SLC Works prepares students for future: Goff committed to providing professional experiences

Posted On March 30, 2017

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By Suzanne Weiss/Director of Public Relations

MANITOWOC, Wis. — As the new dean of SLC Works — Silver Lake College’s recently adopted Work College Model — Matt Goff is looking forward to seeing students blossom.

“I’m so excited to be a part of a college that is fully committed to the whole student, including academic success, personal and social development, and professional future. This is what drew me to this position and school,” Goff said.

“Incorporating work experiences into students’ class schedules will help them in every dimension of their college career and provide opportunities that lead to their ultimate goal: getting a job in the career of their choice,” he said.

The initiative gives students the opportunity to earn a degree while gaining professional skills through jobs on and off campus.

Silver Lake College became the state’s first institution of higher education to adopt a Work College model in the fall of 2016, beginning with the freshman class. The program will encompass the upper classes next academic year, more than doubling the number of participants.

The idea is to guarantee employment to 100 percent of the college’s full-time residential students, who are required to work as a condition of enrollment.

“When I graduated from college, I personally had a hard time getting interviews because my résumé was full of jobs that really gave me no professional experience. The individuals who were getting those interviews had skills and experiences they developed in on-campus, professional student positions or off-campus internships,” Goff said.

Two major challenges that today’s employers encounter with recent college graduates are lack of prior professional work experience and underdevelopment of soft skills such as communication and critical thinking.

“SLC Works gives Silver Lake College graduates an advantage over others in both of these areas. SLC students will come out of college with significantly more experience than those they are competing against,” Goff said.

He will lead the ongoing development of SLC Works with primary responsibility for the planning, design, administrative oversight and assessment of the program.

“SLC Works helps students see the value and dignity in every position across campus, from housekeeping to teaching assistants and I.T. support to food service. This lesson is so important and aligns perfectly with the Franciscan value-centered culture Silver Lake strives to create,” Goff said.

And, the initiative helps students learn how to achieve a work-life balance in a learning-centered environment as students learn to juggle work, classes and home life, he said.

Goff brings to the position experience in training, leadership development and adult learning in higher education. He has developed and taught coursework and served as an adviser to emerging student leaders and other student organizations.

Goff earned his Master of Education degree in student personnel in higher education from the University of Florida in Gainesville and his bachelor’s degree in communication studies from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

Prior to coming to Silver Lake College, Goff worked in student leadership development positions in the department of residential life at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and most recently in student life at the University of Wisconsin-Manitowoc. 

Goff has a passion for blending personal and professional development and is certified in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and is a Strengths Quest facilitator. 

PHOTO: Matt Goff, right, helps Silver Lake College student Alexis Almond fill out an application for a fall position during a recent on-campus job fair. Photo by Suzanne Weiss