Handbook for the College and University Career Center has attempted to establish several fundamental premises. One of them is that career centers in institutions of higher education are still an evolving organizational form. Their shape, location, scope, and content are intimately linked to the institutional history and purposes that they execute. But within such a context, it is also obvious that career centers are institutional forms that connect elements of the past, the present, and the future in service to college students, adolescents, adults, and other constituent groups.
College and university career centers are contemporary organizations that combine the historic commitment to placement of graduates as an institutional priority with the more recent concern with helping students with their career development needs as they proceed from entry to college, to choice of a major, to preparation for placement. As college and university career centers have become increasingly comprehensive in their purposes, constituencies, and services, the need for planning and for enlarged visions of their contributions to the campus community as a whole has intensified.
A second major and overriding premise of this reference is that career centers must be planned; they are far too important, for too many college students, to their total education and their transition from college to the next educational, career, or social step to be allowed to arise spontaneously and grow amorphously. Without planning, they are inefficient and possibly wasters of precious resources; without planning, their utility for their constituents may be far less than it might or should be. Once attributed to Albert Einstein was the remark: "I never think of the future. It comes soon enough." Whether or not this remark is apocryphal,