Cleveland State Student Talks About Cooperative Education Program

Friday, December 20, 2013
Pictured from left to right are Traci Williams, TWC Assistant Vice President of Institutional Research and Retention and Patrick Collins, TWC Campus Information Technician.
Pictured from left to right are Traci Williams, TWC Assistant Vice President of Institutional Research and Retention and Patrick Collins, TWC Campus Information Technician.

Cleveland State graduate Patrick Collins learned a lot while enrolled at Cleveland State Community College, including how to land a job even before graduation. Mr. Collins was hired as the Campus Information Technician at Tennessee Wesleyan College a month before obtaining his degree crediting this to his experience with Cleveland State’s cooperative education  and Computer Information Technology programs

Cleveland State’s cooperative education program gives students the chance for hands-on training in their career field, offering them the opportunity to earn college credit while working or volunteering. While involved in CSCC’s cooperative education program, students will learn about proactive interviewing, create an effective resume and develop a personalized job search strategy.

“After high school, I obtained an associate’s degree from a North Carolina community college, majoring in automotives technology. Subsequently, I spent four and a half years working in a service department at a dealership in North Carolina,” stated Mr. Collins. “I got laid off from that job and at the time, I decided to pursue a different field and go back to school to get a different degree. Fortunately, part of the requirements for my degree at CSCC was to get involved in the co-op class with Susan Webb-Curtis (Director of Cooperative Education and Service-Learning). Even if it weren’t required to fulfill the requirements of the degree, I would definitely have taken this class and still pursued the co-op program because it was such a help in so many ways in preparing for future employment and with interview skills.”

During his time at CSCC, Mr. Collins worked in the computer repair lab on campus under the leadership of Bob Uhl, Associate Professor, and worked as the assistant manager his second year.

“Working with Bob helped me tremendously. It gave me a little bit of background to learn more about real world situations and time management skills before actually having to enter the workforce. In addition to that, it helped with the ability to see technical situations in a controlled environment. Words cannot express the gratitude that I have for the opportunity to have been a part of Bob Uhl’s classes and to have had the experience of working with him during my second year as his work study  and computer repair shop supervisor. In his teachings, Bob is excellent in tying his extensive background in the field of Information Technology into the curriculum in a practical and concise manner.”

Mr. Uhl stated, “Mr. Collins is a perfect example of what students in the computer information technology program can achieve when they apply themselves. There are several other success stories of students that have excelled in their careers around the Tennessee Valley just like Mr. Collins. The hard work these students put into their training is very appreciated by their prospective employers and really pays off for each graduate.”

Mr. Collins also took advantage of the resume and interview workshops while enrolled as a student at Cleveland State. “It was a great help to see examples of completed resumes, what they look like—basically the language that a proper resume should be written in. I will forever be grateful for Susan’s help and guidance throughout the co-op process. She assisted me in creating my own resume and even helped me proofread it one final time before I submitted it to the college to apply for this job. She basically assisted me with every aspect of resume writing. The combination of her attention to detail right down to creating the course notes and documentation proved to be a very welcome asset to someone like myself that had been in a single career and at the same job for a number of years. The resume and interviewing workshops also proved to be a great help to prepare for the eventuality of preparing a new resume and participating in job interviews.” 

As the Campus Information Technician at TWC, Collins’ job is to ensure that faculty and staff computers are being maintained correctly. He also performs various Help Desk functions for students that have problems logging into their email or their education management systems.

Traci Williams, TWC Assistant Vice President of Institutional Research and Retention, said, “We have many transfer students that come to us from Cleveland State and they are so successful that I knew when we were looking for a position in I.T. that those students would be just as successful here, not necessarily as students, but also as employees. Patrick has really fit in so well. He had a good base knowledge in I.T. and has really hit the ground running. We are happy to have him here.”

Mr. Collins went on to state, “I can’t say enough about the assistance that was given to me by both Susan Webb-Curtis and Bob Uhl in obtaining my degree and my career. I had a great experience in the I.T. program—all of my professors—Bob, Megen (Dr. Megen Saez) they all helped to prepare me for this. I could not have asked for a better experience. I had the job at TWC one month before I even graduated from CSCC. I feel very fortunate to have both TWC and CSCC in my life experience.”

Webb-Curtis said, “Patrick Collins was one of those students who took full advantage of the resources available to him at the college. He attended career workshops, participated in co-op to gain hands-on experience in his new career field, took the time to get to know his professors well, excelled in his college courses, and followed the job search advice we provided.  Patrick was a bright, enthusiastic and committed student, and we know that TWC has gained an outstanding employee. We have many other students like Patrick who are looking for co-op experiences and will be wonderful employees. We are always looking for employers who would like to provide a co-op placement for our students and we are always here to help students looking for hands-on field experience as well.”



Public Education Foundation Hosts Free College Knowledge Lunch Breaks

High school parents & educators from all over the Tennessee Valley are invited to attend the Public Education Foundation's free College Knowledge Lunch Breaks.  Other adults who work with or advise students on the road to post-secondary success are invited as well.   These monthly lunch time workshops will focus on college related topics such as essay writing, ... (click for more)

Lee University To Present Homecoming Music Festival 2014

As a part of the Lee University Homecoming activities, the School of Music will present its annual Music Festival on Saturday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. in the Conn Center. This year’s festival program will include familiar student ensembles Campus Choir, Chamber Strings, Evangelistic Singers, Jazz Band, Ladies of Lee, Lee Singers, Symphonic Band, Voices of Lee, and a group new to the ... (click for more)

Additions And Improvements At Camp Jordan Arena Coming Soon

Additions and improvements are coming to Camp Jordan Arena in the near future. At the Thursday night meeting of the East Ridge city council, approval was given for buying new playground equipment. It will come from Gametime, a locally-based company. The VP of Marketing lives in East Ridge and made a proposal to set up the playground at Camp Jordan so his company could use it for ... (click for more)

Tribute Service For Luther Masingill Held At Historic Engel Stadium

It took a place as big as historic Engel Stadium for Chattanooga to say goodbye to their beloved Luther. Hundreds came Thursday afternoon to pay tribute to Luther Masingill who died early Monday morning after a radio career that spanned an amazing 74 years. It was clear from all who spoke that he was considered not only a radio personality, but also a role model. One after ... (click for more)

Not Everything Has Been Done To Save Hutcheson

I am a resident of Walker County and I have a personal belief that a hospital ranks equal to other basic services a community should offer (like police, fire, emergency services, school systems, government, etc.). I am not privy to all the management and financial conundrums concerning the feasibility of maintaining and growing Hutcheson, and as a private citizen I don’t believe ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Veterinarian’s Horse Sense

I suspect you’ve heard by now that a doctor in New York City, who volunteers with “Doctors Without Borders,” just got back from the African nation of Guinea on October 17 – last Friday – and on Thursday tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus. Luckily, he came in actual contact with only a few people but he reportedly rode a subway, took a taxi, went on a three-mile run and ... (click for more)