C A M P U S A C T I V I T I E S
MAY 2011 Vol. 44, No. 1
NEW PROFESSIONALS: Preparing for Job-Search Success From Backpack to Briefcase: What You Need to Know Transferring Leadership Skills to the Workplace Survival Guide for Professionals of Color Engaging Students beyond Graduation
The NACA Foundation helps fund scholarships for deserving students, professionals and associates through means of tuition, books and supplies, and even NACA Institute or Convention registration fees. To make a gift to the foundation, please visit www.naca.org/SCHOLARSHIPS/Pages/Donate.aspx Make a gift today and help invest in tomorrowâ€™s leaders. The NACA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization; all gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. If you have any questions about the Foundation, please contact Paige Jeffcoat at email@example.com.
NACA Advancing Research in Campus Activities Award The purpose of the Advancing Research in Campus Activities Award is to provide monetary support and/or membership access to NACA members who are conducting research in the field of higher education, student affairs or campus activities. Each year, $500 is given for each of three awards, and another three awards are given by providing access to NACA membership for research sampling. For award guidelines and to find out more information about the NACA Advancing Research in Campus Activities Award and learn about other NACA Research Initiatives, visit: www.naca.org/Education/researchinitiatives/Pages/default.aspx Drive Development and Scholarship in the Campus Activities Profession Apply Today!
SAVE MONEY BUILD RELATIONSHIPS DEVELOP SKILLS Just as in 1960, when a group of school representatives formalized a simple and practical idea to increase the buying power of their campus programming dollars, BLOCK BOOKING continues to be a cornerstone of NACA. Whether you approach the process from a money-saving standpoint or a student development perspective, the advantages to school members, associate members and artists/performers are many.
Benefits: • Saving money • Bring in more diverse talent by partnering with surrounding schools • Develop long-lasting partnerships with agencies and artists • Support green environmental efforts by eliminating excessive travel • Educate students in the art of negotiation, organizational skills and contracting • Create avenues for students to pursue future careers
Does Block Booking really work? Yes! A student affairs professional who uses Block Booking had this to say: In addition to leadership training, attendance at the conferences saves SAC a great deal of money in contract fee discounts, which are offered to schools who commit to acts at the conference. Last year, SAC saved approximately $9,050 in contract fees by attending the regional and National conferences. By setting many of their Fall ‘10 programs at the National Convention in February, SAC was able to save approximately $3,100 in contract fees for the coming semester that would not have been discounted had delegates not been present at the Convention.
—Angie Dunlap, University of Memphis (TN)
For more information on Block Booking, visit www.naca.org/ BlockBooking/Pages/ BBIN20.aspx. www.naca.org
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C A M P U S A C T I V I T I E S
MAY 2011 Vol. 44, No. 1
From Backpack to Briefcase What You Need to Know for Today’s Job Market ......................................7 By Heather Holcomb Preparing for Job-Search Success Lessons from Two New Professionals ..................................................12 By Meghan Harr, Old Dominion University (VA), and Michael Baumhardt, The University of Scranton (PA) What Do You Mean I’m Not in Charge? Transferring Campus Leadership Skills into the Workplace ................17 By Grace Hahn, University of South Carolina Making the Transition from Graduate Assistant to new Professional ....22 By Emily Virtue, St. Olaf College (MN) First-Time Supervision How Will You Succeed? ..........................................................................26 By Amy Vaughan, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (FL) One of None A Survival Guide for Professionals of Color ..........................................30 By Venus L. Ricks, Lebanon Valley College (PA), and Dorsey Spencer Jr., Bucknell University (PA)
Linked for Life Engaging Students beyond Graduation ................................................34 By Brian Shuffield, Washington State University Finding Your Supervision Style Creating an Intentional Plan to Lead Others ........................................42 By Krysten Edwards, Concordia College (MN)
Leadership Reflection on the Leadership Identity Development Model: A Pathway to Success ............................................................................39 By Michelle Ganio, University of South Carolina
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LEADERSHIP FELLOWS The New Freshman 15 Awareness for New Professionals ........................................................46 By Demetria Bell Anderson, Hiram College (OH)
Collaboration Collaborations and Sponsorships Academic, Community and Student Organization Outreach................50 By Jana Vise, Appalachian State University (NC), and D.J. Walch, University of Arkansas Serving Non-Traditionally Aged Students..............................................54 By Michael C. Metzger and Mike Nelson, University of Connecticut
