiences for the Fall 2016 semester. The Center for Enhanced Academic Experiences oversees key programs including internships and career advising, funded student-faculty research, and global education experiences.

The center is responsible for cultivating existing and new relationships with businesses and organizations to enhance and increase the number and variety of experiences, and the impact of those opportunities. Because these types of endeavors are vital to helping students develop personally and professionally, all students — starting with last year’s class — are now required to complete at least one enhanced academic experience, although more are encouraged. These opportunities enable students to create an educational portfolio uniquely designed to position themselves for future careers.

“We are excited about the significant benefits the center will offer our students, not only by streamlining and refocusing existing programs, but also by augmenting them with new services and high-impact opportunities,” said Kent C. Trachte, Lycoming College president. “The center effectively functions as our headquarters for experiential learning, a base from which we launch students into careers of significance and lives of meaning, often in pursuit of advanced study.

“The center is integral to our model of a 21st century liberal arts education, one that combines the power of experiential learning with the proven value of the liberal arts education that Lycoming has provided since its founding,” Trachte added.

Enhanced academic experiences help build critical soft skills including decision making, leadership, creativity, respect for the safety and well-being of others, and respect for diversity of experience. Students who complete enhanced academic experiences are more likely to graduate from college, more likely to be accepted to graduate school or hired as an employee, more likely to earn more and move into leadership positions faster.

Although students can fulfill the requirement for an enhanced experience through a variety of College-approved activities, the center staff is working with the Office of Development and Alumni Relations to increase funded opportunities that will ensure all students have equal access to these experiences. The College already offers a number of paid internships and research fellowships, including the Williamsport Internship Summer Experience and Haberberger Fellowships that fund senior research projects. The Haberberger Fellowships have a strong track record of yielding students who graduate with departmental honors. A Lycoming College education also has prepared students to be competitive with post-graduate opportunities, like Fulbright Scholarships, that are funded by outside organizations.

Another key responsibility for the center includes the management of the College’s career advising activities, which helps students select a major and identify career options that best fit their values, skills, and personalities. The College has developed a unique structure of career advisors who work specifically with faculty and students within related academic disciplines. While the center serves as their administrative home, these embedded career advisors work in the same campus location as the faculty they support so they are easily accessible to students as they progress through their career explorations during college and beyond. The collaboration between the career advisors and with faculty of related departments significantly increases the level of integration between academic preparation and professional development.

The center staff also work with faculty members across nine academic departments to coordinate travel courses for the coming academic year to London and Prague; Italy, Austria and Germany; Ireland; Italy and Greece; and the Dominican Republic.

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