Online program helps students find majors, careers

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The Career Center introduced a new interactive career and academic program called Pathways yesterday at their sixth annual open house in University Hall.

Ann Morey, director of the Pathways program, said students should choose a major they can enjoy and be competent in so they can graduate as soon as possible.

“What we hope students take away from interacting with the program is that there are often multiple pathways to the same career,” Morey said.

The Pathways program, which cost $100,00 and took two years to make will officially launch next spring.

Emily Hagan, content manager for the Pathways program gave 20-minute presentations on the program  from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for interested students.

Emily Hagan, content manager for Career and Academic Pathways, gives a small presentation about the Pathways program. Antoine Abou-Diwan/Staff Reporter

The online program will aid students with discovering their interests, finding a major, exploring occupations and making campus connections, Hagan said.

The vision and support of the program came from the late Terry Piper, vice president of student affairs and Harry Hellenbrand, provost and vice president of academic affairs, Hagan said.

The program’s interactive style aims to entertain students and make the assessments fun and interesting. Each assessment is in a game format and is available in both flash and non-flash modes.

Patricia Gaynor said the program is also aimed at involving the entire campus through co-curricular opportunities, campus resources, career education, guidance and advisement.

Hagan said the Pathways program is very helpful for undecided majors.

The program has a module dedicated to finding a major that fits a student’s particular interests, she said.

The “making campus connections” module helps students find networking opportunities, both on and off campus, that directly relate to students’ particular field or major.

The program is still in its pilot phase. Before launching it, the Career Center is looking for students to sign up to participate in focus groups. Students will be compensated with a free lunch, a Starbucks gift card and an opportunity to win an Amazon gift card, Hagan said.

Kelly Diaz, a 17-year-old business major who frequently visits the Career Center, agreed the presentations helped make the Open House successful.

Gaynor said over 300 students showed up to the open house, and several students came in search of a job.

She added the main purpose of the open house was to provide “a social, fun situation” for students to get acquainted with the Career Center and all that it has to offer.

Students had the opportunity to take part in raffles for gift certificates, help themselves to complimentary refreshments and take home handmade Career Center bookmarks.

Gaynor said she is amazed at how many students go from freshman to senior year  unaware of the Career Center benefits.

She said freshmen in particular can benefit from the Career Center.  Freshmen can start early and continue with it through their college career, she added.

Danny Guerrido, Vector company representative said he started in the company 12 years ago while he was a student at CSUN.

“This job paid for my education,” Guerrido said. “I gained experience, confidence, communication skills and learned how to manage my time.”

Although the main purpose was not for the employers to do any major recruitment, the companies that were present did receive some strong applicants.

Sally Adelblue, director of audience services at the VPAC, said she saw some good applicants.

“There were a lot of students very eagerly looking for jobs and I definitely saw some I would be looking to hire,” Adelblue said.

Company representatives from Target, Vector, Northwestern Mutual and the Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC)were also there to actively recruit students for job positions and internships.

Hagan said she thinks the open house has been very successful.

“We’ve had tons of students come in, all really engaged and interested in learning more about the Career Center as well as how to find jobs, write resumes and register for My Career Center (Online),” Hagan said.