The Center for Career and Professional Development's Prep for Success Program takes pride in giving students and alumni the skills, guidance and opportunities for on-the-job experience to jumpstart their career planning. A new focus on innovative online programing options makes Prep for Success more accessible than ever.
Thomas J. Ward Jr. ’93, Adelphi’s assistant vice president for career development and strategic partnerships, described the Center’s innovative Prep for Success Program as “Adelphi’s special sauce and a big umbrella program that incorporates a number of exciting online elements.” The American Association of University Administrators (AAUA) John L. Blackburn Exemplary Models award-winning program gives students and alumni the skills, guidance and opportunities for on-the-job experience to jumpstart their career planning.
An increasingly key component is the Prep for Success Online Program Powered by Kaplan. In 2021, Adelphi was one of eight founding university partners to adopt Kaplan Career Core’s pilot program that helped students connect their passions with career success. “The pandemic prompted a shift to offer our services online, including our fully online Kaplan program, our virtual Jagger Community Fellowships and the option for students to make virtual appointments with our staff,” said Ward.
Meeting Students’ Needs—and Schedules
Industry coaching is a pillar of the Kaplan program, according to Gina Fries ’11, the Center for Career and Professional Development’s assistant director for experiential learning and strategic partnerships. “Each week, Kaplan meets the needs of students with busy schedules by offering five or six evening and weekend coaching sessions that students can join at their leisure,” she said. The coaching sessions cover several topics including, but not limited to, developing your personal brand, creating your career action plan and exploring careers in data analytics, marketing and finance.”
The new online Career Success Digital Badge Program provides a framework that incorporates the Kaplan course curriculum—guidance from industry professionals and world-class asynchronous online career planning courses—with experiential learning opportunities and extracurricular activities. Once students complete eight core workplace competencies—such as technical fluency and leadership competency—that meet the National Association of College and Employers (NACE) guidelines, they will receive a digital credential that can be added to their résumé and LinkedIn profile.
Prep for Success Online Students Get Real-World Experience
For Nina Tchavtchanidze, an international student from Tbilisi, Georgia, and now a junior, participation in Prep for Success has been invaluable. “It let me reshape and remodel my skillset, and reimagine who I want to be, so I can put my best foot forward anywhere I go,” she explained. “Real-life experiences require many different skills, so instead of concentrating on only one, I chose to be a jack-of-all-trades.”
She has completed the Kaplan program, the Prep for Success Internship Preparation Seminar and its Leadership Certificate Program.
“Kaplan gave me the confidence to change my major from biochemistry to biology, chemistry minor, which aligns more with my future career plans as an aspiring pharmaceutical researcher or physician’s assistant,” she recalled.
As a two-time Jagger Community Fellow, she gained real-world work experience as a virtual summer intern with the American Cancer Society in 2021 and an in-person Alzheimer’s Foundation of America intern this past summer.
For Tchavtchanidze, all this has paid off. She is now a student worker for the Jaggar Community Fellows Program in the Center for Career and Professional Development as well as a teaching assistant in the Department of Chemistry. “Prep opened those doors for me,” she said.
She added, “The Internship Preparation Seminar refined my interview and résumé-building skills so well that I’ve not been rejected for any position since—on the contrary, recruiters have reached out to me.”
Measurable Career Success, Lifelong Career Service
Other students have interned at companies and organizations such as IBM, CNBC, Northwell Health, Merill Lynch, Saturday Night Live, and the National Urban League. “Students who have turned heads and made a positive impact at their internships have been hired,” reported Ward, noting that Prep for Success students have also been accepted into top-tier graduate programs at Columbia and NYU.
Prep for Success embodies the University’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, by offering appropriate career guidance for students of any background, age, culture or ability from the moment they set foot on campus—and by giving alumni lifelong access to career support.
There’s plenty of room under the big Prep for Success umbrella, Ward insisted. “You’re not alone on this journey. We’re here for you and will support you by giving you the tools and help you need to launch your career.”