New learning styles, rigorous expectations and all-night study sessions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to concerns held by first-generation college students attending California State University, Stanislaus.
It is because of this that a number of campus programs have collaborated in order to host the third annual “Take Charge: Prepare for Your Future” conference on Thursday for current and potential first-generation college students.
“Most of our students are first-generation college students, so this conference is designed to enhance their knowledge and advance their educational and professional careers,” said Clarissa Lonn-Nichols, director of the Office of Student Leadership and Development and chair of the Raising the Bar Committee that organizes the annual event.
“We will hopefully build upon their skill sets to help them navigate or gain additional resources for career planning, graduate school, or professional school opportunities,” added Lonn-Nichols.
Workshops for participants include “From Dreams to Reality: Finding the Plan that Leads to Your Future,” which provides students with tips on how to succeed in their major; “Intellectual Capital: Is Grad School a Prerequisite to Your Future,” where students will learn everything they need to know about graduate school; and “Your Money, Your Life: Take Control of Your Financial Future,” which will help students grasp essential money management skills.
“These workshops will focus on a number of topics, including career planning, what makes a good letter of recommendation and life in graduate school,” said Lonn-Nichols.
Another workshop, titled “Professional Etiquette: The First 10 Seconds of You at a Meeting,” will teach skills that will help students make a good impression in academic and career settings. According to Lonn-Nichols, one of the panelists for the workshop includes a prominent alumnus of CSU Stanislaus.
“One person who is coming is our own alumnus John Jacinto, who is the chair of our Alumni Council and the owner of Vistech Manufacturing Solutions,” said Lonn-Nichols. “He is very involved and supportive of the university, so he will come in and provide both the employer and alumni perspective that professionals need to know.”
Other panelists include faculty across disciplines, staff, upper division students and local business representatives.
The conference comes as the combined effort of the Faculty Mentor Program in the office of Student Leadership and Development, the Central Valley Math and Science Alliance, Student Support Services, Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, Program for Academic and Career Excellence and the Educational Opportunity Program.
“We are excited for this event and the opportunity to work together to offer this for our students,” said Lonn-Nichols.
“Take Charge: Prepare for Your Future” is scheduled for 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday in the CSU Stanislaus Event Center. According to Lonn-Nichols, this year’s event will only be open to students in the aforementioned programs. However the university hopes to open it up to all undergraduates in the future.
Although offered at no charge, participants are encouraged to register until Monday at cvmsa.wufoo.com/forms/take-charge-prepare-for-your-future. Free dinner will also be provided.