The Student Engagement Center (SEC) encourages and supports students to take advantage of a vast array of experiences available outside of the classroom. These experiences enrich students’ academic programs as well as help them refine their interests and develop their passions. They also help prepare students to be successful when pursuing opportunities for employment and graduate study.

The Center fosters personal and intellectual development by promoting student engagement in academics, in community service, internships, campus and summer employment, leadership opportunities, and career exploration. The Center’s team collaborates with Whitman’s student support programs and academic departments and to help students assess their skills, interests, and abilities, and to promote their involvement in activities that will advance them toward their future goals.

Through career counseling, students can assess their skills and interests and explore career options. The Center’s staff teaches students how to build a professional resume, helps them to reflect on the experiences that will enhance their career goals, and introduces them to resources that fit their unique needs.

Student Engagement Center programs include:

Alumni Networking — The Center provides numerous networking opportunities for students and alumni to communicate about careers, internships, and jobs. Whitman Online is a searchable database of thousands of alumni who are resources for students or other alumni about career issues. Several times a year the SEC hosts networking receptions in conjunction with Alumni Relations.

Internships — Internships add to a student’s college experience by allowing them to practice professional skills and obtain a deeper understanding of the world of work. Students are encouraged to apply for one of thousands of internships listed on the SEC website or to develop an experience that best suits their interests. The SEC also administers the Whitman Internship Grant Program which during the summer of 2013 provided nearly 110 stipends to students who develop and secure unpaid summer internships.

Handshake - (Fall 2017) Whitman's job and internship search portal.

Student-led Community Service Programs — Student interns coordinate eight service programs: Whitman Mentor Program, Adopt-A-Grandparent, Story Time Project, College Coaches, Make A Difference Day, Spring Break and Service Trips, and the Summer Community OutReach Excursions (SCORE).

Community Service Consultations — The SEC team connects individuals and groups with volunteer opportunities and supports Greek philanthropy and the Community Service House.

America Reads/Counts — The SEC hires 20-30 work-study eligible Whitman students each year to tutor in the Walla Walla schools. This program provides Whitman students with the opportunity to give back to their community, gain work experience, and earn money.

Graduate School Fair — Each fall semester, regional graduate school representatives come to campus to meet students and discuss their academic programs. In addition, a Law School Panel, consisting of several regional law schools, provides an overview of testing and the application process. Additional panels take place focusing on business schools and also education and teaching programs.

Major Connections — Offered in collaboration with the Academic Resource Center, Major Connections is an interactive fair that allows students to meet seniors from each academic department to learn more about the major. The SEC staff offers interest inventories, introduces students to internships, community service opportunities, and the career choices made by Whitman alumni who have majored in that field.

Learning Commons @ Penrose: A collaboration with the Academic Resource Center, the Writing Center, and the Library to have trained peer tutors available in evenings for a variety of drop-in appointments.

More information about the SEC can be found at