NACA SPOTLIGHT 2011 National Convention in Review National Convention Hits Homerun ................................................................59 A Homerun for Entertainment ..........................................................................62 A Homerun for Education ..................................................................................64 Block Booking Results ......................................................................................66 2011 NACA® Institutes ......................................................................................68 Block Booking All-Year Round ..........................................................................69 Register for STARS® ............................................................................................69 Universal Calendar..............................................................................................69 Campus News/Share Your News......................................................................70 Call for Articles ....................................................................................................70 Upcoming Scholarship Deadlines ....................................................................70 NACA® Chair Video Update ................................................................................70 Call for Volunteers ..............................................................................................70 NACA® Leadership ..............................................................................................71
10 Questions with Leann Adams, Whitman College (WA) ............................................................72
COLUMNS Editor’s Page Being New ......................................................................................4 By Glenn Farr
ADVERTISERS Adam Trent ....................................................25 Block Book It Now! 2.0 ....................................1 Fantasy World ................................................36 NACA® Advancing Research Award ..............C2 NACA® Advertising Opportunities ..................C3 NACA® Digital Library ......................................6 NACA® Foundation ........................................C2 NACA® Foundation 30th Anniversary ............58 NACA® Institutes ..........................................68 NACA® Membership Renewal ........................20 NACA® Online Bookstore ................................16 NACA® QR Codes ..........................................15 NACA® Social Media ......................................21 NACA® Strategic Plan ......................................6 NACA® Volunteering ......................................70 Redd Promo ..................................................C4 Thanks to NACA’s Sponsors ..........................11
Message from the Chair The Year Ahead................................................................................5 By Brian Wooten
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Chair, NACA Board of Directors Brian Wooten
Executive Director Alan B. Davis
MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS STAFF Director of Membership Marketing & Events Dawn Thomas Editor Glenn Farr Graphic Designer Jason Jeffers Online Marketing Manager Wes Wikel
SUPPOSE IF YOU LIVE AND WORK LONG ENOUGH, you tend to forget what it’s like to be the new kid on the block. Only this week, while welcoming a new staff member to the NACA Office, I commented, “I’ll try to remember how some of what you need to learn about NACA might be overwhelming, but it’s been a long time since I was new here.” In fact, so much time has passed since I joined the NACA staff, I can almost laugh now about the private, mini-meltdown I had during my third week here. From the time I accepted the position to the day I started, a few things unexpectedly changed. On the day before I began, the person who was to train me as Campus Activities Programming™’s new editor left NACA and I found myself, instead, working with an unhappy fellow employee who had applied for my position and didn’t get it. Added to that, I found myself digging through disorganized, or missing, records I needed for a required annual postal report I didn’t even begin to comprehend how to complete. And no one else on the staff at the time knew how to complete it, either. Fortunately, some more senior staff members stepped in to help me through my NACA learning curve and I soon had a new, highly effective department head who also became a significant mentor. The years since then have flown by and I now find myself having served as editor nearly 10 times longer than any of my predecessors. So, no, being new to a position and having any related nervousness or apprehension is not something to which I can immediately relate. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean I’ve completely forgotten what it’s like to enter strange territory. I recently began directing a stage production at a theatre where I’ve never worked and I found it’s organizational culture both entrenched and strange in comparison to other theatres where I’ve directed or acted. And, I have to admit, some of the early communications I had with the organization’s president and others on the theatre’s staff caused me more than a bit of stress. How did I cope? To be truthful, I relied on knowledge I’ve acquired in my position with NACA. I planned ahead, made checklists, asked questions and, most importantly, I found a mentor. A longtime friend of mine also directs at this particular theatre and she gave me much valuable insight on whom I could trust, who I should avoid and how to navigate any challenges the organization might present. Consequently, within a few weeks, I found my comfort level with the organization. This issue of Campus Activities Programming™ focuses on some of the challenges facing new and emerging professionals and our writers, some of whom have only recently entered the workforce, offer much to help the new professionals among you plan and achieve successful careers in the campus activities field. Take advantage of what they have to offer and I’m sure you’ll be much less inclined to experience any new job-related meltdowns, mini or otherwise.
