Career Readiness Domain
“If you don’t have a dream, you can’t have a dream come true”.
That’s the core philosophy underlying the requirement that every student specify a stated career goal at the outset of the program, and that they check and reaffirm that goal at regular intervals as they progress toward its accomplishment.
Students will go through an intensive goal-setting exercise as they begin their Fellowships. This exercise will be paired with Fellows’ use of the Choices database, and will help them make preliminary decisions about whether to begin a career or to continue their education at another institution after earning an Associate’s Degree.
In each semester of the Fellowship, participants will revisit their stated goals and their progress toward them, and will be free to alter or refine their goal if their career exploration and accumulated college experience are leading them in a new direction.
Choices Data Base
The Choices Data Base is a free online tool designed to help students explore career and education options and track their progress as they create successful plans. At the outset of the program, twice during the first year, and once in the second year of the program, all Fellows will be required to learn how to use the Choices database.
It is a requirement of the Fostering Achievement Fellowship Program that Fellows maintain employment of at least 10 hours per week. Although it is preferable that students are employed by the time they begin the first semester, such employment should be in place no later than the end of the first semester. If students are unable to find employment on their own, they will be required to participate in WIA Youth Program through Workforce Plus.
In addition to off-campus employment, some students may find employment through the Work Study program coordinated by TCC’s Financial Aid office.
Work Skills Workshop
The Work Skills Workshop will occur during the first semester of the Fellowship to ensure all Fellows gain a strong, professional work experience from their part-time employment. The workshop will cover the essentials of how to be a good employee.
Career Exploration Sessions
As the first academic year draws to a close, an even greater emphasis will be placed career exploration and readiness. One component of this is a series of paired classroom-workplace experiences designed to give participants the experience of connecting college with the world of work.
In order to gain a better understanding of the programs TCC offers and what various careers require, all 1st Year Fellows must complete FAF’s Career Exploration Sessions. Fellows will spend five weeks exploring the five main programs that TCC offers: Computer technology, Criminal Justice and Public Safety, Education, Engineering and Technology, Health Care. They must sit in on one course in each field and then visit two work site related to the field: one group visit and one individual visit with their Mentors. Fellows must complete a Career Exploration Session Reflection Form for each of the five Career Areas.
Some participants may be more entrepreneurially inclined, and may dream of running their own business one day. Accordingly, Fellows will be offered the chance to attend a workshop which will introduce them to the skills and abilities essential to small business success. During this workshop, they will meet entrepreneurs and small business owners, and learn where to get more information and how to access services, programs and assistance to help them establish and grow a business.
This workshop will take place in the Spring of Fellows’ first academic year, and will be held shortly after the career exploration sessions.
As Fellows begin their second year in the program, they will be required to participate in TCC’s internship program. Having made and affirmed their stated goal, used the Choices database, and participated in the career exploration sessions, the internship program will give Fellows a chance to more fully explore a potential career option in a hands-on, practical environment.
Internships last approximately 15 weeks and require that participants work a minimum of 150 hours over the course of their employment.
Career Readiness Skills Workshops
In February of the second academic year, program participants will be required to attend a series of career readiness skills workshops designed to give them the skills essential to embark upon their chosen careers by making a successful transition into the workforce.
Fellows must attend workshops offered at the TCC Career Center, Workforce Plus, or elsewhere in the community. They must attend a workshop in each of the following areas:
- Career Exploration Workshop
- Job Search Skills Workshop
- Resume Clinic
- Dress for Success Workshop
- Interview Skills Clinic
Personal Branding Workshop
Personal branding is the process by which we market ourselves to others. Our success in life is derived from self-presentation, including our appearance and knowledge.
Professor Lee Kitchen teaches a Personal Branding course at TCC and will lead the Fellows through a short introductory workshop on how to intentionally create, communicate, and maintain a personal brand.