Pressure Builds For Schools To Help Grads Get Jobs

Ann McClure's picture

Courtney Flynn spends a lot of her time in a bright, bustling office suite that looks like something out of the Fortune 500, shining with floor-to-ceiling frosted glass, conference rooms and bright contemporary furniture.

She doesn’t work here. She’s what she calls a “serial visitor,” popping in to get advice she hopes will help her land a good job someday, someplace else.

This high-tech place in which Flynn finds herself so often is the Office of Career and Professional Development at Wake Forest University, where she’s a junior majoring in classical studies and German. The career center has moved upstairs from the basement of a building in the center of the campus into a new 7,000-square-foot space, and its staff has grown from seven to 30 with the help of $8.5 million raised from parents and alumni.

This rocket-fueled approach to what was previously called career counseling is a response to demands from students and parents that increasingly pricey universities do more to help graduates find jobs than run occasional career fairs and pass out brochures.

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