College of Education > News and Publications > News: 2009 > Student Group in Workforce Education and Development Formed

Student Group in Workforce Education and Development Formed

New student group, WFED Society for Peer Mentoring

by Joe Savrock (March 2009)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – A new student group in the College’s Workforce Education and Development (WFED) program promises to foster networking and professional development advantages for graduate students.

The WFED Society for Peer Mentoring (WSPM) serves as a peer-mentoring group designed to help its members prepare for candidacy, comprehensives, dissertations, job interviews, research, internships, curriculum vitae and resumes, and presentations. WSPM’s vision is to be a significant resource to all Penn State graduate students aspiring to be employed as faculty, trainers, administrators, or researchers for business, industry, health fields, occupational home economics, cooperative education, or youth apprenticeship.

“Our student group is highly invested in peer mentoring and successful career transition for its members,” said WSPM president Shakoor Ward. “WSPM is an additional resource for students. We hope to bridge academic, professional, and social gaps. We’re proud of our role in supporting graduate students in the College of Education.”

Ward, a doctoral candidate in the WFED program, co-founded the WSPM group along with Patricia Gouse, Penn State information technology consultant. Gouse also serves as the program coordinator.

Ward and his peers organized WSPM last summer. The group has 15 charter members. WSPM’s advisor is William Rothwell, professor of workforce education and development.

The group has a partnership with the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) Central Pennsylvania Chapter. WSPM began as a special-interest group to ASTD, catering to the training and development emphasis of Penn State’s WFED students. The group later widened its focus to serving the interest of all WFED students, including those with Career & Technical Education and Postsecondary Education emphases. Currently WSPM has 25 members—nine full-time students and 16 part-time students.

The organization hosts occasional professional development opportunities, including social networking events and guest speakers from industry and academia. Several presentations are being planned for April. For updated information, refer to the WSPM Web site.

Graduate students who are interested in joining may contact Kathleen Wolfhope, WSPM treasurer.