WORCESTER, Mass. – Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has appointed Christopher Pratt, former dean of career education at Columbia University, director of its Career Development Center.
"Christopher Pratt brings to WPI a wealth of experience and knowledge in career and international education," says Janet Begin Richardson, vice president for student affairs and campus life. "He believes in the importance of educating the entire student body and recognizes that career development is a lifelong activity. He is committed to working with our students, alumni, and employers to deliver world-class career education."
Pratt says he believes career development is integral to higher education and is a reflection of student learning outcomes. "Student-centered learning is a shared goal at WPI, and the Career Development Center contributes to that goal," he says. "I look forward to contributing to the rich learning environment by bringing students, faculty, alumni, and employers together at WPI."
Before joining WPI, Pratt was a consultant to the U.S. State Department in Kosovo, where he was seconded to the United Nations Mission in Kosovo and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Department of Democratization. He helped rebuild the University of Prishtinë/Priština by developing student-centered learning in an outcomes-oriented career education environment beginning with design and implementation of student development programs, including academic advising and career guidance centers on the university's four campuses.
In addition to heading career programs at Columbia, Pratt held a similar position at MIT, where he was also a lecturer in the School of Engineering, led the Freshman/Alumni Summer Internship Program, and designed the award-winning School of Engineering Undergraduate Practice Opportunity Program for second- and third-year students. Prior to his service at MIT, Pratt founded and served as director of the Atlantic Cooperative Education Training and Resource Center at Seton Hall University, where he also led the development of mobile computing, taught management, psychology, and counseling psychology, and was the first women’s soccer coach.
Pratt, who holds a doctorate from Seton Hall University, a master's from Bradley University, and a bachelor's from Northeastern University, is one of only two individuals to have received the Dean Herman Schneider Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Advancement of Cooperative Education Philosophy and Practice, the World Association Donald MacLaren Award for Professional Achievement in Work-Integrated Learning, and the Ralph W. Tyler Award for Outstanding and Distinguished Research. In 2003, the Rt. Hon. Jack McConnell, MSP, First Minister of Scotland, honored Chris by naming him a globalscot, an international network of Scots committed to advancing Scotland’s economic development agenda.
Pratt is the author of the Encouraging Development of Global Entrepreneurs (EDGE) and current chairman of New Generations of Global Entrepreneurs, a unique sustainable international economic development and internship program focused on emerging and challenged economic centers. Working with economic development agencies, the program engages international and local university students and local high school pupils in consulting teams for owners of local small and medium enterprises to build global entrepreneurial, enterprise leadership, and citizenship knowledge in the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors.