The Vermont Connection


As a Black college student studying at a predominately white-serving institution (PWI), many departments were not built for me. Learning models, development theories, and functional services were not developed with students like me in mind.

In this paper, I will start by articulating my audience and positionality in order to ground where I enter this scholarly conversation on the topic of Black student engagement with career services in the college context. I will then examine the ways professional standards have largely been exclusionary for Black students and students of color. Next, I’ll offer my own professional identity development framework for students with minoritized racial identities. Finally, I will conclude my paper with a list of demands for the change agents who are well-positioned to define professionalism at colleges and universities: The National Association for Colleges and Employers (NACE), professionals in offices of career services, employers, and future researchers.