ACADEMIC SUPPORT AND CAREER DEVELOPMENT CENTER

Academic Support

Academic Support is the “go to” office for current students at Mercyhurst University. Every student is assigned a Faculty Advisor and an Academic Counselor, so they have two support resources available to them.  Faculty Advisors assist students in understanding major requirements, approve them for registration, and serve as mentors in their field.  Academic Counselors work one-on-one with students on a variety of academic and personal issues and are able to handle most concerns that students encounter. It is the goal of Academic Support to foster satisfying experiences that lead to student success and persistence towards degree completion.

Services

The Office of Academic Support delivers a wide-range of services to students, faculty and administration. It is our goal to foster satisfying experiences that lead to student success and persistence, understanding that effective student outreach leads to a strong student success program.

Academic Support counselors help students with most issues they may encounter, including:

  • Concerns about their academic performance
  • Understanding academic procedures and policies
  • Assistance to freshmen (or any student!) on navigating the college environment
  • Help with developing an academic plan
  • Assistance in finding and utilizing a peer tutor
  • Assistance in identifying interest areas with exploratory students
  • Clarifying REACH requirements
  • Assistance with the change of major process

Programs

Academic Support offers a variety of programs that assist students, faculty and administration. Among the various programs offered by the department are:

  • The Majors and Minors Fair
  • Classroom Presentations
  • “How to Register” Workshops
  • Residence Hall Q & A Hours
  • Web Advisor Workshops
  • iMU support and remediation
  • Popcorn Fridays

Exploratory Students

Unsure of what you want your major to be?  You are not alone!  Between 50 to 70% of college students who start off with a declared major in their freshman year will change their major plans at least once during their college careers. Rather than change your mind later, take the time now to explore interests and majors with your Academic Counselor.  You will meet one-on-one with your Academic Counselor to explore your interests and abilities.  You will also attend the annual Majors and Minors Fair where you will get to meet with the faculty from the various academic departments.  Mercyhurst has over 100 academic areas of study that you can explore, so take your time and find the program that works best for you!

The Tutoring Center

The Tutoring Center offers one-on-one or small group tutoring in most subject areas, including English language support.  Enrolled students may be tutored for 3 hours per week/per course.  Peer tutors are students who have earned a “B” grade or better in the class for which they tutor and have been recommended by the faculty.  Tutoring is offered to enrolled students free of charge.  

Students seeking tutoring can schedule an appointment via TutorTrac, the University’s tutor scheduling software, at mercyhurst.go-redrock.com. Students seeking tutoring for a class for which there is no tutor schedule in TutorTrac may request a tutor by emailing the Tutoring Center. Please visit the Tutoring Center’s Portal page at tutoring.mercyhurst.edu.

For more information regarding the Tutoring Center or our peer tutors, please contact Lori Krause.

The Tutoring Center is located on the main floor of the Library.
E-mail: tutoring@mercyhurst.edu

The Writing Center

The Writing Center assists students at any stage of the writing process, including:

  • Analyzing and understanding the assignment
  • Proofreading a rough draft
  • Revising and editing a developed or final draft
  • Following academic style and citation methods
  • Understanding different writing genres (e.g., lab reports, presentations)
  • Working through student-specific questions and challenges related to writing

Students may bring any project to the Writing Center, such as personal essays, research papers, résumés, business letters, or lab reports. The Center’s writing consultants work with writers interactively and individually in a friendly and supportive environment. The consultants come from a variety of majors, have performed highly in their own writing courses, have been recommended by faculty, and are hired and supervised by the Center’s director.  They can help students improve their writing skills in any subject or level.

Students can come in during drop-in hours or make an appointment with a consultant via TutorTrac (mercyhurst.go-redrock.com). Drop-in hours are held in the Writing Center located on the main floor of the Library.
Find the latest Writing Center information search for us on the my.mercyhurst Portal.

For more information regarding the Writing Center, please email: writingcenter@mercyhurst.edu.

