October 6, 2022

Career Education & Community-Based Learning

Dear Goucher Parents and Friends,

Greetings from a bustling Goucher campus, where the Fall 2022 semester is well underway and the first notes of fall are in the air. I’m delighted to introduce myself as the college’s Associate Vice President for Career and Baltimore-Based Learning. In this newly created role, I’ll be helping to redouble Goucher’s efforts to connect our students with communities beyond campus and propel them toward fulfilling professional and civic lives after graduation. While these efforts involve the entire Goucher community as well as a range of external partners throughout the Greater Baltimore region, they are led by the dedicated teams in the college’s Career Education Office (CEO) and Office of Community-Based Learning (CBL), where a number of exciting things are happening this year.
Goucher’s innovative approach to career education begins with engaging students directly through the academic curriculum. Through several required Goucher Commons courses, all students explore their career interests, refine their resume-writing skills, and develop job search and interviewing strategies with direct support from Career Education Office staff. Students can also schedule one-on-one advising sessions with office staff or peer mentors and attend local and regional career fairs.
In addition to these experiences in the classroom and on campus, we are excited to be launching Goucher’s college-wide Internship Accelerator program, a four-year sequence of real-world workplace experiences. Beginning with workplace visits and observations; progressing to paid, project-based micro-internships; and culminating in longer internship experiences that are eligible for academic credit as well as financial support through the Goucher Internship Fellowship, the Internship Accelerator is built to help our students define where they’re headed after graduation and cultivate the knowledge, skills, and networks they’ll need to get there.
Just as the Career Education Office supports students in venturing off campus to explore their future career paths, the Office of Community-Based Learning supports them in defining how they will engage with issues of importance in their communities. After disruptions due to COVID-19, we are delighted to be restarting tutoring and mentoring activities with area elementary and middle schools, hands-on support for Baltimore organizations promoting environmental justice and sustainable agriculture, and multiple donation drives to help address food and housing insecurity. All told, dozens of Goucher students will volunteer to contribute to these community partnerships during the course of this year.
Hundreds more, meanwhile, will engage in community-based learning experiences that their faculty members integrate directly into their coursework with CBL support. Examples of this approach during the Fall 2022 semester include an American Studies course, Religions of Baltimore, through which students are collaborating with community members to document the histories of local faith communities; and a Non-Profit Administration course through which students are conducting interviews with staff and board members to understand the inner workings of the organizations that form the social fabric of the Baltimore area.
I know that I can speak for my colleagues in saying what a privilege it is to work toward making these kinds of experiences a part of every Goucher student’s time at the college. I encourage you to learn more about them via the Career Education Office and Office of Community-Based Learning websites, and to contact me directly with any questions.
Matthew J. Van Hoose, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President of Career and Baltimore-Based Learning