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Career Pathways Proposal Earns National Award

APLU and Lumina Foundation grant to support launch of program to enhance job preparedness

Cleveland State University earned a $10,000 competitive award from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the Lumina Foundation that will support establishment of a program to guide students in obtaining skills that closely align with career opportunities.

The proposal, “Career Pathways Orientation,” will establish 14 tracks at CSU with identified core competencies that employers most frequently seek within each area, and students will be supported in selecting one, even if they have not selected a major. Academic advisors will counsel students on completing coursework and obtaining internships to enhance preparedness for job placement.

“We are very appreciative of this recognition as we continue to develop innovative approaches to ensuring graduates receive a high-value education and that employers find the talent they need on our campus,” said CSU President Ronald M. Berkman.

The competitive grant was awarded as part of the Innovation Challenge during this year’s APLU annual meeting in Orlando. CSU’s proposal was presented by Byron White, vice president for university engagement, and was one of only three to receive awards, along with University of Houston and University of Louisville. There were 11 finalists.

“While many majors link directly to a job description, it is not the case for all. This program will help students translate what they are learning in any major to the competencies employers are seeking,” said White.

The pathways have been identified through analysis of labor data and are being matched to CSU major programs that provide applicable skills. The grant will fund training of academic advisors, promotion of the program to students and an online tool for pathway exploration.