URI center seen as bridge from campus to employment
EXPERIENCE REQUIRED: Kimberly S. Washor, director of the Center for Career and Experiential Education at URI’s Center for Career and Experiential Education, said, “the university is making a shift to try and be very inclusive of our industry partners.”
COURTESY URI/ MICAHEL SALERNO PHOTOGRAPHY
By Patricia Daddona PBN Staff Writer
Kimberly S. Washor in June became the first director of the University of Rhode Island’s new Center for Career and Experiential Education. The center combines the missions of two formerly separate offices: Experiential Learning and Community Engagement, along with Career Services and Employer Relations. The change is more than superficial, says Washor, who discusses how it will enhance experiential learning as it informs students’ eventual job searches.
PBN: Why merge these two offices now?
WASHOR: It was the optimal time. The university is making a shift to try and be very inclusive of our industry partners, which is what brought about the formation of the Business Engagement Center, and [this center] complements the role of the BEC. When employers are trying to gain access to the university, having one hub for them to reach us is ideal.
PBN: What are URI’s strengths in experiential learning and career services?
WASHOR: Right now, we’ve been able to create a system where we have career and experiential staff working with each of the degree-granting colleges. What that does is: it allows us to focus industry-specific education and resources for students in specific majors. The career adviser is able to work with the faculty member to support either career education or project-based learning and support the faculty in their work with industry partners.
We are implementing a new database system that provides students with additional resources and tools in their internship and job-search functions. And there are increased partnerships across campuses. So, there are advisers who may work specifically with leadership or honor students, LBGT students or other groups.