CDC renovation in planning, fundraising phase

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The Career Development Center (CDC) plans to expand its space to accommodate the growing student demand for employment assistance. The renovation will include a renaming of the CDC to the Center for Graduate Planning and Professional Services as well as the incorporation of the Office of National Awards (ONA) and Pre-Health Advising (PHA) to allow for greater accessibility and convenience. The timeline of construction will be determined at the conclusion of a campaign to raise $2 million in construction.

During the renovation, the CDC will be temporarily housed in trailer space on campus, although the precise location has yet to be determined.

In the 2012-2013 school year, 1,063 unique students took advantage of the help offered by the CDC, completing 833 scheduled counseling appointments and 385 registered drop-ins according to a report. The previous year, the CDC conducted 667 counseling appointments. Renovations will enable the CDC staff to meet rising student demand without having to move to a different site.

“We are glad to use an existing space instead of building from the ground up,” Director of the CDC Valerie Savior said. “One of the challenges of this space is that there’s no door to the exterior, which can make it kind of inaccessible and hard to find.”

Savior noted that other colleges usually base their career centers in their student life center or other highly visible common areas. She believes her department will be enhanced by working more closely with her colleagues in the ONA and PHA. Currently, ONA is housed in Room 1 of South Trailer B and PHA is located in Angela Wood’s office, also in the South Trailers.

While an extension of the CDC services is offered at the newly renovated Johnson Student Center, the AGC office has not been renovated in the nearly 50 years since its original construction in 1968, aside from occasional new furniture installation and asbestos removal. The planned renovations will include a patio, a seminar room and a lettered sign. According to Career Center Coordinator Ananda Dillon, the current CDC is not large enough to house its events and meetings for networking meetings and programs such as IMPACT, Walk in My Shoes job shadowing and InternLA.

The renovation will also add more space for full-time employees and student workers, who plan programming and help students visiting the CDC. The center currently provides two computers next to the CDC entrance for its six student employees.

“We will have private offices for eight staff members as well as work spaces for other staff and students,” Associate Vice President of Strategic Initiatives Brett Schraeder said. “We hope to start in the next few months. As with Johnson, it is a remodel, so we hope it to take less than one year from start to moving back in to the space.”

To be given the green light, the college still needs to secure enough donations and other appropriated income for the renovations, according to Schraeder.

“We are working closely with the fundraising office to raise the funds for the remodel. I think everyone understands well the importance of placing students in meaningful experiences after Oxy, and a space that shows off that importance is necessary,” Schraeder said.

If donors give enough money for the project, the new career center could bear a family name in their honor.