ACM: Chicago Program
Subjects: The ACM Chicago Program engages students academically, professionally, and personally with the city of Chicago. The primary areas of emphasis in the program are Arts, Entrepreneurship, and Urban Studies – students have the opportunity to explore one of these topics in depth, or participate in classwork and projects across these disciplines. The program offers an innovative mix of academic work, including an internship, independent study project, common core course about the city of Chicago, and a variety of seminars focused on the arts and creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship, and urban studies and social justice. Students are able to explore the vital issues facing cities and the people who live and work in them, while digging deeper to relate these issues to their personal lives, education, and career aspirations.
The program is offered in both the fall and spring semester, and students earn a full semester worth of academic credit.
Prerequisities: 2.7 GPA, junior-level standing and demonstrated maturity.
Length: Fall or Spring Semester
Credit: 4.00 Albion units (16 semester hours). 1.0 unit internship, 1.0 unit core course, 1.0 units seminar course, 1.0 unit independent study project.
Housing: Students live with other Chicago Program participants in furnished, shared apartments in various neighborhoods throughout the city of Chicago. While locations may vary each semester, apartments are located close to public transportation and a variety of amenities. The neighborhoods where students live are an integral part of the program, as students get involved with local community organizations and examine neighborhood issues as part of their classes.
Cost: Students pay Albion College tuition, plus the ACM program fee (which covers housing, field trips, some instructional materials, and a local transportation pass for the semester).
Costs Not Covered by Albion: Meals, travel to and from Chicago, materials and supplies, cultural events/entertainment, and miscellaneous personal expenses. For more information, go to the ACM Chicago Program cost page
Laurel Draudt, Robinson 106A,
Comments: The ACM Chicago Program is open to students of any major. While the internship component of the program is important, the Chicago Program offers a balanced curriculum of two classes focused on Chicago, an independent study project (ISP), and the internship. The ISP gives students the chance to pursue a topic that relates to their personal and/or academic interests during the semester, and can take many forms, depending on the project. For examples of recent projects, see this resource page. The Chicago Program has a long history dating back to 1969, with over 5,000 alumni of the program.
Emily Gaul (
11 E. Adams Street, Suite 800
Chicago, IL 60603
Mentoring and Success at Albion College
Who is an Albion Mentor?
Albion Mentors are Albion alumni, friends, and parents who have successfully navigated college and careers. They enjoy the personal satisfaction of contributing to a student’s growth and the challenge of relating to today’s Albion students. Mentors play a variety of roles, from offering basic advice about a job search to sharing critical insights on career readiness. Combined with assistance from the Career and Internship Center, mentoring can create a powerful environment for student success.
Mentor/Student Relationships: Expectations and Guidelines
The Albion College mentoring program uses the strengths of the Linkedin network, Albion alumni, and supporters. The Albion Mentoring Linkedin group is a subgroup of the Albion College Official Linkedin group. You will need to be granted permission to be a part of the Mentoring group and will be expected to adhere to strong ethical standards to participate.
Topics that may be covered within a mentoring relationship may be as simple as questions about how to communicate a skill in a resume. Students and mentors may form longer term mentoring relationships that cover choice of career, success in college, and success after college.
Getting Matched with a Mentor
The matching process will materialize in one of a few ways: the public arena of the Linkedin group or through a student reaching out to a specific mentor that is a member of the group. Public postings allow the Career and Internship Center, Alumni, and Parent Leadership offices to monitor and facilitate matches.
Steps for Connecting with a Mentor
- Make sure your Linkedin profile is up to date and professional.
- Join the Albion College Official Group on Linkedin.
- Request to join the Albion College Mentoring Group within the Albion College Official Group (located by clicking on the More tab and then Subgroups).
- Post questions or topics where you would like assistance to the group. This could be a request to be contacted by a mentor or a question for the group. Your posts may look something like the following examples:
- “I am a junior majoring in Communication Studies with a minor in Art. I would like to connect with someone with a similar background to help me explore career options.”
- “I am a sophomore majoring in Philosophy and I have not yet chosen a minor. I would like to ask the group their thoughts on this topic.”
- “I am looking for a mentoring relationship as I prepare for my junior year with aspirations of going to law school.”
- “I live in the Detroit area, and I would like to work in marketing after I graduate. Is there someone in the group that I could meet with while I am home during Thanksgiving Break?”
- Make sure that you always follow-up with mentor communications.
- When appropriate, foster a longer-term relationship by providing updates once per semester to mentors.
Mentors are not official representatives of Albion College. Make sure to exercise care and be an educated consumer of information.
Terminating the Mentor/Mentee Relationship
There is no formal process to terminate the mentoring relationship. At any time, either the mentor or the student can indicate that contact is no longer necessary. Both the mentor and the student is expected to respect the wishes of the party requesting termination.
