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Signature Programs

The Center for Career and Professional Development has developed and coordinates several signature programs.  Please click on the name of each program below to learn more.

Capitol Hill Internship Program

The Capitol Hill Internship Program is a collaboration between the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Success, the Center for Career and Professional Development, and the Political Science Department at Western Carolina University.  This program is designed to help students find and complete internships on Capitol Hill by providing a stipend to assist with living costs, as well as support in finding and applying to internship opportunities.

Learn more about the Capitol Hill Internship Program.

Whee Explore

Western Carolina University understands that selecting a major can be a complex, exciting, and sometimes challenging decision. Instead of pushing students to pick a program, we encourage our undeclared students to explore major and career options and see the many opportunities that lie ahead. WCU’s Advising Center, Center for Career and Professional Development, and Office of Student Transitions are working together to launch a new program that provides targeted resources and support to incoming students as they engage in their interests and options. Students selected for this program participate in courses designed to help them identify their interests and skills, research majors and career options, and connect with campus events and programs. They also receive emails every other week from the WheeExplore team with information and activities to help them explore their interests and learn to be successful college students. Emails include upcoming campus events, how to guides, and links to articles to provide different perspectives on how to make the most of your college experience, things to consider when choosing a major, and general ‘good to know’ content. Finally, students have the opportunity to receive a coaching session to review the results of a self-assessment designed to reflect on personal interests, skills, values, and personality, and to see how those connect to possible majors and careers.

For more information, contact the Center for Career & Professional Development at 828-227-7133 or

Alumni Career Shadow and networking Program

The Office of Alumni Engagement and the Center for Career and Professional Development partner with WCU alumni to provide Alumni Career Shadow and Networking Days to current students. Each shadow day has two components: on-site job shadowing and a networking reception with local alumni. This program provides a unique opportunity for students to integrate curricular and career experiences, observe and develop workplace skills, and network with professionals in corporate settings.

This fall, on November 6, 2019, we will take students to Atlanta to visit one of two organizations – Cryolife (global healthcare technology company) or Cobb County Sheriff’s Office.  During their site visits, students will receive an overview and tour of the organization, talk with current alumni working with the company, and then meet with and/or shadow professionals working in departments aligned with the student’s interest.

Students at Cryolife will have the opportunity to meet with professionals working in analytical chemistry and healthcare, marketing, communication, product management, supply chain, human resources, finance, or corporate law. Students at Cobb County Sheriff’s Office will receive a tour of their 3,500 bed jail, learn about various task forces ranging from elder abuse to gangs to fraud, and then meet with professionals across departments including an investigator, chief deputy, and possibly the sheriff. Both organizations are excited to create agendas targeted to student interests.

After the shadowing experience wraps up, students will have the opportunity to network with local Atlanta alumni during a reception hosted at Cryolife. The alumni in attendance will represent a wide range of fields and look forward to connecting with current students to share career advice and experiences.

For more information about the Alumni Career Shadow and Networking Days program, contact Courtney Gauthier, Associate Director, at

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