Western Carolina University (WCU) is one of many higher education institutions expecting the fall 2020 semester to look much different than it has in the years past due to COVID-19. For WCU, the plan is to offer a hybrid course system. These courses will follow a schedule that will include either primarily face-to-face, or primarily online. In the primarily face-to-face courses, students will attend classes in smaller numbers on specific days. In the hybrid courses, primarily online courses, professors may not require students to come to class at all, but rather will have students complete work virtually, and meet on platforms like Zoom.
For the Center for Career & Professional Development (CCPD), all career services resources pivoted to virtual in the spring and will continue to be delivered virtually in the fall with the help of Symplicity CSM. CCPD’s mission is to connect on and off-campus employers with student talent through services and partnerships that prepare students to meet the workforce needs. Despite the uncertainty that lies ahead, CCPD will continue to provide employability opportunities through the following virtual career resources.
1. Virtual Appointments
WCU students can schedule virtual appointments through myWCU. Students simply log in and click “Advising/Tutoring” in the Quicklinks. Then students can click “Get Assistance,” then “Select our office,” and complete the topic/staff/time/date selection. Once all of that is filled out and submitted, students will receive an email from their counselor with the Zoom meeting information.
2. Virtual Drop-Ins
Virtual drop-ins have replaced the CCPD’s 10-15 minute in-person sessions. During CCPD’s regular business hours, Monday – Friday, 8am – 5pm, students can schedule a virtual drop-in with one of the career advisors through the counseling module in Symplicity CSM. For any students that need a quick resume or cover letter review, or have any career-related question, students are encouraged to email email@example.com.
3. Live Chat for Seniors
WCU students are encouraged to continue the conversation in order to move their employability journey forward. JobCat2.0 (powered by Symplicity CSM) is an online job board where students can find full-time, part-time, and summer jobs and internships that also provides students with the ability to chat with a career advisor in real time. Students can log in to JobCat2.0 and look for “Chat with Career Center” on the right-hand side. Live chat is available Monday – Friday, 8am – noon and 1 – 4pm.
4. Virtual Career Fairs
The CCPD is hosting a series of virtual career fairs focused on industries and student disciplines. Symplicity CSM’s NEW virtual career fair product offers video capability and allows employers to use their preferred video conferencing platform (i.e. GoToMeeting, Skype, Zoom, etc.) to meet with students and learn more about them. Employers may also register up to 10 representatives at no extra charge to manage a group visit room and one-on-one video meetups. These virtual career fairs will be smaller with fewer employer slots open for each fair, so students are encouraged to sign up early. All fairs are now open for registration at https://wcucareers-csm.symplicity.com/events.
“The Symplicity CSM system has been integral to our work in supporting students and alumni at Western Carolina University. We are very excited to see the new updates coming to the virtual career fair module and believe that the video option will allow employers and students to connect on a deeper level. With the movement to virtual resources for students since March, the CSM system has been invaluable in helping us to stay connected to our students and provide them with quality services.”
Theresa Cruz Paul,
Director, Center for Career and Professional Development,
Western Carolina University