Contact Us

The Office of Academic Support and Student Success
123 Egan Hall,
Phone: 814-824-2299
Email: academicsupport@mercyhurst.edu
Monday—Friday 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

Career Development Center

The Career Development Center (CDC) is located on the first floor of Egan Hall. The CDC offers a variety of assistance with your career needs. Visit a career counselor for assistance with resume and cover letters, interviewing, graduate school and job searching, career exploration, and internships.

The CDC is now on Handshake. This resource is not only our online job board. It offers a variety of career related resources created by the CDC staff. This is also where students can register for CDC events, including our annual Graduate School Fair and Career Fair!

Our Mission

The Mercyhurst University Career Development Center’s mission is to serve students, alumni, and enrich learning opportunities by helping students and alumni integrate academic knowledge, leadership experiences, professional development and active citizenship. We help students to explore, investigate and participate in a variety of career related activities that encourage personal, professional and career development.

Services

The Mercyhurst Career Development Center provides students with a variety of free services to assist them in finding their first job, career, and calling. A student can walk-in for an appointment, however it is encouraged that you set up an appointment to ensure career counselor availability. You can set up an appointment in person on the first floor of Egan Hall, by requesting one through your Handshake account, or by calling the office.

Graduate and Professional School Advising

Many Mercyhurst University students choose to attend graduate, law and medical school after graduation. The CDC offers guidance to current students and alumni who wish to do post-graduate study and has a variety of resources to help. Students and alumni can meet with graduate and professional school representatives at the annual Graduate & Professional School Fair.

Alumni Services

The CDC offers free services to all Mercyhurst alumni. Whether you are changing careers or looking for the next step up, CDC staff can assist you with the job search process, provide interview tips, and resume and cover letter review. Consider paying it forward by helping another Laker earn experience by hosting an intern! Stay connected to the CDC after graduation and keep your Handshake account active to provide job and internship opportunities, participate in mentorship programs and continue to work on your own career and professional goals.

Career Exploration

The Career Development Center offers students many tools to help explore potential career options. Make an appointment with a career counselor to get assistance and access to these resources.

CDC Resources

Information for current students can be found on Handshake. Log in to access a variety of resources to aid you in finding your career. Questions and additional resources are always available from our CDC staff. Request an appointment through Handshake, give us a call, or drop by First Floor Egan for assistance. To explore the different opportunities available for each major, please click here.

Internships

Internships are the combination of classroom and on-the-job work experience. Not all majors require an internship for graduation, but internships are a great way to stand out to potential employers and to start building a professional network. Depending on your major, you can earn up to twelve credits with departmental permission. Current students should stop by the CDC or schedule an appointment with a career counselor to learn about the internship process.

What are the benefits? 

Students get to blend their acquired classroom theory with unique practical experinces. They gather an understanding for the professional work world. They solidify invaluable network contacts. They gain specific experience to be incorporated into a resume and an interview. Finally, students may be able to request a letter of recomendation from their internship placement site. This will strongly suppor their application for future fulltime employment. 

How do internships work?

There will be a minimum number of hours that need to be completed according to the number of credits registered.  The student, on-site supervisor, and the career counselor assigned to your internship establish measurable learning goals that internship students must in order to receive academic credit. The coordinator uses a mid-term status report, a performance evaluation, and a reflection paper to determine if students are successfully combining the theory of the classroom with the site.

Finding an Internship

Talk to your family and friends. Ask them to help you come up with the top 10 organizations in your area. Research indicates that 60 - 80% of jobs are found through personal relationships.

Access the list of established internship sites for your major (hard copies are available outside the Internship Program’s Office; Main 209.

Activate your free profile and review established internships listed within HandShake  (Mercyhurst’s on-line career management system)

Keyword search internships on CareerShift (you have a free account set up in your name through Mercyhurst), www.internships.com , www.indeed.com , www.idealist.orgwww.experience.com 

Find networking connections using LinkedIn; search for people who work for organizations or in industries you want to work.  Find Mercyhurst alumni to reach out to.

Talk to your faculty.  They know where our alumni are and they also have many professional contacts they could call upon on your behalf.

