Second Career Closet Opens Thursday

April 11, 2017

The second of two initiatives on campus to provide professional clothing to Emporia State students will open Thursday with a ribbon cutting.

A joint project of ESU’s Office of Career Services and the School of Business, the second professional Corky’s Career Closet is located in the Memorial Union. The ribbon cutting at 3 p.m. Thursday will be in front of the Center for Student Involvement on the first floor of the union.

“We want our students to be able to find professional clothing at no cost,” explained June Coleman, director of Career Services. “They can use this clothing to prepare for professional interviews, network with employers and build their professional wardrobe.”

The closet will include tops like shirts, blouses, sweaters and cardigans, dress pants, professional skirts, two piece suits, vests, blazers and suit coats, professional dresses and accessories like scarves, neck ties and bow ties.

Students who want to shop in the closet can check in at Corky’s Cupboard in the Center for Student Involvement from noon to 5 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays. Students will need their IDs and can visit the closet twice a semester, taking one full outfit at each visit.

The closet also is accepting new or gently used items that have been laundered or dry cleaned. Donations may be dropped off between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays in Koch Lounge on the second floor of Cremer Hall through April 28. After that, donations may be taken to Career Services, Room 050 on the lower level of the Union.

The first Corky’s Career Closet, designed for students in The Teachers College, opened in January on the third floor of Visser Hall, Rooms 341 C and D.

With an initial donation from the dean’s office, Amanda Lickteig, assistant professor in school leadership/middle and secondary teacher education, and colleague Paul Bland, director of secondary education, organized the Visser Hall store as an effort to clear one financial obstacle from the students’ paths as they finish requirements for their degrees and licensure for teaching.  

“It has been a collective effort,” Lickteig said. “There have been a lot of faces that have helped push this forward.”

Hands-on assistance has come from their administrative assistant Darcy Stevens, student workers Annika Bray and Liz Ash, and Marla Darby, instructor in elementary education, early childhood and special education.

“There’s a big need in our students right now,” Lickteig said, “They have a multitude of expenses.”

Students are encouraged not to hold other jobs while they complete student teaching, which requires spending 40 to 50 hours a week away from campus. Simultaneously, they encounter additional expenses, such as the cost of mandatory fingerprinting, background tests and tests to gain licensure.

The need extends, too, to students entering Phase I, when students are assigned to schools off-campus for short periods of time to prepare for their stints as student teachers. In the past, students had gone out to schools only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Lickteig said; two or three professional-looking outfits were adequate.

“They now go out to the schools for five days a week for three-week blocks of time,” Lickteig said. “They were running out of clothing.”

Corky’s Career Closet will stock dresses, skirts, blouses, slacks, shirts, athletic wear for physical education teachers, plus other necessities like jewelry, belts, scarves, shoes, briefcases and toiletry items.

“We encourage people when they stay in hotels to pick up those toiletries,” she added.

The store will be open to education majors through May 8 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 3 p.m., and by appointment by emailing alicktei@emporia.edu. During the summer, the closet is open by appointment by emailing Lickteig.

“We have hangers they can take with them, plastic bags,” she said. “Everything is free and they can take as much as they need. No limitation.”

Storage space is limited, but Lickteig said that the store currently needs extra small to medium sizes for women, and athletic clothing and shoes. Those items may be brought to Room 209 in Visser. 

“We have the whole scope,” Lickteig said. “About the only thing that we don’t take is jeans.”

Both initiatives work together, Coleman added, noting that she and Lickteig worked together when planning the two closets.

“The closets complement each other, but serve a different purpose,” Coleman explained. “If any clothing doesn’t fit our criteria for interview attire, we send it to Amanda for the Visser Hall closet.”

 

 

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