VWU First - Resources

Career Development Resources

Career Development (located in the Lighthouse in Clarke Hall) is dedicated to helping students explore their academic and professional pathways and create plans to achieve their professional goals. To support students, Career Development offers professional resources, one-on-one career counseling sessions, customized programming, and internship and career support.

Career Development offers career readiness workshops that cover topics such as career exploration, resumes, LinkedIn, and interviewing, and also annually hosts a graduate school fair and a career and internship fair.  Staff work closely with employers to help students develop professional skills, undertake internships, and secure professional employment upon graduation. Career Development is dedicated to helping students translate their liberal arts degrees into fulfilling and enduring careers. Schedule an appointment.

Through Career Development, students have access to Handshake.com.  Handshake, VWU's career portal, lists thousands of part-time and full-time jobs, internships, campus events, virtual career fairs, and valuable career resources. All students and alumni have access to Handshake. Get started by creating a profile that gets you noticed by employers who are looking for interns and employees. Students can access their accounts here.  If you want assistance with this, Jessica Harrington can help you with your profile.

VWU utilizes Portfolium, which is an online digital portfolio.  It is a free platform for VWU students that is available to students even after they graduate.  In today's society, fewer employers are looking at paper resumes and are rather turning to digital recruitment platforms.  Portfolium allows VWU students to show their accomplishments, showcase courses they have taken, have a digital resume, and document everything digitally.  Portfolium becomes available to students once they fully enroll at VWU through their VWU email address.

Through Career Development, any student can get assistance in the creation of a resume, do a mock interview so that they are prepared for a real interview, and get assistance with internships and other career information.  While individuals think that this is something started later in one's college education, it is vital that incoming first-year students start creating their resume and a digital portfolio once they arrive on the college campus.

VWU's Lighthouse has created the Clothes Closet, a resource of new/gently used business professional attire available to all currently enrolled VWU students.  VWU's Lighthouse manages the Professional Clothes Closet. The closet provides a place for currently enrolled students to obtain new and gently used interview attire or clothing to get them started off at internships or jobs in professional settings, free of charge. Students interested in utilizing the Professional Clothes Closet should contact Jessica Harrington, Director of Career Development, at jharrington@vwu.edu.

Financial Resources

Finances are a big concern for all students. VWU has one-on-one meetings with a financial aid counselor so that a counselor can go over your aid package. You can also meet with an enrollment counselor and when you are accepted you have access to Financial Aid Self Service (FASS). You can also examine scholarships both on and off-campus.

VWU encourages students to make sure they keep track of the money one has coming in and going out each month.  There are many apps that aid college students in sticking to a budget.  Here are some budget apps that are free that can help you.

Textbook Resources

One area that students sometimes overlook regarding college expenses is textbooks.  According to the National Association of College Stores, students, on average, spent an average of $415 per semester on textbooks.  If one adds supplies like course packs and other course materials, the College Board estimates the average of textbooks and supplies to be $625 per semester.  When you sit with your family to talk about expenses after applying for Financial Aid, it is important to discuss textbooks and course supplies that are necessary for you to take a course. 

Textbooks for courses may be purchased through akademos.com.  Akademos is an online college bookstore and course materials provider.  It makes multiple formats, delivery options, and subscription-based materials available through a personalized efficient and cost-effective services 24x7x365 accessibility.  It integrates all course materials and delivery options into one seamless platform.  Akademos has a vast selection of low-cost options, which includes a Marketplace, rental program, and Open Education Resource titles.  Students receive free economy shipping on retail orders of new and used books over $49 and have the freedom to ship books directly to their homes or to the campus store for convenient pick-up.  Akademos also is fully integrated with Blackboard, which ensures students have exactly the right textbooks and materials they need for each course.  Finally, students can select "guaranteed buyback" so that those who want to sell back books at the end of each semester will know their net price upfront. 

Resources for first-generation Students and their Families

  1. Accredited Schools Online. Are You a First-Generation College Student?
  2. Dr. James T. Minor's "Five Things Families of First-Generation College Students Need to Know."
  3. Education Quest Foundation "Advice for Parents of First-Generation Students"
  4. First Generation Foundation "Supporting First Generation College Students"
  5. First in the Family: Advice about College from First-Generation Students
  6. I'm First Online Community Celebrating First-Generation College Students.  
  7. Josh Moody "What to Know as a First-Generation College Student"
  8. Kelci Lynn Lucier "What is a First-Generation College Student?"
  9. Linda Banks-Santilli "Guilt is one of the biggest struggles first-generation college students face." 
  10. Scholarship America "5 Things First-Generation Parents Should KNow About College"
  11. Sharon Greenthal "5 Big Challenges for First Generation College Students"
  12. Student Training & Education in Public Service.  "Online Guide for First Generation College Students." 
  13. Study.com "Essential Advice for First Generation College Students."
  14. White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. U.S. Department of Education 2016.  Next Generation: A College Completion Tool Kit for First-Generation and Nontraditional Students.

Suggested Readings

  1. Baldwin, A.  (2011).  The First-Generation College Experience.  Pearson Publishing.
  2. Cushman, K. (2006). First in the family: Your college years. Advice about college from first-generation students. Next Generation Press.
  3. Flores, A.D. (2014). 50 Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me About College: Straight Talk for First Generation College STudents FROM First Generation College Graduates. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
  4. Kever, S., & Lenfesty, K. (2016). Every Student Has a Story: Personal Narratives from First-Generation College Students.  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
  5. Kever, S., & Lenfesty, K. (2017). Every Student Has a Story: Personal Narratives from First-Generation College Students (Volume 2). CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
  6. Mikaelian, J. (2012). Reality Check: A College Student's Survival Guide.
  7. Rose, M. (1989). Lives on the Boundary. Free Press Publishing.
  8. Sherfield, R.M., & Moody, P.G. (2013). Cornerstones for First Generation Leaders. Pearson Publishing.
  9. Westover, T. (2018) Educated: A Memoir. Random House Publishing.