Carolyn Serdar, executive director for career and professional development, accepts the 2024 Care...
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Carthage College has received the 2024 Career Services Pursuit of Excellence Award, a nationwide honor that strongly endorses the college’s innovative approach to career development.

The Career Leadership Collective, a thought partner that provides support for career services professionals, presented the award Tuesday, April 23, during its national conference in Austin, Texas. It’s given to select institutions “that embody a holistic and long-standing commitment” to career preparation.

Carolyn Serdar, executive director for career and professional development at Carthage, accepted on behalf of the college’s career services staff.

“As The Aspire Program continues to build momentum, this award validates the work we’ve been doing,” Serdar said.

This year’s graduating class at Carthage will be the first to complete The Aspire Program, a multifaceted career development initiative that launched in 2019. Over four years, Aspire guides all students to connect their interests, skills, and underlying purpose to practical opportunities with lasting value.

“Today’s employers value communication, critical thinking and teamwork in their new employees. Also, employers value experiences like internships,” Serdar said.

The Aspire Program’s commitment to helping students to hone their soft skills, find work experiences, and reflect on their growth sets Carthage’s career program apart.

The Pursuit of Excellence Award recognizes career services teams that demonstrate growth and quality in data analysis, equitable services, strategic planning, and staff development. Carthage is one of four recipients in 2024, joined by the University of Connecticut, Bowling Green State University, and George Mason University.

Link to The Aspire Program’s awards and recognitions