Every freshman and transfer student is required to take GST 170: The First Year of College ("College and Career Success"). The textbook for this class is Live Your Calling: A Practical Guide to Finding and Fulfilling Your Mission in Life (Jossey-Bass, 2005). Many subjects for college success will be covered. The career success portion of the class will help each student to develop a "Career Portfolio" which will include the following:

  • Results from taking the Strong Interest Inventory Profile (a professional career assessment that will be debriefed by National Certified Career Counselors)
  • Developing a Life Calling Map that will organize assessment information about a student's interests, skills, personality type, etc. and identify the themes and key "puzzle pieces" of their God-given design.
  • Career research about potential/chosen career options with a demonstration of how the proposed/potential major and career path(s) fit the student's design.
  • The development of a four-year academic and career plan.
  • Using the Resume "Wizard" to develop a targeted resume.
  • Developing a LinkedIn profile (used as a resume 2.0; for networking purposed; informational interviewing, getting answers to job questions, joining job groups of interest, finding jobs, etc.)
  • Continue learning and practicing the process for exploring and “reality testing” career options. (Most people don’t reality test their career choices until after they are on the job, leading to many people being in the wrong job for their skills and abilities.)
  • Widen “tunnel vision” by exploring several career options. For students who feel certain about their career path, this will either confirm their initial choice or help them to evaluate if there are better fitting options.
  • “Reality test” career areas of interest through online resources, informational interviewing and “shadowing” to determine how well they fit their design.
  • Gain real world career experience through internships, helping them further reality test career options and learn the steps for success in a given career field.
  • Develop a professional mentor who can give you advice and help you to network with people in your chosen field of work.
  • Learn how to prepare for entering their career of choice, including continuing to network with career professionals who can become formal or informal mentors.
  • Commit to a college major that relates to a career area that fits their design.
  • Learn how to “partner with God” in making wise decisions and developing action plans for their career and life.
  • Write a mission statement for their vocational calling.
  • Develop a job search marketing tools (resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, etc.) and a job search plan that includes the most effective job search strategies for tapping into the advertised as well as the “hidden” (or unadvertised) job markets. (As many as 85% of jobs are not advertised in newspapers or on the Internet.)
  • Take action not only to get a job but, even more importantly, to live their calling by using their gifts to make a difference in this world!