With Employment Gain receiving its fair share of publicity recently, it comes as no surprise that one school is offering an "employment pledge" to its students. Westwood College, a learning institution which has previously been viewed as less than stellar by state and federal agencies for its overly aggressive recruiting practices, introduced the pledge for new enrolled students. The school, which has also been criticized in U.S. Senate hearings and lawsuits prompted by students, is promising new students as much as $500 a month for up to six months if they cannot find a job related to their field of study within six months of graduation, according to an article posted in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
In order for students to qualify for the "employment pledge" program and receive the money, they would have to have at least a 3.0 GPA. The program is also intended to partially help make up for a lag in new student enrollment rates over the past year, the articles states. Other conditions of the pledge include that students must actively pursue employment with career services and be employment-eligible per Westwood’s accrediting standards, according to the Westwood employment pledge details webpage. Those standards, which must all be completed before graduation, are as follows: students must work with career services to perfect their resume, students must complete a portfolio, students must participate in a mock interview process, students must professionally participate in scheduled interviews, and students must consistently and actively engage with career services until employment.
Westwood College stands behind their commitment and their dedication for continued success and also has guidelines set on what they will do for their students as part of the pledge. Westwood’s career services team promises to work with students to help them to polish their resumes and their interviewing skills, and help students build relationships with employers who are looking to hire in fields that are of interest to their students. Students with a bachelor’s degree will receive $500 per month and those with a diploma or associate degree will receive $250 per month, both for up to six months or when employment is achieved, whichever comes first.
The program is available to new students starting at the school beginning with the May 2011 term for California and Illinois students and the August 2011 term for online students in Colorado, Georgia, Texas, and Virginia. Some of the other details of the "employment pledge" program include signing a commitment with the school, being continuously enrolled with Westwood, and checking in with career services weekly upon graduation. A student that does not take a qualifying job, violates the students code of conduct, or does not make a formal request to receive the monthly payment may become ineligible to receive the benefits of the program.
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