Career and Professional Development Staff Awarded for Program Development, Innovation

Submitted by Gretchen Phillips on March 22, 2023 - 2:58 pm
March 22, 2023
By Gretchen Phillips

Working to guide students to career paths tailored for them, three staff of St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) earned a distinguished award from the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers (EACE).

Professional Pathways Director Michael Dunn, along with Julianne Petrilla, coordinator for the first year professional pathways, and the program's externship coordinator, Meghan Druzgala, were awarded the 2023 Excellence in Program Development & Innovation Award honoring the Professional Pathways (CORE-P) program.

The annual award honors outstanding program development in either recruiting or career services that can serve as a model program for others in the field to replicate.

Professional Pathways is included in the College’s Learning through Experiential and Applied Discovery (LEAD) curriculum and its courses are a robust sequence of career-readiness courses that are required of all incoming new students. These courses are designed and implemented by CCPD staff.

In an email from the EACE, CCPD staff learned that the program was recommended by the associations’ Leadership & Recognition Committee and voted on by the Board of Directors.  

CORE-P launched as a pilot program in fall 2018 and since that time, the program has grown to include three different courses. During a student’s first year, they are enrolled in two introductory one-credit courses in which they explore their strengths and interests, learn basic professional writing and interview skills, participate in networking events, develop a career exploration plan, and discover the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE) career readiness competencies. As a sophomore or junior, students enroll in a two-credit Honors College externship course, taught by a subject matter expert about a particular career field. These unique courses include classroom activities, lessons focused on NACE competencies, and hands-on experiences outside of class so that students are well-prepared for an internship in a particular area. The subject matter experts who teach the Honors College externship courses are drawn from industry, alumni communities, and other networks.

CCPD staff will receive the award during an EACE awards luncheon in June .



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