The Russell G. Weigand Center for Professional Excellence serves as home base for Elmhurst College’s commitment to professional preparation as part of the comprehensive education of every student. Through a wide range of services and resources, the Weigand Center will help you explore your passions, define your goals, ignite your professional curiosity and prepare you to thrive in an ever-changing world.
In the Elmhurst model, the true professional has a combination of expertise in a chosen field, strong personal values, wide-ranging skills, entrepreneurial energy, commitment to social justice, international awareness and a breadth of intellectual perspective. It is our conviction that our society and world need people who understand this model of the true professional and are ready to live it out.
Home to the College’s initiatives in career education, pre-professional guidance and career experience, the Weigand Center for Professional Excellence offers a wide selection of programs, opportunities, and experiences, including:
- Effective career counseling and guidance, coordinated with academic advising
- Opportunities to undertake internships for hands-on experience
- Leadership development opportunities
- Opportunities to establish lasting relationships with professional mentors
- Opportunities for student development through short-term career exploration
- Specialized advising for those planning a career in healthcare or law
Career education aids students and alumni in continuing career development, exploration, and self-assessment through such programs as:
- Career development classes and seminars
- Computer-assisted career guidance
- Internet access for job information and career development
- Job search, résumé writing and interviewing workshops
- Library of career resources
Short-Term Career Exploration
Short-term career exploration offers students the opportunity to explore different careers as they make decisions involving their education, career, and future. Students meet with professionals once or twice a term and accompany them through the workday, learning what their careers are all about. Students shadow professionals in an exceptional range of careers. For some careers where job shadowing is not available, an informational interview with a professional also serves as a means for students to explore the details of a career.
Students are encouraged to use this experience as a springboard for further discussion with the shadowed professional. For example, students might ask the professional questions inspired by the day’s events or ask for relevant literature to review. Students are also encouraged to speak with the professional about his or her own career and other opportunities in the field.
At the end of the experience, students are required to complete a reflective survey.
Long-Term Career Exploration
The mentoring program focuses on what it means to be a professional rather than on the specifics of any particular business or profession. The personal interaction afforded by the mentoring relationship meets the needs of students in ways that classroom programs alone cannot meet.
The mentoring program begins with an orientation for mentors and protégés (students). Mentors and protégés meet once every four to six weeks either in person or via Skype throughout the academic year. Scheduling is arranged between the mentor and the protégé. Throughout the mentoring experience, students are exposed to how a “true professional” functions in various parts of professional life. In the process, the program emphasizes and develops students’ leadership skills.
Gaining career experience to supplement classroom learning is a critical component in the career growth trajectory of a student. To aid in the process, Weigand Center provides opportunities through programs like:
- Online listings for full-time, part-time and internship opportunities on ECConnect - Elmhurst College’s online job portal: www.ECConnect.com
- Career Fairs
- Mock Interviewing
- On-campus interviewing
Internships are also an excellent way for a student to get a close-up look at a field that interests them. By participating in an internship, students gain professional experience, confidence, and a competitive edge.
- Elmhurst interns take on in-depth, substantive projects at Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and government agencies. Students have worked at hundreds of sites, including high profile companies such as Ernst and Young, Argonne National Laboratory, Chicago Fire Soccer Club and Walt Disney World.
- An internship enhances a student’s resume, gives them marketable skills and professional contacts, and can also give provide the inside track for a full-time job offer.
- Students integrate career-related experience into their education by participating in supervised work and even earn course credit. The experience complements and enhances classroom learning while creating links between the College and the world of work.
- Students of any major are eligible to take on an internship. Depending on their discipline, they work with their advisor and with the Weigand Center for Professional Excellence to choose an internship that matches their goals and interests.
Students can receive academic credit for an internship but are not required to register for credit. It also is possible to receive credit and be paid. Internships for credit may be taken during Fall, J-term, Spring and Summer terms. Internship sites may be on or off-campus. The academic credit internship course also fulfills the Experiential Learning Tag requirement.
|Spring and Fall Term
||7-13 hours/week for 14 weeks
||Total: 98- 182 hours
||14-17 hours/week for 14 weeks
||Total: 196- 238 hours
||18+ hours/week for 14 weeks
||Total: 252+ hours
||12-24 hours/week for 8 weeks
||Total: 98-182 hours
||25-31 hours/week for 8 weeks
||Total: 196-238 hours
||32+ hours/ week for 8 weeks
||Total: 252+ hours
||18-20 hours/week for 4 weeks
||Total: 72 - 80 hours
||35- 40 hours/week for 4 weeks
||Total: 140-160 hours
Health Professions Advising
Specialized advising is available to any student who wishes to explore or learn about careers in healthcare before, throughout and beyond their undergraduate years.
Goals of Health Professions Advising
- To provide specialized academic and career advising and a program of activities, events, and speakers to inform students about the health professions;
- To offer appropriate resources and information about professional school programs, admission criteria, and professional school tests;
- To encourage and support academic and clinical programs and affiliations; and
- To coordinate the evaluation and recommendation committee process for healthcare students.
