Rosalie Shemmer took over as senior director of the Career Center last month and observed a department in need of reform to stay relevant at an evolving university. After spending 14 years in academic and career advising at other institutions, Shemmer noted that Temple’s Career Center is under-resourced, among other problems that she said she plans to change.
Shemmer said one of her top priorities is to put the focus on students. Soon after arriving at Temple, she met with Student Body President Darin Bartholomew.
Shemmer said they discussed expanding online career planning programs, marketing the Career Center’s initiatives and creating a panel that included students to explore possible improvements, all changes that Bartholomew said are welcome.
“When you go to Career Center events there’s just kind of this feeling that they don’t meet the expectations of Temple University,” Bartholomew said. “They kind of need to get the Career Center to a level where it matches Temple University and where we’re at now.”
Shemmer’s previous post was the director of the career center at Manhattanville College from 2008 until February.
“[At] Manhattanville College, the career development department at the time really didn’t have the resources and it really wasn’t functioning very well,” Shemmer said. “So I’m proud to say six years later we had a great department, very student focused.”
Shemmer said that Temple’s Career Center is under resourced with nine staff members. Senior Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies Peter Jones said this number is expected to change in the future.
“No specific numbers or time frame are available at this point as decisions are being made about which hires to prioritize,” Jones wrote in an email. “However it is the case that the center will be significantly enhanced during the coming year.”
In the 2014 Princeton Review 378 Best Colleges report, the University of Pittsburgh, a fellow state-related university received positive recognition with its career services department coming in ranked at 20.
Pittsburgh’s career services offers programs like guaranteed internships or post-graduation advising. According to its website, Pittsburgh’s career services has a staff of 25 serving 18,429 students.
Pennylvania State University, also a state-related institution, has an enrollment of 45,518 on its main campus and a staff of 38 at its career services, according to the university website.
“[A] piece that was important [at Manhattanville] and is important here is connections with alumni are absolutely key,” Shemmer said.
However, Temple’s alumni participation has stagnated around 7 percent due to having long been a commuter school. Pittsburgh’s alumni participation rate last year was 35 percent and Penn State’s rate was 30 percent.
Temple’s career advising is shared between the Career Center and the individual colleges. Bartholomew said the place for a university-wide career center is if a student is a dual-major, minoring in another college, or are just interested in attending job fairs for a different college.
“I think we can offer a lot of support and I hope that’s what we’ll be,” Shemmer said. “We will be the hub for the university career center and in many ways, especially those schools and colleges that need that support…we can provide that support.”
Marcua McCarthy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @marcusmccarthy6.