Parents and Family

Research shows that directed conversation between parents and their children is much more effective than open ended enquiries such as “what did you do today.”  Many opportunities will present themselves for discussion between you and your child.  A helpful question to ask your child is “have you thought about completing an internship before you graduate?”  

Mercyhurst University prides itself on the practical application of knowledge because we know it has many benefits.  The annual survey of our most recent graduating class(s) continually indicates that students who complete an internship experience are, on average, more satisfied with their first placement after graduation.  More tangibly, they are receiving more job offers and higher starting salaries than their counterparts who did not complete an internship experience.  

Whenever you have the opportunity for a meaningful conversation about your child’s progress at Mercyhurst, don’t hesitate to discuss this important aspect of their education.  It will pay off in many ways.  Encourage your child to pursue an internship and have them contact our Career Development Center.

If you would like to host a Mercyhurst student intern, please review the Employer’s page to start the placement process.

Getting Experience
Some websites for finding internships:
internships.com
Regional Internship Center of Southwestern PA
Federal internship programs

Occupation Outlook
The Bureau of Labor Statistics organizes the annual Occupational Outlook Handbook information on the job market by field of study, types of jobs, and location.

Salary Information
The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Salary Calculator tool for obtaining accurate and reliable wage information based on education, experience, and location.

Post-Education
Information about selecting graduate schools.

Moving

Virtual Relocation offers extensive information for relocation.

Four Year Plan

The Career Development Center is available to all students at Mercyhurst University, not just those ready to job search. Building a relationship with Mercyhurst career counselors will help students gain personalized assistance through their career development and decisions. Treating career development as a 4 year process makes it more manageable and provides students with strategic advantages when they are ready to graduate. Following this career development plan can be a guide to conversations with your student about their career goals.

First Year: Awareness
Goal – become aware of career options related to your major of interest.
- Activate your Handshake profile to look at job and internship opportunities that interest you 
- Obtain part-time work or volunteer in a setting that fits with one of your career interests
- Attend the Graduate School Fair (fall semester) or Career Fair (spring semester) to learn more about your fields of interest
- Participate in activities and clubs to explore your interests and expand your skill sets
- Talk to upper-class students about majors that interest you
- Take a variety of classes to explore your major options
- Talk to family and friends about their careers
- Meet with a Career Counselor to explore career options and clubs and activities that could give you experiences in your career areas of interest

Sophomore Year: Exploration
Goal – Determine major and narrow down career options. Prepare for an internship.
- Utilize Handshake to search for jobs and internships
- Talk with students in your major about their internships and career plans
- Attend Mercyhurst’s annual Career Fair or the WestPACS Job & Internship Fairs to explore internship possibilities and summer or part time jobs
- Obtain part-time work or volunteer in a setting that fits your career interests
- Speak with a Career Counselor about career options and to work on your resume, cover letter and interviewing skills
- Take a leadership role in a club or activity
- Create a LinkedIn account and begin to build a professional network
- Declare a major (and maybe a minor, too)!

Junior Year: Experience
Goals – Confirm your career choice. Consider graduate school.
- Update your Handshake account and consider making it viewable to employers. Use it to search for jobs and internships
- Attend career fairs
- Seek a different part-time job or volunteer experience to add to your skill set
- Begin to consider what work environment interests you (small city, fast-paced, corporate, small business, etc.)
- Join a professional organization in your field of interest
- Participate in an informational interview or job shadowing experience
- Secure an internship – or another one!
- Continue to build your professional network and begin asking employers and professors to serve as references
- Consider graduate school, attend Mercyhurst’s Graduate School Fair and begin the application process

Senior Year: Choice
Goal – Finalize your career choice. Establish networking contacts. Transition from student to prospective employee or graduate student.
- Attend career fairs
- Focus your job search to cater to your career interests and goals
- Secure an internship or part-time job or volunteer opportunity in your field
- Participate in the Career Development Center’s workshops and meet with your Career Counselor regularly
- Polish your Handshake and LinkedIn profiles so they are ready to be viewed by employers
- Use Handshake to search and apply for jobs
- Schedule a practice interview with the Career Development Center