Andrews University is among a select group of institutions to receive the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE) Vocation across the Academy Grant. The grant is intended to help member colleges and universities strengthen the connection between liberal arts and career preparation. This is carried out by including faculty and students in a wide range of academic and support programs that enhance the institution’s vocational exploration.
The opportunity comes through a partnership with the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC). Through this collaboration and funding, Andrews University will deepen the intersection between the Center for Faith Engagement, Office of Undergraduate Education and the Career Center by developing a program called “Going on Vocation” (GOV). GOV seeks to establish an institutional working definition of vocation through collaboration with faculty and staff. The program identifies and shares best practices for vocational discernment with all University schools and departments to promote an institutional culture which reflects that understanding of vocation and calling.
Going on Vocation also aims to establish the practice of teaching vocational exploration. Vocational exploration will be introduced to the curriculum beginning with a redesign of the 100-level undergraduate general education course “God and Human Life,” taught by Dr. Rodney Palmer, chair of the Department of Religion & Biblical Languages. The restructured course provides students with an understanding of the concept of vocation and calling from a Christian and theological perspective. It also assists students in their process of self-discovery through an in-depth analysis of how their personal stories, spiritual gifts, talents and strengths correlate with their life, learning, anticipated professions and civic responsibility. These objectives will be assessed through the completion of a spiritual gifts inventory, Strong Interest Inventory and service-learning activity.
The GOV program also enables students to focus on vocational discernment and career readiness through the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) competences. Joydel Trail, career services advisor, leads the process that guides students through tools and support services in order to help them to discern God’s calling in their life. In addition to career exploration, the Career Center provides support for students through networking, mentoring, job internships, externships, fellowships and community engagement across academic disciplines. Faculty, staff and alumni will have the opportunity to serve as on-campus and micro-internship supervisors or be the primary sources of mentorship for student participants. Both supervisors and students are formally oriented to the program and its expectations at the beginning of each cohort year. Thus, both students and alumni will be better equipped with career readiness skills.
Andrews University has a long history of promoting the biblical philosophy that all work must be performed as unto God. Going on Vocation teaches students that all abilities are gifts from God and are to be used in His service. The team at the Center for Faith Engagement, led by Jose Bourget, University chaplain coordinates chapel and worship services, leadership development, coaching, service projects, student missions and hands-on opportunities for students to explore God’s calling on their life.
NetVUE serves more than 680 independent colleges and universities, including liberal arts, comprehensive, four-year, two-year and international institutions.
(Original article by Isabella Koh for Campus News)
A pilot cohort of GOV was launched in Spring 2023. This Fall 2023, the program will be open to all student employees on campus. To participate, supervisors must complete the Going on Vocation Application Form. Students who wish to participate can request their supervisors to submit an application for participation. Supervisors must agree to be involved in the process throughout the cohosrt period. For questions, please email, email@example.com or call (269) 471-6288. Participants are accepted on a cohort basis. The deadline to join the upcoming Fall 2023 cohort is September 1, 2023.