Service-Learning & Careers Beyond Carleton
Though many alumni say they wish it never ended, a Carleton education typically takes just four short years. We make sure our students are prepared for what comes next by helping them engage with the wider world early and often during their time at Carleton, and by supporting their career exploration. These opportunities forge essential connections for students between academic subjects and their real-world applications.
Service-Learning & Community
At Carleton, we’ve long understood that education can’t reside in an ivory tower disconnected from the world. The College has actively supported student community service for decades, and we’ve been at the forefront of integrating civic engagement into our curriculum. Carleton’s new Center for Community and Civic Engagement (CCCE), established in 2012, unites these longstanding efforts in a single office that also supports public scholarship by faculty.
Each year more than 600 Carleton students volunteer in Northfield community and beyond, creating strong bonds between college and community. The CCCE’s Acting in the Community Together (ACT) program connects students with service opportunities that meet real community needs. They organize more than 35 student volunteer opportunities, including:
- Forging friendships with senior citizens.
- Working with local farmers.
- Collecting books for schools in Africa.
- Tutoring Northfield area students.
- Assisting at a local food shelf
- And many more.
Academic Civic Engagement
Academic civic engagement, organized through the CCCE’s ACE program, takes learning outside the classroom and into the world. ACE has three areas of focus:
- Community-Based Learning is academic work that takes place in the community. Students in an educational studies course may observe a public school classroom; an environmental studies class may visit a local dairy.
- Community-Based Research uses the community as a site for study and community members as subjects. Students in an anthropology class may observe interactions among members of a sports team; a literature class may interview local senior citizens for a memoir.
- Service Learning combines community service and academic learning. An annual example at Carleton is the Empty Bowls project, for which students in a ceramics class create 500 bowls that are sold to benefit a local food shelf.
Career Preparation & Networking
Carleton’s career services are anchored by the Career Center, which offers a full range of programs to help students explore careers, pursue jobs and internships, and network with Carleton’s alumni community. Faculty members and academic departments also help students prepare for life after Carleton:
- Summer internships, fellowships, and research opportunities supported by the College create career-building opportunities for hundreds of students every summer. To help ensure equality of opportunity, Carleton has special funding available for students who cannot afford to take unpaid internships.
- Faculty Career Coordinators in each academic department are available to help students explore the career options open to their majors.
- Faculty Advisors meet with students each term, not only to discuss their academic work but to mentor them in their plans for career or further education.
- Grad school advising is available from faculty in every department.
- Pre-professional programs and advisors guide students interested in careers in health sciences, education, engineering, and law.
- Alumni from every academic major volunteer to serve as career contacts for students, creating an enormous network of real-world connections in every field. This network offers students:
- Job shadowing
- Internships and externships
- Career networking
- Intensive taste-of-industry tours