OC opens ‘transformed’ Keith Career and Transfer Center

Austin Keith makes remarks about the newly transformed Keith Career and Transfer Center in the Learning Resources Center at Odessa College Thursday. (Ruth Campbell|Odessa American)

Students seeking support with career and transfer service at Odessa College now have the Keith Career and Transfer Center to access it.

The state-of-the-art space inside the Learning Resources Center opened Thursday with about 245 community members and officials from Odessa College, University of Texas Permian Basin, Ector County, the City of Odessa and others in attendance.

OC Associate Vice President for Student Services Jason Meldrum was the emcee.

Austin Keith and Michele Keith were honored and Austin Keith made a few remarks.

Previously known as the Keith Learning Lab, it has been transformed to provide career and transfer services to students to support post-graduation success. It was funded by an OC Innovation Grant and equipped with new technology, furniture, signage and artwork, a news release said.

A sample of the Dress for Success Career Clothing Closet was on display Thursday during the opening of the Keith Career and Transfer Center inside the Learning Resources Center at OC. (Ruth Campbell|Odessa American)

The Dress for Success Career Clothing Closet will provide access to free business attire for students preparing for interviews, career fairs and other professional meetings.

Through the new center, current and former students can benefit from services include resume support, mock interviews, career exploration, transfer timeline review, consultations with Transfer advisors, meetings with business professionals and more, the release said.

UTPB Senior Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Becky Spurlock said OC is such a critical and important partner to UTPB and they are grateful for that partnership.

“Not a day goes by that I don’t see innovations coming out of the work of Odessa College. It’s a constantly evolving place and we are the beneficiaries of that partnership and the evolution that we’re doing together,” Spurlock said.

“The work we’re currently pursuing on intentional transfers of the top majors that connect our institutions will certainly benefit the careers and incomes of our graduates.”

“The evolution of this work will only continue and I think that we will likely see national recognition with some of the work we’re doing in this space,” she added.

Spurlock said the Dress for Success Career Clothing Closet speaks volumes to meeting the needs of the community and setting them up for success.

A view of the Keith Career and Transfer Center inside the Learning Resources Center at Odessa College. It was opened Thursday with about 245 people in attendance. (Ruth Campbell|Odessa American)

Keith said he did not go to Odessa College, but he has seen the growth of it and is excited about all the programs being offered.

He added that higher education is a very important thing.

“You’re doing a great job out here,” Keith said.

He added that he and Michele have been blessed by God and given the opportunity to help fund things like the career and transfer center.

“It’s not about us. It’s about Him. As y’all go forward, it’s an exciting time here at Odessa College, as well as the University of Texas Permian Basin. The collaboration of what’s going on, these buildings that are going up, it’s impressive,” Keith said.

Executive Director of Student Learning Resources Mireya Jacuinde said the center started off as a dream and a concept and has evolved into what people toured on Thursday. She thanked everyone involved in the project.

OC President Gregory Williams said it takes everyone to get projects like this done and thanked Keith for his contributions.

Senior Dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Education Pervis Evans said he feels having a dedicated space for career and transfer is a game-changer for students.

“I think it takes us to the next place providing students with that additional support as they transition from OC to their dream careers. … We’re really dedicated to making sure that we see students through the entire process of their education and career aspirations and this is just one step in getting there,” Evans said.