Ashleigh Best named Director for Career Planning

Ashleigh Best, director for career planning at The College of Wooster

WOOSTER, OH (Nov. 29)—Ashleigh Best has been named director for career planning at The College of Wooster following a national search and after serving in an interim capacity since January 2022. She begins her new role formally on Dec. 1.

As director, Best will lead the team in the Office of Career Planning to implement recommendations from ‘APEX 3.0,’ a five-year strategic plan developed for seven integrated departments in Advising, Planning & Experiential Learning. Recommendations include promoting holistic career readiness from students’ first year to their post-graduate careers, including initiatives that focus on increasing engagement between students and employers, enhancing student satisfaction, and producing effective outcomes. Reporting to the Dean of APEX, Best will collaborate with inter-department colleagues as well as the broader Wooster community to ensure that students integrate their range of experiential learning and co-curricular opportunities into their career planning development.

“Seven years ago, I chose a career at The College of Wooster because I believed that a liberal arts education paired with a focus on undergraduate mentorship, best prepared students for personal and professional success,” said Best. “A ‘do-er’ by nature, I am eager to leverage our opportunities and address the challenges that are before us as we strive and innovate to ensure that all Wooster students are career ready upon graduation.”

Best joined Wooster in 2015 as associate director for career planning, where she led individual student career advising, served as point for employer and alumni relations, developed unique internship and engagement opportunities between alumni and students, and implemented Handshake CRM which has resulted in a digital-first approach to student professional development, maximizing access and complementing in-person support, resulting in significant adoption and regular use of the Scots Career Hub virtual career center.

She is the co-creator of and an instructor for Wooster’s signature Life by Design @ Woo semester course focused on applying design thinking to academic and professional development. In 2021, she attained certification as a Gallup Strengths Coach to coach individuals, managers, and teams on Clifton Strengths.

Prior to her roles at Wooster, Best served as assistant director of leadership development for the Office of Leadership and Service-Learning and as assistant director of Campus Activities and Programs at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. In these roles, Best implemented and facilitated campus-wide leadership conferences, retreats, and workshops, supervised and trained 15 peer leadership educators, as well as other coaching, training, and technology duties. She launched her career as assistant director of career services and leadership coordinator for Allegheny College’s Center for Experiential Learning.

She is previous co-chair of the professional development committee of the 40-school consortium, Liberal Arts Career Network, and served as a program coordinator for the LeaderSHAPE Institute evidence-based leadership training retreat. In the community, she serves on the board of Goodwill Industries of Wayne and Holmes County.

“Helping our students define and explore their career interests is one of the most important things we do to ensure their success. Ashleigh has a vision for partnering with faculty and with other colleagues in APEX to create an environment where students are actively seeking connections between what they’re learning in their classes and the path they will follow after they graduate,” said Lisa Perfetti, provost at The College of Wooster. “She has demonstrated that she sees the liberal arts as a key asset for our students to draw from as they prepare for their careers, and she has creative ideas for realizing that vision.”

Best earned her Bachelor of Business Administration from Kent State and her Master’s in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University. She lives in Wooster with her husband Jamie, their two daughters and rescue pup, Logan.

Posted in News on November 29, 2022.