Career services center offers guidance to graduates


Gwenda Oshiro (left) and Kara Leonard assist students at the Career Center.

Story by Elizabeth Kessel and Debbie Fox

Graduating and earning a degree is just the beginning of what’s to come.

Many students leave Clackamas Community College to enter the workforce. Other students have obtained a transfer degree and are off to four year universities. Wherever they are off to, it can be intimidating not knowing which way to go. Fortunately, CCC has many resources to help students decide what path to take and how to get there.

A Career Services Specialist, Natasha Dunne, said,“A career center is a place for students to come and to find and to explore careers or to find leads for jobs, internships, CWEs, volunteer work.”

After graduation, Dunne wants students to think about their goals in life. Dunne said, “I think students should know that the qualifications they have in a classroom are what are soft skills for jobs.”

According to Dunne, soft skills cannot be taught by an employer. Some of these skills include how you react to and work with people, being an innovative or creative thinker and organization, among many others.

“So the hard skills are the skills you learn, let’s say you’re a computer analyst your skills in programming and coding and computer figurations those skills are hard skills. Those are what you need to know in order to do the job functions,” said Dunne.

The Institutional Research department at CCC provides the college with reliable, valid and timely information to help improve student success and better meet community needs.

Barbara Nicoletti, director of institutional research and reporting said by email, “Approximately 76 to 80 percent of our transfer intent graduates [AA and AS degree recipients] go on to a four year school within three years.”

Those who are transferring to a four year university should go to their school of choice for assistance from an academic adviser. The department maintains contact with students, even after students have transferred or earned their degrees.

Nicoletti said, “Students come here, in part, to earn a degree or enough credits and training that positions them well to enter the job market in a career that is of interest to them.”

Gwenda Oshiro, an adviser from the student success department, said, “Please make sure you celebrate what you’ve accomplished. Earning a degree or certificate is a big deal because of what you’ve had to commit to achieve it. So never forget this success. I’d also encourage all graduates to pursue careers that allow them to do what they are passionate about.”

After choosing something you are passionate about, and pursuing it, Dunne said that employers are going to keep an eye out for soft skills.

No matter what your next step is, CCC staff, instructors and administrators are here to help. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the resources that are available. Students should be proud of their accomplishments.

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2016 from The Clackamas Print.

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Debbie Fox