Students who attend community college usually have one of three goals: transfer to a four-year university, acquire an AA degree or network within their desired career. Pierce does not efficiently satisfy the needs of students who fall within the third category.
Academic counselors on campus advise students on the quickest and most effective ways to transfer or get an AA degree. This is beneficial only to students whose objective is either of those two things. However, for students who want advice on getting a job or internship within their desired field or have specific questions revolving that particular workforce, they have no one on campus to turn to.
If every umbrella department on campus had a counselor who specialized in that respective work area, students would benefit by having someone available to them who knows which internships, scholarships, job opportunities and career paths are available.
Not every department would need a counselor. For instance, instead of hiring one counselor who specializes in dance, one in theater and one in music, the school could hire one counselor for performing arts students in general. The three fields are closely related and usually overlap, so finding a counselor who is knowledgeable and has connections in all three specialties would not prove difficult.
The school currently provides career counseling, which is defined as “assistance to students who need help picking a major, clarifying career goals and exploring career options” on piercecollege.edu. This is aimed for students who are unsure of their career goals, but once students “clarify their career goals”, who are they supposed to turn to for advice on which path is the most likely to succeed? Students need counselors who can help guide them to through the middle of the race and not just get them to the starting line.
David Turcotte, who has studied and worked in the music industry, is the Career Technical Education counselor at Pierce. His job is to help students achieve their academic, career and personal development goals. The Media Arts Department has used Turcotte as a specialized counselor. He has benefitted many students within the department by offering them insider information on what students can do to prepare specifically for the media arts field. He has pointed students in the direction of workshops, internships, and universities that would best fit them for their desired media arts field.
If the school is looking to benefit its students as thoroughly as it possibly can, then that must also include students who have career-specific plans and are not just concerned with transferring and getting a degree.