Pitt Community College has embarked on a new initiative to support the College’s mission to “educate and empower people for success.” The new initiative is called “CAP – Career and Academic Planning.”
The initiative is designed to increase access, knowledge, and application of career planning resources early in the academic journey of a student at PCC. In addition, PCC has identified the goal of increasing access to informed academic advising.
To achieve these goals, the college has identified important aspects of a student’s educational progression. They include the application process and early enrollment in the ACA-111: College Student Success course. The application process has been restructured to facilitate student research into career fields by partnering with the College Foundation of North Carolina (CFNC) and utilizing the CFNC Interest Inventory. The inventory encourages personal introspection by identifying a student’s interests, and aligning his/her interests with possible career options. The student can research projected earnings and employment opportunities in a selected area using the same inventory. If further investigation is needed, the student can meet with PCC’s trained staff to discuss several career options. Even before taking the first class, a student will be able to identify his/her possible career interests, employment projections, and the earning potential of the career in different regions of the country.
The ACA-111: College Student Success course highlights three strategic activities designed to align career interests with academic planning. First, students research and identify careers that align with their interests. Second, students interview a professional in the selected career. This activity was established for students to better understand the day-to-day work experiences in the selected career. Third, students establish an educational plan that outlines their path to graduation. The course provides research opportunities to identify career options, conduct additional research into their career selection, and then establish an educational plan to guide students toward graduation.
Career and Academic Planning (CAP) plays a critical role in student persistence and completion. Studies show that students who are undecided about their college degree and subsequent career options are less likely to be successful in degree completion. Therefore, by enhancing academic planning and career counseling services, PCC can increase student success by helping students understand their educational options and form a clear path from education to a career.