The Career Connection Research Center (CCRC) has a rich history of supporting career preparation for traditionally underrepresented populations. The Center was created in the late 1990s by Dr. Paula Kohler and her colleagues at Western Michigan University. CCRC brings together faculty and students from many disciplines interested in a variety of issues regarding career development. Faculty and students in the center have engaged in research through several externally funded projects using diverse research methodologies. Partners in this research include state educational agencies, national research and advocacy organizations and others with specific expertise related to research foci. It has been the ‘home’ for grants funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, Illinois Department of Labor, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and other work from various federal, state and professional association research projects.

With over 22 million grant dollars attributed to CCRC, its programs have impacted a wide-range of people and organizations. The Center is recognized for its hiring practices with a focus on minority and special populations (NSF, 2011). Faculty, students and staff involved in the Center have presented their work in almost every U.S. state and territory as well as internationally. Known for their expertise on research-to-practice in the fields of education, career preparation and vocational placement, the Center is often sought out by other universities, state agencies and professional associations to support graduate level internships and research projects. To date, the Center has provided educational opportunities to over 50 graduate level students. Additionally, through their federally funded projects, the Center has supported over 1,500 state and local strategic planning efforts.

Professional staff

June Gothberg, Ph.D.

Jennifer Coyle, Ed.D.
Senior Research Associate

Student staff

Alycia Sterenberg, MT-BC
Doctoral Associate

Cherrelle Singleton, M.A.

Anwar Thomas, M.A.