Pictured: Matt Freeman, CLC 2016 graduate
Education and Employment Advisors (EEAs) are a vital part of the student success formula for Rural Information Technology Alliance (RITA) students at Central Lakes College (CLC). EEAs engage in "intrusive advising" a model of action-oriented advising that engages on a regular basis with students motivating them to seek help when needed.
EEAs, Tambera Topp and Rebecca Best, work like coaches with Information Technology students from the time they first express interest in a program, through their course work, search for jobs, and ultimate employment. When combined with the efforts of the college’s expert faculty, and other student support services, RITA students know that a team of people have their best interests, and their success in mind.
Matt Freeman, a May 2016 graduate, worked with Tambera on his resume, cover letters and interviewing skills beginning fall of 2015. He had some experience with the Best Buy Geek Squad, had earned a few certifications and was in his last year of classes. It was easy to take his skills and experiences and get them on paper.
Matt had his sights set on landing a position with the Brainerd school district. When a position with the district became available, Matt applied. All of his employment prep paid off. He got the job, and started in Jan of 2016, four months before graduating. Matt said, “I wouldn’t have been able to get my position if it wasn’t for Tambera. She was my rock through this and helped me through every step of the way.”
Another way that EEAs support student success is to identify and secure potential internships. Recent graduate, Brent Parker, worked with Rebecca early on in his program. According to Brent, “Rebecca has been a wonderful resource. Whenever I needed help with getting set up for classes, finding an internship, and even building my resume, Rebecca has been a fantastic asset. She has helped me immensely and she is just fantastic.”
The two worked together and identified a paid internship that was available the summer of 2015. Even though Brent was a bit late in learning of the opportunity, Rebecca worked with him on his resume and encouraged him to apply. Brent landed the paid internship at Crow Wing County. It provided valuable learning, and added useful work experience to add to Brent’s resume.
Brent is now working full time at Mid Minnesota Federal Credit Union as a computer support specialist. Brent plans to continue his education at CLC and fulfill program requirements for the Computer Network Administration degree.
Hard working and determined students, talented, dedicated and connected faculty, and extensive services offered by RITA’s education and employment advisors, are all significant factors contributing to the success of IT graduates at CLC. A collaborative approach provides the comprehensive support needed to achieve academic and career success.