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RCCs Witt moves up to career coach position

Career Coach B. Witt

Career Coach B. Witt

As one element of its strategy toward improving student success and employment rates of graduates, the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) has recently authorized hiring an Adult Career Coach for each of its 23 member colleges. Rappahannock Community College transition specialist Betsy Witt has accepted the position at RCC.

“The fundamental purpose of the VCCS Adult Career Coach program is to empower adults to make informed decisions about their career and educational plans, and to prepare them for success in postsecondary education and training,” says Caroline Thurston, coordinator of the VCCS Middle College and Adult Career Services. As one of these coaches, Witt will be expected to educate dislocated workers and the general public about the programs and services offered at community colleges, to assist job seekers by designing individualized education and career plans, and to provide one-on-one counseling and group training. She will track students throughout their education and training in order to monitor their progress, and to intervene if it seems necessary for ensuring their academic success. Also, she will help students apply classroom learning to the work environment, strengthen workplace “soft skills,” provide opportunities to attend career fairs, schedule workshops on interviewing and job skills, and arrange for “job shadowing” with community employers.

In addition to her bachelor’s degree in social work from Christopher Newport University, Betsy Witt spent 15 years in the fields of social services and mental health before coming to RCC. Among other accomplishments, she helped to develop the Mathews County Children’s Advocacy Center. Counseling students who have “faced tough situations in their lives and have overcome them” is not only her job but also something she loves doing. The message she hopes to convey to these students is that “they do not have to be afraid to take the first steps in a new direction, and they can keep going even through things that seem difficult.” Ultimately, she hopes to instill the concept that a change in the trajectory of their own lives can also change life for future generations.

In her previous position of transition specialist, Witt worked with students who had earned a GED or high school diploma through RCC’s Adult Education and Middle College programs, helping them to move on easily to college classes, skills training, or employment. Her new standing as adult career coach makes use of the same skills of listening, understanding, and guiding that have already served RCC so well.

A native of Virginia Beach, Witt has lived in Gloucester County for the past 20 years. She has three children, and she enjoys cooking, quilting, hiking, and spending time with her family and friends.

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