By Rebecca Johnson, Campus Contributing Writer
Posted 9:15 PM EST, Thurs., Sept. 15, 2016
The Office of Career Services (OCS) launched the Junior Experimental Learning program (JEL), a new mentoring initiative with the goal of closing the gap between current students and alumni in their preferred career path program on Thursday, Sept. 8.
“Our goal here was to tackle the issue of students graduating unemployed, so we decided to create a program that addressed that issue,” JEL program coordinator Aminata Kamara said.
The mentors and the coordinators in the JEL program understand how important alumni involvement is to Howard students.
“At one time, we were once students and we need to help the students navigate their way into employment and to society,” said Shana Ervin, president of the Howard University Alumni Club of Greater Washington.
Participating students are matched depending on their major and interests as expressed on their application.
Khristian Ifill, a mentee of the JEL program, found the program to be fulfilling and a smart investment.
“The application process was very simple, just asking me a little bit of my background information, what I hope to gain from the program, and just some of my aspirations for the future,” she said.
“The JEL program really is about matching alumni with students to help them secure an internship. So a summer internship, or whether it’s a co-op their junior year,” director of the Office of Career Services Jozanne Douglas said. “It’s really about creating a pipeline for [students] also so that when they graduate or get into their senior year, they have that support and that they graduate with jobs or they go on to grad school.”
The applications for the JEL program will come out during the Spring 2017 semester through the OCS and will be sent to students through their Howard email accounts.