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Career Services

Career Development Task Force

Carthage forms new task force focused on career development

The new Task Force for Career and Professional Development, formed in May 2017, will focus on creating a national model for career and professional development at Carthage.


In July 2016, Carthage commissioned a leading enrollment consulting firm, Ruffalo Noel Levitz, to conduct a study of prospective students and parents about their value perceptions of Carthage and the elasticity of demand when considering Carthage’s sticker price and discounting strategy. The findings from the study indicate the need for Carthage to build a strong and robust strategy around career development activities and the communication of our graduates’ outcomes.

In December 2016, Carthage received $15 million — the largest single gift in its history — from longtime Carthage benefactor Jan Tarble, to fund a distinctive career and welcome center that will equip graduates to thrive in a rapidly changing workforce. This gift provides resources that will enable Carthage to challenge existing conceptions about career services and propose a future that realizes Carthage’s vision to be a national model for liberal arts education.

This initiative is timely given the conversations that are occurring within the broader sector of higher education, especially among small private colleges and universities. In July 2015, the Council of Independent Colleges released a report titled “Career Preparation and the Liberal Arts,” which aimed to provide resources to small private institutions in order to respond to changing demands among prospective students and parents. Carthage’s foray into this area allows the College to draw upon this initial work and also to contribute to these broader conversations with new and innovative ideas.

Task Force Charge

In Spring 2017, Carthage formed the Task Force for Career and Professional Development. This task force exists to think expansively about how best to maximize every student’s experience at Carthage and position each student for a successful and meaningful life after graduation.

The task force will serve as a research team, posing and answering a series of questions related to the structure, programs, learning outcomes, facilities, and resources associated with career and professional development. To answer these questions, the task force will conduct a series of research activities, including performing site visits to exemplar institutions; identifying best practices; conducting interviews with experts in the field; conducting interviews, focus groups, and surveys with campus constituents; and grounding the study through a review of relevant literature. The task force will also serve as a liaison with Carthage and the broader professional community in order to collect ideas, share progress, receive feedback, and ultimately communicate recommendations. The task force is charged by and reports to the President.


  • Maham Ali, Class of 2018
  • Dan Choffnes, Associate Professor of Biology and Asian Studies
  • Julie Dawson, Assistant Professor of Accounting and Finance
  • Kylee Flister, Recruitment Marketing Coordinator
  • Karen Howell, Executive Director of Administration and Community Development
  • Laura Huaracha, Associate Professor of Communication and Digital Media
  • Greg Huss, Director of Admissions and Financial Aid
  • Nathaniel Lee, Class of 2018
  • Theresa Kevorkian, Executive Director for Institutional Advancement
  • Perry Kivolowitz, Assistant Professor of Computer Science
  • Thomas Kline (chair), Vice President for Strategic Initiatives
  • Dennis Munk, Professor of Psychological Science and Education, Director of the Teaching Commons
  • Corinne Ness, Dean for the Division of Arts and Humanities
  • Chelsea Niemuth, Class of 2018
  • Ryan Polk, Director of Internships and Employer Relations
  • Sandy Siira, Director of Human Resources
  • Nicholas Winkler, Associate Dean of Students; Director of Student Conduct

Research Questions

  • What would a national model for career and professional development look like at Carthage College?
  • How can career and professional development be employed to maximize collaboration among internal constituencies and with the external community?
  • What is the optimal structure for career and professional development at Carthage?
  • How can we develop career and professional development opportunities that build over four years of study?
  • What are the learning outcomes for career and professional development and how will we measure these outcomes?
  • How can we best track and publicize the career success of our graduates?
  • What are current barriers to success, and how can we overcome these barriers?
  • What resources will we need to achieve our vision?

Projected Timeline and Deliverables

  • May 2017: The task force holds its first meeting and identifies subcommittees.
  • Summer: A task force subcommittee begins conducting site visits; all members will start to review relevant literature.
  • Fall: The task force will meet bi-weekly, public forums will be held monthly to solicit input from the broader campus community, and a community advisory committee will be convened to inform the task force’s efforts.
  • February 2018: The task force will complete and disseminate a written report that answers the research questions.
  • March and April: The task force will hold public discussion sessions to gain feedback.
  • May: The task force will submit a final set of recommendations to the President’s Cabinet for consideration.
  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2019), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • The Tower, Carthage’s newest residence hall, provides some of the best views on campus — if not in the Midwest! In addition to #carthageviews of the lake from seven stories up, residents enjoy suite-style living and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about all housing options.

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wings, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • 96% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. 95% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • Carthage has been named a top producer of Fulbright Fellows three years running: 2015-2016, 2016-2017, and 2017-2018. Read about Carthage Fulbright winners.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our science center, student union, athletic and recreation center, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 15 years.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to neuroscience, nursing to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our more than 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of students receive financial aid. Carthage awards more than $20 million in scholarship and grant assistance. That includes $1.5 million in competitive scholarships in business, mathematics, science, languages, the fine arts, leadership, and overall academic strength. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” recalls biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 35 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from 75% tuition up to full tuition, room, and board. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Fencing to Frisbee, Chem Club to Stand Up Comedy. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 5 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …