Post by: Amanda L. Walker, Director of Career Services at Austin Peay State University
The Southern Association of Colleges and Employers, Inc. (SoACE) is an organization of human resources, college relations and career service professionals. Our mission is to promote partnerships between career services professionals and employers by providing innovative resources, professional development and networking opportunities to facilitate the career development and employment of students and alumni. SoACE is organized exclusively to create a common understanding between individuals in career services and college relations focused on the career development and employment of the college educated to:
- Promote and foster relationships among the constituents
- Serve as the voice of the profession for the southern region of the United States
- Create and retain leaders in the profession by facilitating the exchange of knowledge and insight
- Provide professional development and promote high professional standards
- Identify trends, issues, challenges, and opportunities in the profession.
*(SoACE Website, 2015)
TOP REASONS TO CONSIDER SOACE:
- RESOURCES: Did you know that SoACE offers monthly newsletters? SoACE keeps the membership up to date on policies, events, programming, national trending data, as well as, recognizing outstanding members. In addition, SoACE provides webinars throughout the year to spotlight topics that can help employers and career practitioners learn more on effective recruiting, career advising, and branding. SoACE also partners with our 16 state professional associations of colleges and employers to share specific statewide events, programming, and news. We support our members by sharing and providing information from all employer and career support networks!
- SUPPORTS ITS MEMBER’S RESEARCH INITIATIVES: SoACE offers research fellowship awards to members wishing to conduct research in the field (through an application and proposal process). In addition to supporting prospective research projects, SoACE creates an environment that is conducive to presenting and sharing research with its membership at its annual conferences. What other organization would offer to pay for your research and then provide you with a venue to explain it?! This is another example of why SoACE is a great organization.
- KNOWLEDGE GROUPS: We all have challenges that we face in our day to day roles in recruitment, management, or career advising. The Knowledge Groups were designed as a way to share current challenges, best practices, and a forum for discussion of national, regional, and university trends related to employment and career education. SoACE has 8 different Knowledge Group areas focusing on different content areas of our profession. Talk about a professional support group…and the best part is it’s included in the membership fee!
- OUR COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION: The Southern Association of College and Employers is committed to attaining a pluralistic, diverse membership and providing access to all programs and resources to individuals regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, veteran status, disability or appearance. SoACE encourages the recruitment and professional development of individuals from all groups by continually developing, examining, and instituting policies, practices and procedures. In 2013, began and established an award to annually recognize an individual and a group/organization that has demonstrated a sustained commitment to the pursuit of diversity and inclusion in the community and workplace., We are an organizations that is committed to diversity and inclusion and we not only talk the talk but we walk the walk!
- CONTINUING EDUCATION: SoACE offers continuing education for participation in workshops and training sessions during the annual conference. SoACE is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events (or programs) that meet NBCC requirements. Sessions (or programs) for which NBCC-approved clock hours will be awarded are identified in the program bulletin (or in the catalogue or Web site). The ACEP is solely responsible for all aspects of the program. SoACE is also is an HRCI approved Continuing Education Provider and may offer HRCI approved clock hours for events or programs that meet HRCI requirements. We are providing incentives for our members to continue their professional growth while being a member!
- ANNUAL CONFERENCE: SoACE Annual Conference allows members great benefits such as, Network with career services and college recruiting colleagues, get up-to-date information on trends and issues affecting the profession, learn best practices that you can adapt for your program, benchmark with like organizations and institutions, explore new and emerging technologies, share challenges and solutions with your professional community, and learn about new products and services for the field that can help you cut costs and increase your productivity. Imagine the possibilities for professional growth and networking with individuals that you can request resources from to help aid you in your current position!
- OTHER SERVICES TO MEMBERS: SoACE offers several other services such as the job postings boards and consulting services. SoACE wants to help share jobs with the entire membership to help you fill your hiring needs. SoACE also wants to provide members with consulting services if requested. For a nominal fee, SoACE will help you establish a team that fits your needs as an employer or college which will allow for benchmarking in you field. Often, it takes an outsiders prospective to document challenges and opportunities for your employer or college. SoACE External Review Services does exactly that, they help benchmark what other colleges and universities are doing in the field as well as what other employers are doing in the field as well. Regardless if you need to fill a position or make the case for why you need additional team members, SoACE has you covered!
For current members, the renewal for your SoACE membership opens in July! And for those that are considering SoACE think of all the benefits you can receive as a member and most importantly the relationships you can build with colleagues in your field.
Amanda Walker serves as the Director of Career Services at Austin Peay State University. She has ten years of higher education experience, with the last seven in Career Services. Amanda has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a Masters of Arts in Higher Education/Student Personnel from The University of Mississippi. She is currently in the dissertation phase pursuing a Doctor of Education degree in Higher Education at Delta State University. Her expertise areas are employer relations and internships. Most recently she served as co-researcher on the National Study of Unpaid Internships in 2014 conducted by Intern Bridge, Inc. Amanda has presented in both regional and national conferences on Internships.