Four-Year Career Planning
How you'll know you're on the right track.
You have several steps to take and some careful planning to do. Whether you're a first-year or a senior, we'll help get you on the right path. See the articles below for helpful information, and schedule an appointment with the Career and Internship Center.
Freshman Year: Self-Assessment & Career Planning
It is important to begin career planning early in your college career. Knowing how your interests relate to a potential career will assist you as you choose to decide on your academic focus while at Albion College.
- Meet with a Career and Internship Center staff member to learn how to develop and implement a personalized 4-year career plan.
- Assess personal interests, characteristics, strengths and values through career assessments.
- Visit the Career Resource Center in the Career and Internship Center to research various career fields and experiential opportunities such as internships.
- Actively participate in the First-Year Experience seminar.
- Check out the resources on choosing a major to learn about a variety of career opportunities.
- Get involved! Join a student organization, volunteer, and/or get an on-campus job.
- Register for core requirements and elective classes to investigate academic majors of interest. Visit with your faculty advisor for assistance in choosing classes.
- Get a summer job that will provide you with an opportunity to learn about a career field that interests you.
Get to know the staff in the Career and Internship Center and use all our resources to your advantage!
Sophomore Year: Career Exploration & Leadership Development
In your second year, it is even more important that you are looking toward the future. You will declare your major and need to be actively searching for experiential learning opportunities.
- Meet with a Career and Internship Center staff member to discuss your career plans and re-evaluate your personalized 4-year career plan.
- Continue to research career fields that interest you.
- Register with professional networks to begin connecting with experts in areas of interest. Try LinkedIn.
- Attend a Career and Internship Center workshop to learn about the process of choosing a major or career path and attend programs featuring guest speakers from career fields that interest you.
- Conduct informational interviews with professionals to learn about a particular career field.
- Complete your core academic requirements.
- Meet with your faculty advisor to choose a major.
- Take an active role in a student organization to develop your communication, teamwork and problem-solving skills.
- Explore experiential learning options.
- Develop the materials needed to apply for experiential learning opportunities such as internships.
- Secure an internship, on-campus job or summer employment related to your career goals.
As you become more active in seeking experiences to compliment your academic learning, continue to utilize the resources and expertise of the staff in the Career and Internship Center Office!
Junior Year: Career Goal Setting, Gaining Experience & Graduate School Planning
By your third year, you should have laid the groundwork for your future. You have chosen a major and are active in adding experiences to complement your studies. At this time all the experience and information you have gathered should be crystallizing into solid career goals and plans.
- Meet with a Career and Internship Center staff member to formulate your job or graduate school search timeline and plans.
- Focus and set career goals based on what you have learned about you, your interests, and possible professions.
- Discuss your career plans with your faculty advisor.
- Explore and make arrangements for off-campus study and internship options.
- Consider applying for scholarships and fellowships found in the Career and Internship Center and in Graduate School Financing.
- Join student chapters of professional organizations to gain career information and to start networking.
- Research graduate/professional school possibilities, their application procedures and deadlines. Many resources are available through the Career and Internship Center, including Peterson's Graduate and Professional School Guides.
- Pick up a GRE, LSAT or MCAT packet in the Career Development Office.
- Register and prepare for admission tests such as the GRE, LSAT and MCAT.
- Participate in career fairs and career related events to explore your options and network with potential employers.
- Get to know faculty members in your major.
- Take on leadership roles on and off-campus.
- Get professional experience through on-campus research, an internship, on-campus employment, volunteer work or a summer job.
Use all of your resources, including the Career and Internship Center. You are not alone in this process!
Senior Year: Implementation & Transition
At long last - you have achieved your last year at Albion College. It is more critical than ever that you use your resources well, stay organized, and keep your eye on the ball.
- Meet with a Career and Internship Center staff member to design a job search strategy or finalize your graduate/professional school search timeline and plans.
- Ask faculty and employers to provide references for you.
- Revise and update your resume and draft a cover letter. For graduate school, complete your personal statement.
- Mail your applications to graduate schools.
- Prepare for graduate school or job interviews with a mock interview in the Career and Internship Center.
- Complete an internship or career-related work experience if you haven’t already.
- Formulate an alternate “Plan B” in case you need to make last minute career adjustments.
- Assist your student organization transition from your leadership to the upcoming leaders in the group.
- Begin to research companies/organizations and the career opportunities they offer.
- Participate in career fairs and build your network of contacts in your field of interest.
Most importantly - use all the expertise and resources Albion College has to offer as you transition to career or graduate school following graduation!
Even though you graduate, it isn't too late to utilize the resources of the Career and Internship Center. As alumni, you are welcome to contact us at any time for assistance!