Cedar Crest College has been awarded a transformative five-year, $1.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Title III Strengthening Institutions Program, providing the college with additional resources to further students’ career preparation.
This grant will allow Cedar Crest to implement the ‘Crest to Career’ project, an exciting new program that will result in unparalleled career preparation and readiness for students. Through this initiative, students will be assigned a Falcon Navigator, who will provide academic advising, career counseling, and success coaching from their first semester through graduation.
The Falcon Navigators will work with each student to develop an individualized Falcon Flight Plan, which will map out their academic and career goals and identify strategies to meet these goals. Simultaneously, the college will cultivate a new “career curriculum” to improve career readiness and increase student participation in internships and other career development opportunities throughout the curriculum.
“With this grant, we’ll be able to help students focus on career readiness from the time they set foot on campus,” says Michele Moyer, Director of Career Development and Community Engagement “‘Crest to Career’ will help students translate their education and experiences into skills and tools for success in their future employment.”
“The award of the Title III Strengthening Institutions Program grant represents the next phase of Cedar Crest’s commitment to student success and meeting the needs of our community,” says Calley Stevens Taylor, Vice President for Student Success & Engagement and Dean of Students.
“Our First Year Experience has made a significant impact on retention and graduation rates at Cedar Crest, and with this award, we will build on that success to focus on support and career development, both and in out the classroom, during the sophomore, junior, and senior years. By providing a holistic and integrated academic and career development experience, the ‘Crest to Career’ project will ensure that when students graduate from Cedar Crest, they have not only the skills and abilities necessary to thrive in their careers, but also the evidence to demonstrate these skills.”
Joan Kern, Associate Provost and Associate Professor of Education, adds, “The Title III Grant will allow Cedar Crest to expand our partnerships with Lehigh Valley corporations and non-profits to provide students with experiential learning outside the classroom, it’s a win-win for both students and the community.”
The ‘Crest to Career’ project will also assist students who were impacted during the pandemic by providing new resources. The Falcon Navigators will provide personalized support for students who left Cedar Crest since the start of the pandemic and would like to return, an endeavor that shows the college’s continual commitment to its students and their needs.
“At Cedar Crest, we pride ourselves on always looking for innovative ways to meet students where they are,” says Anna Eichner, Director of Academic Services and Student Success. “Falcon Navigators will break down obstacles for students and ensure they have a smooth path towards graduation in a way most colleges are only beginning to consider. When we tell our students that we see them, we really mean it!”