NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University is using a $150,000 grant from the United Negro College Fund to improve job placement outcome for graduates.
The university was one of 30 historically black colleges and universities that recently received the grant made possible through funding by the Lilly Endowment, Inc, which has committed $50 million for UNCF to launch the UNCF Career Pathways Initiative.
TSU will use the money to enhance its student career development initiatives.
“As the nation focuses on its capacity to address the current and projected needs for a more educated, better trained and diverse workforce, TSU is poised to confirm our position as a significant source of premier employee and entrepreneurial talent,” TSU President Glenda Glover said. “This funding will allow us to focus on a campus-wide career planning and development initiative that will ensure that even more of our students are exposed to various career and employment options.”
Kierston Moorer and Tyler Kinloch, both of whom graduated from TSU on May 7, said the university’s Career Development Center has done a good job preparing them for the workforce.
“I’ve been involved with this center since my freshman year,” said Moorer, a computer science major who is taking a job at IBM as a software engineer-technical support in Raleigh, North Carolina. “The center set up a mock interview for me, guided me with my resume and everything else. They are very proactive and very encouraging.”
Kinloch, who interned with Alcoa, Inc., last year, has been hired by the company as an industrial engineer. He said the Career Development Center “enhanced my ability to prepare for my career.”
“Being able to connect with the Career Development Center and taking advantage of all the services they provide – resume building, printing business cards, mock interviews, critiques – has helped to prepare me for the real world,” said Kinloch, who graduated with a degree in Aeronautical and Industrial Technology.
Eloise Abernathy Alexis, associate vice president for Institutional Advancement at TSU, said the funding is intended to integrate and institutionalize existing and new career development programs, partnerships and principles under four key priority areas, including curriculum, coaching, concepts and connection.
For instance, she said one program the funding will benefit is Backpacks to Briefcases: A Social Media Platform Integrating Career Curriculum, Coaching, Concepts and Connections.
“Our students represent a diverse population of individuals seeking to acquire the academic credentials, training and experience required to embark upon pertinent career opportunities, innovative startups and civic service,” she said. “We must ensure that current TSU students have practical and relevant career preparation as a continuum of TSU’s track record of success after graduation.”
Bertina Reed-Hewett, director of the Career Development Center, agreed.
“We don’t want students to graduate with a mediocre job, we want them to have gainful employment,” she said.
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About Tennessee State University
With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.