June 22, 2024

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New Program Helps First-Gen College students Discover Profession Paths

3 min read
New Program Helps First-Gen College students Discover Profession Paths

For first-generation school pupil Jamilet Amoguea, the River Hawk Students Academy (RHSA) has helped her navigate her first two years at UMass Lowell.

Now that Amoguea is a junior, her focus has shifted from determining school life to getting ready for a future profession.

“I do know I wished to attend UMass Lowell, and I do know I need to do one thing with psychology, however I’m nonetheless somewhat misplaced about what I’m doing sooner or later,” says the psychology main from Revere, Massachusetts.

To assist Amoguea and others like her discover their approach, the RHSA has launched a Pathways to Profession pilot program. Whereas the nationally acknowledged RHSA program is geared towards freshmen and sophomores, it’s increasing to offer profession and graduate faculty readiness programming for juniors and seniors, due to $500,000 in federal funding.

“I used to be pleased to see it being supplied. It’s particularly useful for first-generation school college students, as a result of a variety of issues are new for us,” Amoguea says of the yearlong program. “I really feel like there’s a variety of stress placed on school college students to have the whole lot mapped out of their first or second yr. This may assist me strive to determine the place I’m going from right here.”

New Program Helps First-Gen College students Discover Profession Paths
Picture by Ed Brennen

Laptop science main Arthur Rosa is certainly one of 26 juniors collaborating within the RHSA’s new Pathways to Profession program.

Managed by Assoc. Director of Profession Companies Serwa Addae-Adoo, the Pathways to Profession program offers the primary cohort of 26 juniors with a structured plan for the tutorial yr. College students are required to take part in a number of actions and packages hosted by the Profession and Co-op Middle, resembling interviewing and résumé workshops, networking nights and the Dine & Costume occasion. College students are additionally required to attend both the autumn or spring profession truthful, in addition to conduct career-related interviews with three folks from the UML neighborhood.

“Yearly, the wants of every school cohort are completely different,” Addae-Adoo says. “By junior yr, they perceive the ins and outs of faculty, and now they’re pondering, ‘Oh, I must get an internship and do one thing with my profession.’ That’s why we’re right here — to assist them in a wide range of methods.”

Addae-Adoo started creating this system final spring with RHSA Director Matthew Hurwitz and Carol Towle ’22, coordinator of college-based advising within the Manning College of Enterprise. Towle earned an M.Ed. in Larger Schooling Administration from UML final spring, along with her thesis on “intrusive advising,” which entails proactive intervention with college students.

A young woman with dark hair in a plaid shirt listens to someone talk in a conference woman
Picture by Ed Brennen

Junior enterprise administration main Stella Cortese talks with fellow members of her Pathways to Profession cohort.

Arthur Rosa, a pc science main from Everett, Massachusetts, says he signed up for this system to maintain himself on observe for locating a profession that may permit him to assist folks. 

Being a part of a cohort of first-generation college students “helps drive me ahead as a result of assist of my friends,” he says. “Seeing my friends from all completely different backgrounds try for his or her profession, even when it’s robust, conjures up me to do the identical.”

Yaritza Gil-Javier, a legal justice main from Lawrence, Massachusetts, signed up as quickly as she noticed the e-mail from RHSA.

“I’ve struggled with what I need to do with my profession,” says Gil-Javier, who explored choices in forensics and regulation enforcement earlier than discovering an curiosity in homeland safety by means of her coursework.

Two young women, one in a plaid shirt and one in a blue sweatshirt, talk to each other while sitting at a table
Picture by Ed Brennen

Junior biology main Naisha Sterling, left, talks with a fellow Pathways to Profession cohort member at their kickoff assembly.

“This program is unquestionably going to assist me determine what I need to do with homeland safety,” she says. “Hopefully, I can community and make new connections.”

Addae-Adoo says many first-generation college students face obstacles in beginning their careers, resembling an absence of connections, that she hopes this system can handle.

“We’re very excited to have our first cohort,” she says. “We hope the numbers enhance subsequent yr and we will assist much more college students.”

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