College and Career Studies

About the Department

The Department of College and Career Studies (CCST) at Central Lakes College helps every student achieve academic success by developing or enhancing basic skill proficiencies to assist in the successful transition into college. All Associate Arts Degree students are required to take a Student Success course in order to graduate.

It is important this course is taken early on in the college career since it is here where students are introduced to technology needed as a CLC student in addition to learning both what resources are available to them and how to access those resources. Other courses offered through CCST include “Career Planning”, “Employment Strategies”, and “Money Management” as well as other life enhancing courses.

Department Information

Department Description: The College & Career Studies Department courses are designed to assist students in learning college and career success strategies and life management skills. These courses focus on development of the whole person and help students identify personal, educational, and career goals as well as make satisfying decisions for transition to the workforce as productive members of society. The learning and self-management skills developed in college and career courses can serve a lifetime. These courses do not lead to a major but are designed to provide students with the skills necessary for achieving personal, academic, and career success.

Department Learning Outcomes:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of self through exploration of interests, personal values and personality traits.
  • Develop and apply a repertoire of study skill strategies to optimize their academic success.
  • Develop and apply job-search strategies that will lead to more effective marketing of their occupational skills.
  • Develop and articulate a personal definition of a “successful life.”

Select this link to view a complete listing of College and Career Studies course offerings.


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Mary DeVahl

Career Studies & Psychology Instructor
Phone: 218-855-8012
Brainerd E149
suzie karsnia

Suzie Karsnia

Phone: 218-855-8015
Brainerd C164
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Greg Medeck

Football Coach
Phone: 218-855-8212
Brainerd E146
kate porter

Kate Porter

English Instructor
Phone: 218-855-8000 ext. 8339
Dual E449
Alita Reque-Peterson

Alita Reque-Peterson

Psychology Instructor
Phone: 218-855-8292
Brainerd W228

Brian Voigt

Head Baseball Coach
Phone: 218-855-8251
Brainerd E142

Student Testimonials


Career Planning was a positive experience for me. I took the online version of the class with Suzie Karsnia and found it to be well paced and organized in a way that was easy to follow. The class had layered learning that I think made the class interesting and inspiring: assigned reading from the textbook and topical articles, online assessments and resources, and interesting YouTube videos and TED Talks.

Career Planning helped me to better understand myself. The assessments helped confirm and quantify my aptitudes, strengths, interests and current skills. The assessments also helped me think “outside of the box” about my career options. I loved the lists of career considerations that were included with each profile. I have more options than I thought. The information I learned in this class will help me make more confident decisions about future classes and about my education path as a whole. The career interview research project was a helpful and inspiring part of the coursework. I was able to ask people about careers I am interested in and get an insider’s perspective. I was able to add and eliminate career choices I was considering based on this experience. This class helped me gain confidence to pursue a place in the world where my strengths can shine in a profitable way. I am clearer about my strengths and how I can apply them to potential careers. I recommend Career Planning and if I ran the world I would have it a required class.


The career planning class helped me see my strengths as a person. It helped me match my strengths with a different careers. I did not know what I wanted to work major in, but with the career planning class it helped me realize that I wanted to do something were I could help others. The teacher of that class went out of her way to make sure her students got the most out of her class as they could. For fall semester I am enrolled in the assistant nursing program, were I can put my strengths to good use.

Employment Statistics

For more information regarding employment statistics, career salary information and estimated job growth, follow the resource links below:

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