Health Professions Advising supports individuals of all backgrounds by promoting study-abroad experiences, encouraging students to learn multiple languages, providing programs on diversity, advising students on the impact culture has on interpersonal communication, and expecting understanding and respect of others, regardless of their similarities or differences, in health care settings and beyond. In addition, the director of Health Professions Advising realizes that learning about culture is an ongoing process and that there is no finite point to reach in our knowledge of ourselves and others. Healthcare is a highly collaborative field, and practitioners must be culturally aware and sensitive to all patients/clients and team members in any medical setting or establishment to effectively fulfill their role.
By supporting individuals of all backgrounds, the director will aid students in their pursuit of serving others in a health-related capacity and overall development as globally aware citizens.
Professional Health Care Programs at Elmhurst College
Professional programs are programs that lead directly to a health care career when the bachelor’s degree is completed. Professional programs at Elmhurst include:
- Diagnostic Medical Sonography
- Exercise Science
- Medical Laboratory Science
- Nuclear Medicine Technology
- Radiation Therapy
Nursing and exercise science are majors at Elmhurst. Students pursuing medical laboratory science major in biology and can apply for Elmhurst’s affiliate programs with Hines VA Hospital and NorthShore University HealthSystem. Students pursuing diagnostic medical sonography (DMS), nuclear medicine technology (NMT) and radiation therapy (RT) are health science technology majors. Elmhurst has affiliations with Northwestern Memorial Hospital for DMS, NMT, and RT. College of DuPage also has an affiliation with Elmhurst for NMT. Admission to Elmhurst College does not guarantee admission to an affiliate program, and students must meet certain requirements to be eligible to apply. Interested students are responsible for learning about the requirements for any academic affiliation via the Health Professions Advising website in addition to meeting with the health professions advisor every semester to determine and maintain eligibility.
Pre-Professional Health Care Programs at Elmhurst College
The pre-professional programs involve the undergraduate study that leads toward an application to professional or graduate school for completion of a student’s education. Pre-professional programs do not require a specific major (unless a student is applying for one of Elmhurst’s affiliate programs with a hospital or professional school). Instead, students may choose any academic major. Courses required for entry into graduate or professional school are incorporated into regular academic schedules. Typically, completion of a bachelor’s degree is an important step in preparation for further study in professional school.
Students who are pursuing a pre-professional program in healthcare will work with their faculty academic advisor as well as the director of Health Professions Advising. We strongly encourage students to plan an early consultation with the director for career exploration and to learn about academic and co-curricular requirements for the health professions. The director is also available to advise students on entrance examinations and submitting applications to professional school.
The pre-professional programs include but are not limited to:
- Occupational Therapy
- Physical Therapy
- Physician Assistant Studies
- Speech-Language Pathology
- Veterinary Medicine
Recommended course lists for each health care program can be found on the Health Professions Advising website. It is important for students to realize that these lists are general recommendations since prerequisite courses vary from one school to the next. Thus an individualized plan of coursework should be developed in consultation with the director of Health Professions Advising.
Health Professions Recommendation Committee
The director of Health Professions Advising coordinates a recommendation committee of faculty and staff for students applying to medical, dental and podiatric medical schools and to some affiliation programs.
This committee interviews and evaluates students, and the director prepares letters of recommendation for applicants.
Students should contact the director to learn about the process during the fall of their junior year, or at least a year and a half prior to their planned entrance into professional school.
Medical Humanities Minor
Open to all students, the medical humanities minor is designed to serve as a basis for the development and understanding of the skills and attributes associated with humanistic health care delivery. The minor includes coursework, research, scholarship, and clinical internship. Please refer to the Medical Humanities section of this catalog.
Professional School and Hospital Affiliations
The Health Professions Advising program offers several affiliations with professional schools and hospital programs for early admission or special consideration for various health professions. Below is a listing of all the affiliations. Information about each affiliation and the requirements can be found on the Health Professions Advising website. In addition, students must meet with the director to discuss all requirements and to determine their eligibility to apply. Some affiliations require specific majors, GPAs, and entrance exam scores and limit transfer credit. Admission to Elmhurst College does not guarantee admission to an affiliate program.
Chiropractic Medicine: National University of Health Sciences
Chiropractic Medicine: Northwestern Health Sciences University
Dentistry: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Diagnostic Medical Sonography: Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Medical Laboratory Science: Hines Hospital
Medical Laboratory Science: NorthShore University HealthSystem
Medicine: A.T. Still University
Medicine: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Nuclear Medicine Technology: Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Nuclear Medicine Technology: College of DuPage
Pharmacy: Midwestern University, Chicago College of Pharmacy
Pharmacy: Roosevelt University, College of Pharmacy
Radiation Therapy: Northwestern Memorial Hospital
Veterinary Medicine: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
All affiliations with professional schools and hospitals are subject to change.
Students interested in attending law school should make sure to meet with the pre-law advisor in the Center to learn more about the field, how to apply, and what courses/activities would help them prepare for a career in law. Most law schools prefer a broad undergraduate liberal arts program and do not exhibit preferences toward applicants with a particular major. Therefore, there is no prescribed major or pre-law curriculum. Students planning post-graduate study of law should take courses that develop rigorous and disciplined thinking, writing and speaking ability. Pre-law students should take special notice of the Mock Trial courses, which allow participants to present a legal case in trial simulations with teams from other institutions.
Students hoping to attend law school in the year after graduation should plan to take the law school entrance exam, the LSAT, in the spring or summer before, or early fall of, their senior year. Applications to law school should be complete in the late fall of senior year.
Center for Professional Excellence