Academics

Office for Academic Affairs

Programs

Professional Development Seminar (PDS)

The Professional Development Seminar (PDS) program was created at Nichols College to ensure that the end of the college experience is as promising as the beginning. The college recognized a need to teach students the professional skills required in the workforce, but not included in the typical college curriculum. Faculty and staff custom-designed a program that cultivates “real life” skills needed in the professional arena while supporting the college mission "...to develop tomorrow's leaders through a dynamic, career focused business education." The PDS program prepares each Nichols undergraduate student to achieve success in his/her professional life. The PDS program is a sequence of four one-credit required courses designed to meet the unique developmental needs of our students from first-year through senior year.

First-Year PDS

First-Year PDS is designed to set a framework for a successful beginning of the college years by:

  • providing the Nichols College first-year student with information and support to help make a smooth transition to college
  • providing students with the necessary tools and skills to achieve success academically and personally
  • sharing information about the services of the college
  • helping students make an informed choice about their major and career options

The heart of the course is the dissemination of information about the services and programs of the college, knowledge of the staff available to assist students, and individual learning on topics such as time management and study skills.

Sophomore PDS

Sophomore PDS is designed to set a framework for accomplishing the critical goals of the middle years of college. The course focuses on self-exploration while covering topics such as the role of education, selecting a major, and creating resumes and cover letters.

Developmentally, the course is focused on what the needs of a sophomore student are within career development. While some long-term goals are considered, the focus is on the “here and now” of sophomore year and developing skills to reach the next level, such as exploring the various majors available and preparing for an internship.

The heart of the course is the beginning of the Student Portfolio, a collection of each student's accomplishments in academics, employment, extra-curricular activities and community involvement. Students begin the portfolio in the sophomore year and will continue its development through the senior year PDS course.

Junior PDS

Junior PDS is designed to set a framework for career decision making, refining interview skills, and developing an individual presentation through the portfolio. A major focus of the course is gaining interview experience through four weeks of mock interviews both as an interviewer and interviewee. Each student learns how to prepare for the interview process. Additionally, the class includes other relevant career topics as presenting oneself professionally, effective communication skills, and post-graduation options. The early stages of the job search process begin at the end of this course.

The heart of the course is the continued development of the student portfolio, a collection of each student's work, goals, experiences, accomplishments and achievements. The additional work done on the portfolio in the junior year is to focus on individual talents and skills that set each student apart from the others. Students must identify their own personal assets and develop a process and method for demonstrating these talents in the portfolio.

The emphasis in the junior year is on refinement – refinement of skills, talents and achievements. Once the students understand their special skills and are able to focus on these strengths, they are then prepared to begin the job search process early in the senior year.

Senior PDS

The Senior PDS course is designed to assist the senior in beginning the career search process, to provide the opportunity to solidify interview skills, to further develop an individual presentation through the portfolio, to gain knowledge regarding options available after graduation and how to identify and accept the emotions and issues regarding transitioning out of college.

The heart of the course is the continued development of the student portfolio, a collection of each student's work, goals, experiences, accomplishments and achievements. Students will expand the portfolio with an emphasis on their individual achievement and success within their major.

Additionally, the class includes other relevant career topics as financial planning, recruiting, post-graduate options, and business etiquette.

Important Information

Contact Information

508-213-2201

Office Hours

M-F 8:30am-4:30pm

Summer Office Hours

M-R 8:30am-4:30pm
Closed Friday

Location

Conant Hall

mauri.pelto@nichols.edu

Dr. Mauri Pelto

Vice President for Academic Affairs
jason.price@nichols.edu

Dr. Jason Price

Associate Dean for Liberal Arts
luanne.westerling@nichols.edu

Luanne Westerling

Associate Dean for Business
andrea.becker@nichols.edu

Andrea Becker

Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs
maureen.butler@nichols.edu

Maureen Butler

Assistant to the VP for Academic Affairs
christine.wojnar@nichols.edu

Christine Wojnar

Assistant to the Faculty