Updates from Student Affairs
Check back here for timely updates on the goings-on and news from Student Affairs.
Purposeful Work and Career Development
Dear Members of the Bates Community,
I write to share the news that we will soon be opening a search for a new position in Student Affairs to oversee the work of both the Purposeful Work team and the Bates Career Development Center (BCDC), with the goal of creating an organizational structure that maintains the broad scope and mission-based approach of Purposeful Work, eliminates duplication of effort, and provides a more coherent experience for students, alumni, and employers.
Purposeful Work was launched three years ago as a college-wide initiative designed to help students identify and cultivate their interests and strengths and acquire the knowledge, experiences, and relationships necessary to pursue their aspirations with imagination and authenticity. It is grounded in our liberal arts mission, has curricular and co-curricular aspects, and takes a four-year, developmental approach to working with students. Specific programs include curricular elements that link coursework to questions of meaning, purpose, and careers; Practitioner-Taught Courses in Short Term; the “Purposeful Work Unplugged” speaker series; a development and reflection program for on-campus student employees; the How to Adult life skill series; and a greatly expanded platform of funded internships through a network of core employers.
The Bates Career Development Center (BCDC) has long been the central resource for students seeking to explore and clarify interests, to secure summer opportunities and jobs after graduation, to connect with alumni and employers, and to obtain assistance and guidance for navigating the graduate and professional school application process. BCDC also assists students in securing internships, working in collaboration with the Purposeful Work team. In thousands of appointments and dozens of programs each year, the BCDC staff helps Bates students envision the possibilities of life after college and focus on the paths that will get them where they want to be.
What We Have Heard from You
The decision to create this new position is based on wide-ranging input from students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents, and employers over the past three years through, among other things, systematic discussions as we have built new programs, targeted assessment of specific programs, annual senior surveys, and a survey of the entire alumni body. From students in particular, we have learned that:
- Strong connections to employers, alumni, and parents who can offer job shadow experiences, internships, mentorship, and guidance about building networks are extremely important.
- The confidence of Bates’ seniors in their career-related abilities has increased significantly in all measures surveyed since Purposeful Work began.
- “Handshake,” a software platform implemented by the BCDC in 2015 to improve student access to internship and job opportunities, has been greeted positively by students.
- There is an element of confusion about the distinctions between Purposeful Work and the Bates Career Development Center, and where to turn for support on a variety of matters.
- As Purposeful Work emerges from its current design phase, the initiative needs a more visible and sustainable organizational structure.
Based on your feedback, we look forward to the prospect of hiring a leader tasked with thinking creatively and resourcefully about how to build an appropriate organization to sustain and strengthen Bates’ distinctive approach to preparing students for life, work, and social contribution.
In the next several weeks, we will create a search committee for this position. In the meantime, please feel free to be in touch with me if you have questions.
All my best,
The Office of Residence Life and Health Education is pleased to introduce HouseCat, Bates’ new online housing selection platform. HouseCat enables students to select housing while on campus, off campus, or from Study Abroad, all using an online web-based portal. Whether on campus or off, HouseCat makes the housing selection process less stressful and more flexible. While HouseCat changes the location and mechanism where students select housing, the basics of the lottery remain the same.
Tom Carey Retirement Announcement
During his tenure leading the Office of Security and Campus Safety, Tom has overseen numerous improvements to both the day-to-day operations of the office and the overall security of our campus. Meaningful enhancements to reporting, systems, community involvement, and security protocols occurred under Tom’s leadership.
An Update on Health Services and Counseling & Psychological Services
Over the past few weeks, we have received feedback regarding the many positive enhancements to Health Services and Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS). With these enhancements has come increased confidence in the services and the result has been an increase in usage. As a result, we have heard that wait times for Health Services and CAPS are longer than anticipated and it has, at times, been difficult to reach someone on the phone.
Transforming Student Health Services at Bates
Over the past two years, our campus community has been engaged in a wide range of conversations as part of the Campus Culture Working Group and Institutional Planning. One topic that regularly rose to the surface involved greater student access to high quality medical and mental health services. The retirement of our Director of Health Services at the end of the academic year presented a natural opportunity to review and evaluate health services at Bates.
Campus Safety Update: Possession of Weapons on Campus
Last month, a new firearm statute went into effect in Maine. Because of that change, I wanted to reiterate our campus policy at Bates. While the State of Maine has changed some provisions of its firearms laws, our policy has not changed. Bates remains steadfast in our policy banning guns on our campus. (more…)
What a 1980s TV show can tell us about student life and ’80s Night
In each episode of the classic ’80s TV cop show Hill Street Blues, a sergeant delivers the same line as the officers head out for their shift: “Let’s be careful out there.” (more…)
Bates Today: Announcements and Events in One Daily Email
With the semester around the corner, I want to take this opportunity to update you on Bates Today, the single daily email with a digest of information for students. It resumes on Tuesday, September 8. (more…)
BatesReach and Student Support Advisors team up to support your success
I write to introduce a pair of new programs, Student Support Advisors and BatesReach, that will work in tandem to strengthen your Bates experience.
Orientation, first days, who you’ll meet, and what you’ll see back at Bates
We listened to you and learned a lot from last year, and we are making changes in how we communicate with you.
These changes are meant to ensure that student input, participation, and collaboration are at the core of shaping all aspects of student life.
With that in mind, I hope this information is helpful.