Partnership gives Kennesaw State students paths to public service careers

KENNESAW, Ga. | Jun 6, 2024

Kennesaw State University is teaming with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to equip students with the skills and knowledge needed to pursue careers in public service.

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Kennesaw State is beginning a three-year partnership with the HHS’ Pathways to Public Service program, which will help students obtain paid internships and entry-level positions with federal government agencies. Resources such as career fairs, workshops, coaching, and mentorships will boost students’ professional development and educate them on the federal hiring process and the Department of Health and Human Services’ mission.

“Kennesaw State is excited to be in partnership with the Pathways to Public Service program,” said Tom Vecchione, executive director of KSU’s Department of Career Planning and Development. “This important collaboration will support sustainable, productive, and diverse opportunities for KSU students to engage in internships and entry-level positions directly relevant to their chosen career goals.”

Those internship opportunities align with Kennesaw State’s longstanding commitment to experiential education and service learning. Pathways to Public Service students who complete an internship and meet all the necessary requirements become eligible for permanent employment within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ partnering agencies.

The stated goal of Pathways to Public Service is to “develop the next generation of public servants, fostering advances in medicine, public health and social services.” Students are provided resources including quarterly virtual career fairs where they connect with participating federal agencies and consider possible careers based on their majors and employment workshops on how to create a USA Jobs account, draft a federal resume, and interview for positions.

“One of the target goals of the Pathways to Public Service program is to increase the number of students in the federal applicant pool who currently attend universities with higher minority student populations,” said Pathways to Public Service program manager Mose Harris. “We are building lasting and sustainable partnerships with universities nationwide to achieve that, and we are proud to have KSU as a lasting partner.”

The Pathways to Public Service program has hired more than 100 students for internships since its inception in 2019, according to HHS. Participating students engage with organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the National Institutes of Health, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Administration for Children and Families, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources, and the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response.

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 45,000 students. Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia with 11 academic colleges. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 7 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit