Albany State University Career Services Implements Student Success Initiatives

By: Nykira Ross, Marketing + Communications Intern

The Albany State University (ASU) Office of Career Services remains committed to student success and is implementing new enhancement initiatives during the fall semester. The initiatives include a new career resources platform, classification checklists, signature events, and more.  

Career Services’ revitalization is spearheaded by the new director, Dr. Julie Francis-Pettway. Dr.  Pettway Headshot 22Pettway, an ASU alumna (‘97, sociology), has over twenty years of experience working in career services. "Albany State University provides a strong foundation to help students achieve their dreams. I am proof of the University’s commitment to student success, and now it is my time to give back,” Dr. Pettway said.   

Dr. Pettway’s first order of business was to expand on career services initiatives to align with ASU President, Marion Ross Fedrick’s strategic plan, The Standard.  The new initiatives focus on ensuring students are qualified and prepared for the workplace before graduation. “Career preparation is crucial to a student’s academic success. These initiatives are focused on starting with the end in mind,” added Dr. Pettway.  

The office has already seen success, with a decrease in students changing their major due to the “Focus 2” career assessment. The online resource is used to help students learn about their interests, skills, values, and personality and how those aspects correlate to various professions. Additionally, the office has assisted over 1,600 students so far this fall semester. The office has helped 12 students obtain internships for the fall and summer semesters, and has assisted three students in obtaining employment this semester.                                                                                                      

Signature events include four career fairs focusing on each of the University’s three colleges. Each event will have sessions dedicated to career services training, including “Career Prep” to focus on resume writing and effective communication with employers, “Career Chats” to provide a forum where employers can discuss careers with students in an informal setting, and “Career Connections” to provide onsite recruitment opportunities. The office will also host an Etiquette Ball, a formal event for students to learn and practice proper manners, and the Second Annual Rams in the Bush networking event with ASU alumni. 

The new career resources platform, Handshake, allows employers to connect with students and alumni to offer jobs and internships throughout the country. Students can also schedule appointments via the platform to take advantage of services such as career assessments, resume critiques, and mock interviews.

Classification checklists will be given to students at the beginning of each academic year to keep them on track in their professional development. For example, freshmen should complete the Focus 2 assessment, schedule a professional headshot, and sign up for Handshake, while juniors should have their resume critiqued, create a LinkedIn account, use Handshake to search and apply to volunteer and internship opportunities, and participate in a mock interview.

The office also plans to launch a talk show, “Keeping it R.A.M.,” featuring a series of relevant, accurate, and meaningful conversations with employers across the globe. The series will be able to be viewed on the ASU Channel 19 YouTube page.

To learn more about the Office of Career Services, visit