Augustana College

CORE (Careers, Opportunities, Research and Exploration) - CORE offers student-centered learning experiences that help students discover their purpose and passions, and connect them to their career aspirations. 

Format

  • Audience: All students are encouraged to visit CORE, which is centrally located on campus.
  • When:  Each academic term there are individual appointments, retreats, community and volunteer service opportunities, a class on vocational exploration, reflection experiences for internships, and re-entry experiences for study abroad. 
  • Frequency: Programs run all year long. 
  • Other Programs: Augie Choice gives $2,000 to support a qualifying hands-on learning experience of student’s choice.  The Servant Leader Internship Grant Program offers grants for Augustana students to pursue underfunded internships in non-profit and other settings. The Augustana Creative Enterprise Fund (ACEF) provides students with funds to help start a business. 

Funding & Operations

Our program has significant funding as it is included as a major element of the college’s strategic plan, Augustana 2020. http://www.augustana.edu/general-information/presidents-office/strategic-plan/augustana-2020-outline

  • External Support:  We received a grant from the Council of Independent Colleges and the Lilly Endowment for a set of professional development activities to help the 22 staff members of CORE learn about the ways they infuse the concept of vocation into their everyday work with students.
  • Additional grants support community and volunteer service, Servant Leader Internships, and the Augustana Creative Enterprise Fund. 

Description

CORE at Augustana College Includes:

C-Career and Professional Development (including student employment, and alumni relations)

O-Opportunities: Service Learning, Upper Mississippi Studies Center, International Programs, National and International Student Scholarships and Awards

R-Research: Student Research and faculty student partnerships

E-Exploration: Advising, Vocational exploration and discernment

CORE offers students a one-stop shop to explore and plan for their future. Whether a student wants to participate in a service learning program in Nicaragua, undertake research to investigate storm water runoff into the Mississippi River, apply to graduate school, or prepare for their first job - the people and resources to help them discover and work toward their personal, academic, and professional goals are found in CORE. From the beginning of the college process, Augustana College through CORE helps students and their parents understand that college is the time to find the liminal or “in-between” spaces where students explore foundational questions about who they are, what they like and don’t like, and how that will use who they are to make an impact on the needs of their various communities. CORE helps students not only imagine what is possible when you embrace who you are in the classroom, in your residence hall, on the athletic field, on the stage,  in an office,  or in another country but also to practice being you in those settings. 

History

Since its founding, Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, has supported the Lutheran concept of vocation that encourages discovery and exploration of a set of roles to be honored and lived out in one’s daily life. For the last 11 years, with the help of a Lilly Endowment Inc. award, the college has purposely and systematically engaged students in the theological and intellectual exploration of vocation through the work of our Center for Vocational Reflection. As a result and in order to sustain this focus on vocation, Augustana expanded this model and incorporated conversations about vocation into the activities of our entire career and professional development office, academic advising, international programs, and student research.

 In 2014, Augustana College launched CORE (Careers, Opportunities, Research and Exploration). CORE offers student-centered learning experiences that help students discover their purpose and passions, and connect them to their career aspirations. 

Recommended Resources

www.augustana.edu/CORE

http://www.augustana.edu/academics/core/career-development/viking-score

Books:

  • Let Your Life Speak by Parker Palmer
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  • Turning to One Another; Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the Future by Margaret Wheatley
  • The Chaos Theory of Careers by Robert Pryor and Jim Bright

Film:

  • I Am by Tom Shadyac 

Administration/Operations

Our program has significant funding as it is included as a major element of the college’s strategic plan, Augustana 2020.Currently, the program is entirely funded by the college. We have a grant from the Council of Independent Colleges and the Lily Endowment for a set of professional development activities to help the 22 staff members of CORE learn about the ways they infuse the concept of vocation into their everyday work in CORE.

Assessment

We currently track each student appointment in CORE through a database. Students who visit CORE check-in electronically and then receive a follow-up survey within two days of their initial appointment. We also use the Viking Score tracker for professional development, which helps students track professional development, including reflection, over their college career. Points are tracked in the database and managed by professional staff.