Fontbonne University Awarded Vocational Exploration NetVUE Grant

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The Council of Independent Colleges and the Lilly Endowment Inc. have awarded Fontbonne University a $6,755 NetVUE Professional Grant. NetVUE grants are intended to deepen the intellectual and theological exploration of vocation by supporting the professional development of institutional leaders.

The funding will be used to develop a vocational exploration program on campus.

“A major goal of Fontbonne’s strategic plan is to transform and inspire our campus to increase student success, helping all students learn about themselves and discover their place in the world of work,” said Dr. J. Michael Pressimone, Fontbonne president. “A strategic planning team has identified the need to infuse the language and action of vocation and vocational exploration throughout the academic and student affairs areas as a critical component of achieving this goal.”

Leaders of this effort will establish a group of faculty and staff members who will infuse vocational exploration throughout academic and student programs. Over the course of the 2018 – 19 school year, the team will focus on creating strong interpersonal relationships and a shared understanding of vocation across a variety of areas on campus.

“Students, parents, and community leaders expect universities to provide career exploration and placement services to students,” said Adam Weyhaupt, dean of the college of arts and sciences. “At Fontbonne, we seek more than mere career placement. We seek to help students `discover their place’ in the world of work. In our language, we help students find their life’s vocation. The word ‘vocation’ evokes many different meanings, and this support from NetVUE will help faculty and staff develop a common language and understanding of vocation.”

By building a robust community of practice dedicated to vocational exploration, this project will have long-term benefits to Fontbonne University beyond the grant period. This program is structured to create actionable change, build a community of practitioners that understand a common language of vocational exploration and share their knowledge with the university. This community of practitioners can continue to influence their departments and the university community by serving as a voice for vocational exploration on faculty governance committees, at staff association meetings, and in their areas.

Fontbonne faculty and staff leading the project include Weyhaupt, Dr. Corinne Wohlford, associate vice president for academic affairs, and Christine Keller, director of career development.