Cal U students who earn a PennWest degree can rest assured that employers will always recognize and value their college degree.
Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson, acting president of Cal U, Clarion and Edinboro, said employers will likely look at students with PennWest degrees the same way they look at other graduate students from universities that have since changed. name.
“Many universities have changed their names. As long as it’s an accredited institution and you have a good education, that’s what employers will look at,” she said.
Zach Huth, president and CEO of Huth Technologies, said that over time, it doesn’t matter which of the two names will appear on students’ diplomas.
“It’s like asking someone who graduated from Pitt or Penn State which campus they graduated from,” Huth said.
Huth Technologies is a Pittsburgh-based company that recruits candidates who specialize in engineering, project management, and business operations, and it typically recruits Cal U students.
His company will continue to recruit students from PennWest, Huth said.
“I think each campus will retain certain majors and programs that over time will serve as their identity,” he said.
Students, however, still identify strongly with Cal U.
Roshini Sanakkayala, a business administration major, started at Cal in fall 2018. After taking a semester to complete basic training for the U.S. military, she will graduate in fall 2022.
“I would just rather have ‘California University of Pennsylvania’ on my degree because I went to school here more when it was just Cal U,” said Sanakkayala, who will only spend a full semester at PennWest.
Dan Engstrom, acting provost at Cal U, wants to reassure students that staff are working on this.
“We were assured that he will always say California one way or another,” he said. “Like University of California at Pennsylvania Western or Pennsylvania Western at California Campus.”
Also, some students are confused about what university name to put on their resume and how this merger might affect their chances of getting a job after graduation. Tom Caton graduated from Cal U in the fall of 2021 and returned for his master’s degree, planning to graduate in the spring of 2023. He said he felt like there would be a some confusion with his degrees as they will both be from the same college, just under different names.
“My bachelor’s will say Cal U while my master’s will say PennWest California,” Caton said. “When it comes to building my resume, I will have no choice but to state that I got my bachelor’s degree from Cal U and my master’s degree from PennWest.”
It has not yet been determined whether alumni may apply for a PennWest degree in the future.
Rhonda Gifford, director of Cal U’s Career and Professional Development Center, said any student who graduated before the merger will still have the University of California, Pennsylvania on their resume.
“It will take time for people to become familiar with the name of the new university,” Gifford said. “Most employers are even more interested in your skills, experiences and what you can bring to them than in the name of your university. »
As a Cal U alum, Huth personally finds the name change difficult, but as an employer, he understands why the merger is important.
“This decision was made to strengthen universities, not to weaken them.”