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LVC Programs Boast 100 Percent Job Placement Rates
01.14.13 |

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Two Lebanon Valley College programs were recently recognized in a Huffington Post article for their appeal as “recession-proof” majors – programs of study with 100 percent job placement rates despite the U.S. economic downturn.

In the past three years, the LVC Chemistry Department has graduated 28 majors in chemistry. Dr. Owen Moe, chair and Vernon and Doris Bishop Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, said “We can confirm that 27 out of 28 (96.4%) took placements in the field—either jobs or acceptances to graduate or medical programs. One other took a job out of the field as a professional football player with the Reading Express, making 28/28 (100%) who gained immediate placement.”

The department is guided by the educational principle that engaged students learn. To that end, chemistry students participate in an ambitious undergraduate research program with cutting-edge projects, rely on state-of-the-art chemical instrumentation, complete internships, and utilize a problem-based pedagogy that fosters critical thinking and analysis.

That learning principle is definitely paying off, as members of the class of 2012 enrolled in Ph.D. and Pharm.D. programs at the University of California at Berkley and the University of South Carolina among others, became chemistry teachers, or secured skilled positions in quality control, food production, and other industrial settings. View the full list of chemistry alumni placements at

The relatively young Physical Therapy Department is already highly competitive and has achieved equally outstanding job placement rates and national physical therapy examination pass rates.

“Based on surveys of our alumni, we have had a 100 percent job placement rate among our graduates within six months of passing the state licensure exam every year since the inception of the program,” said Dr. Stan Dacko, chair and associate professor of physical therapy. “Our students are committed to a field they truly love. From creating their own student-run free clinic to their off-site clinical experiences, they carry this passion outside the classroom.”

Learn more about the success of these students at

The Huffington Post did not recognize, however, the terrific job placement rates from two programs within the Mathematical Sciences Department. Both the computer science and actuarial science majors have achieved 100 percent job placement rates through both strong and weak job markets.

The computer science major combines significantly more mathematics with the computer science core than at a typical school. “We’ve done that for the same reason—that combination has profit for those intellectual skills,” said Dr. Ken Yarnall, associate professor and chair of mathematical sciences.

“We want to prepare our students for a profession, and we think that those fundamental liberal arts skills are the best preparation for a career in almost anything. And our students enjoy careers all over the country,” Yarnall added. Computer science graduates have pursued careers with such firms as American Bank, AT&T, Capital Blue Cross, Datatel, GE, PP&L, Hershey Foods, IBM, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue.

“If you look around this country for actuarial science programs that can compete with LVC’s, you’re going to be looking for a long time,” Yarnall said. “And if you’re looking at small liberal arts schools, you won’t find any. Because we combine the technical and liberal arts into the curriculum, this program is the best in the nation.”

LVC actuarial graduates are employed by more than 50 national and Central Pennsylvania firms, including Aetna, The Hartford, The Chubb Group, ING, Towers Watson, Guardian Life, Conrad Siegel Actuaries, and Capital Blue Cross.

“I think it’s because we’ve managed to incorporate the liberal arts—that background in the ability to think, reason, and communicate material that’s really difficult. We prepare students to continue to succeed after they graduate,” he said.

Regardless of major, Lebanon Valley College students are served by the very best faculty and a dedicated Career Services Office. Together, these two arms work to prepare students for success in any career they decide to pursue.

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