Baruch alumni deserve longer access to free career services

The Editorial Board

The Starr Career Development Center at Baruch College offers career support to undergraduate students, however,  six months post-graduation, graduates must pay out-of-pocket fees to use these services. Instead, Baruch should allow alumni for at least two years after  their graduation date to take advantage of Baruch’s career services for free.

Throughout their undergraduate careers, Baruch students pay   tuition and other fees, so it makes little sense that alumni have to pay additional fees to access services that are dedicated for them to begin with.

The Starr Center provides students with career services such as seminars, workshops and access at events on campus. Alumni have a free life-long account on Starr Search to assist them in their job search.

Individual career counseling is $30, career and vocational assessment is $120 and career seminars are $25, according to the Baruch alumni website.

As a college that prides itself on the professional readiness of its alumni,  these services are expected of Baruch, and the administration must acknowledge that any help from these services only assists Baruch’s reputation in the professional world.

Baruch has consistently ranked high on national college evaluation lists, with many evaluations noting the success of its alumni. As such, it would do the administration good to recognize that it is the alumni and their skill that allows Baruch to advertise its achievements.

Approximately 19% of Baruch students come from the bottom 20% of the income brackets, according to  The New York Times’ assessment of tax records.

Baruch’s impressive reputation and competitive acceptance rates are some of the primary reasons for students to spend their undergraduate years in the college.

Knowing this, if students fail to be able to secure successful jobs, or wish to change their career, they should be given free resources and assistance to help them in their career development.

If the budget does not allow Baruch to unconditionally provide these services for free, then Baruch should at least extend their six-month deadline to two years, so that alumni can get their careers on track.

This is especially important now in the COVID-19 pandemic, as recent graduates all over New York City continue to struggle with  unemployment.

Instead, Baruch has decided, year and year again, to charge graduates money to simply get help from their alma mater. This treatment of alumni is unacceptable and often leaves economically challenged students with little to no options to utilize  these resources.

If that was not enough, Baruch also has a limit of three sessions that alumni can have with the career counseling appointments. That means even alumni who can pay to get assistance have only three short appointments to assess their professional goals, troubles in their fields and come up with a thorough plan to follow.

The entire situation is all the more disappointing because Baruch claims to be a college of the people and consistently boasts about its commitment to facilitative upward mobility among New York residents.