UMass Amherst Career Center to Announce Major Redesign, Including Seven New Positions

AMHERST, Mass. - The Mather Career Center at the University of Massachusetts will announce a major redesign, which will include a relocation of advising and counseling services and the hiring of seven new counselors/advisors, at 4 p.m. Mon., March 24, in the Career Center. Reporters are invited to attend.

The Career Center is located at 37 Mather Drive, off East Pleasant Street just beyond the University of Massachusetts Press. Parking is available at the site.

Thomas B. Robinson, vice chancellor for student affairs, and Joan M. Stoia, director of career services, will both attend the session to explain the redesign and the reasons behind it.

Funded with $250,000, the redesign will place two-person teams within each of seven academic areas on campus: humanities and fine arts; natural sciences and mathematics; social and behavioral sciences; engineering; food and natural resources; management; and education, nursing, and public health and health sciences.

Stoia says each team will consist of a career advisor and a field experience coordinator with expertise in relating academics to career options. "We are convinced we need to offer career services in context," Stoia says. "This means placing career decision-making, practical experience, and job searching within the context of academic work to make clearer the relation between school and work."

She said the redesign is in response to research both on and off campus about the ways students want to access information and services. "People respond to niche markets," she said. "They want specialized services. What works for students in the humanities is very different from what works for engineers."

The teams are to be in place within the individual schools and colleges by this fall, with the teams managed by the director of career services from the existing Career Center. Of the seven new employees, five will be field experience coordinators to add to the two now on campus in order to increase the availability of cooperative training and internships. Two will be career advisors.

"The hallmark of the redesign will be personal service by someone who is immersed in your field," Stoia says.