The semester is winding down. For the USD seniors who are preparing for graduation and life after college, they don’t have to go through this process alone. USD has services available to help these students prepare for the next step.
Students in the honors program not only face the hurdle of making sure they have taken all the necessary classes to graduate, but they also need to complete their thesis. Dallas Doane is the USD Honors Program Coordinator. He advises honors students and helps his advisees with class schedules. Meeting with an advisor, Doane said, helps honors students prepare for graduation.
“Their honors advisor meets with them each semester, and is a useful tool to help students plan for graduate school or entering the workforce,” Doane said.
Honors advisors and advisors in a student’s major, Doane said, also help a student make sure they’re on track to graduate.
One of the most important tasks for seniors in the Honors Program is their senior thesis, Doane said.
“Not only does this include doing the research and writing the thesis, but students also have to defend their research to a panel of faculty members by their final semester of courses,” Doane said.
Doane said as graduation gets closer, seniors might suffer from what he calls “senioritis.”
“It can be easy to not take school work as seriously while the end is so close,” Doane said. “We keep in contact with our seniors to make sure they are staying on track in their courses and with their senior thesis.”
After graduation, students might wonder what the next chapter of their lives will entail. Doane said honors advisors help students navigate issues such as applying for graduate and professional schools.
Heather Johnson, the Assistant Director and Career Services Coordinator of USD’s Academic and Career Planning Center, said the ACPC is busy all year, but she notices an uptick in requests from seniors for assistance with resumes and interview help, as well as degree audits.
“One of the biggest obstacles that seniors face is usually securing their first job after college,” Johnson said. “Not only do we provide the above services to assist them, but we also offer a variety of events throughout the year, so that students can meet employers and take part in hiring events such as on-campus interviews, career fairs, networking events and more.”
One of the upcoming career events is an expo at the Sioux Falls Convention Center, which will include a career and internship fair with 150 employers, as well as a teacher career fair, hiring events and other professional development opportunities for students.
Helping students with their plans after college is part of the job, Johnson said.
“We also assist seniors with their post-graduation plans, whether that be finding full-time employment for attending graduate or professional school,” Johnson said. “We also assist students with personal statements for graduate school applications.”