Education majors at Houghton College recently had the opportunity to attend a 'professional preparation day' on campus that featured resume workshops and mock interviews, as well as a panel discussion about the interview process.
Dr. Cathy Freytag, professor of education and associate dean for education at the college, Dr. Sunshine Sullivan, associate professor and chair of the department, and Kim Pool, director of vocational opportunities and career advising (VOCA), organized the event as a way for students to learn about interviews, resumes, and other post-college subjects.
The discussion panel consisted of Houghton alumni as well as several Western New York educators and administrators, including Timothy Cox ’97 from the Cattaraugus-Allegany Board of Cooperative Education Services; Carlos Gildemeister ’92, superintendent of Cuba-Rushford Central School District; Katharine Maitland ’11, from Spencer-Van Etten Middle School; Gabrielle (Schott ’16) Marti, from Perry Central School District; Gayle Pavone ’00, principal of Prospect Elementary School; Dr. Ravo Root, superintendent of Fillmore Central School District; Jordan Reed ’13 from Fillmore Central School District; and Ian Smith ’17 from Avon Central School District.
Panelists provided students with an inside look into the interview process, including what administrators and interviewers look for in future educators. Following the panel, students attended a resume workshop, where they were provided with best practices for the resume writing process, as well as additional steps that they could take to step their materials apart from the competition. Individual resume help provided them with constructive feedback that will prove invaluable for these students preparing for their career after graduation.
The final portion of the day allowed students to sign up for mock interviews that were equally beneficial. For many of the students, this was their first experience in a professional interview, and the panelists discussed their strengths as well as aspects that they could improve upon.
“I was incredibly impressed and energized as I listened to what our graduates and local administrators shared with our juniors and seniors as important pointers for preparing for the interview process,” says Dr. Sullivan. “This event was clearly successful in empowering our graduates to be ready to find and secure the right teaching position for them upon graduation.”
This experience allowed students to represent important tenets of the Houghton College Teacher Education program: to develop and critique educational thought and practice in light of Christian faith, and to demonstrate ethical and moral integrity in professional behavior. The education department at Houghton intends to offer this opportunity for Houghton junior and senior education majors every fall semester.