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Advertising Sales Tracey Portillo Campus Activities Programming™ (ISSN 07462328) is published eight times a year by NACA (January/February, March, April, May, Summer, October, November/December) exclusively for NACA® members, Copyright © 2011 by the National Association for Campus Activities. Editorial, publishing and advertising offices: 13 Harbison Way, Columbia, SC 29212-3401. NACA full membership is restricted to institutions of higher learning; up to five subscriptions of Campus Activities Programming™ are allotted to member institutions based on full-time equivalent enrollment. Additional subscriptions are available for $70 each. Associate membership is restricted to firms whose talent, products, programs or services are directly related to the field of collegiate extracurricular activities; up to $144 of their membership fee is for up to three subscriptions to Campus Activities Programming™. Additional subscriptions are available to members for $70; to non-members for $70. Professional members may subscribe at a rate of $70. Library of Congress card number 74-646983; Library of Congress call number PN2016.N32A3. Statements of fact and opinion, or other claims made herein, are the responsibility of the authors, letter writers, providers of artist performance reports, and/or advertisers, and do not imply an opinion on the part of the Campus Activities Programming™ staff, NACA® Office employees, or officers, staff and other members of the Association. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce the contents of Campus Activities Programming™, either in whole or in part. Any reproduction includes, but is not limited to, computerized storage of information for later retrieval or audio, visual, print or Internet purposes. All protections offered under federal copyright law will be strictly pursued, and no reproduction of any portion of this publication may occur without specific written permission from NACA. No material can be copied, in any form, if the purpose is to sell the material. Periodicals postage paid at Columbia, SC. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Campus Activities Programming™, 13 Harbison Way, Columbia, SC 29212-3401. NACA, National Association for Campus Activities, Campus Activities Programming™, Programming, and all other designated trademarks, service marks, and trade names (collectively the “Marks”) are trademarks or registered trademarks of and are proprietary to NACA, or other respective owners that have granted NACA the right and license to use such Marks. NACA allows its members to promote their NACA® membership on Web sites and printed materials. However, this designation does not imply NACA sponsorship or approval of events or content. For questions about the use of the NACA® membership logo or to request permission to use it, please contact Dawn Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
The Year Ahead By
HAVE ALWAYS ENJOYED THE MONTH OF MAY. For many of us, it marks the end of a year of hard work, provides us with the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of the year and offers the hope for much needed time to rejuvenate (although I am finding this less and less to be true!). This May is increasingly special as I begin my term as the Chair of the NACA® Board of Directors. Before I begin, though, I must express my thanks and appreciation to my great friend Ahmed Samaha for devoting the time and energy needed in leading our Association this past year. He truly has left big shoes to fill. I am happy that my first column happens to coincide with our focus on new and seasoned professionals. For the past few years as a member of the Board of Directors, I have had the opportunity to engage in many conversations with these individuals as well as see firsthand how our members’ work impacts higher education and how important NACA has been and continues to be in their lives. I am humbled to be serving in a position that will give me the opportunity to continue to work with such passionate and talented individuals in higher education and the entertainment industry. As I enter the Chair’s position, I am cognizant that there are many challenges ahead. It is painfully evident that higher education and, particularly, student affairs is in a state of continuous change and, due to the global economic downturn, we are pressed even more to demonstrate how what we do connects to student learning and overall student success. I think for many of us, Texas Tech’s decision to eliminate its division of student affairs served as a wake-up call, alerting us that we cannot remain idle on the sidelines and believe that the importance of our work is evident to those around us. Recently, while reading an article about aviation, I learned that a plane does not soar by flying with the wind. It is only by encountering the wind’s resistance and embracing these forces does a plane soar. I believe this analogy captures where I feel we are as an association and as a field. It will be only through engaging in conversation and actions that potentially take us against the traditional flow will we, as an association and as a field, begin to rise above these challenges.
I believe strongly that we make the right decisions only when we first engage in the difficult conversations and glean the right information that allow us to fully understand the issue. In the next few months, we will begin to engage in many conversations that I hope will challenge all of us to think about the nature of campus activities and the entertainment industry and, most importantly, how NACA fits into this future. These conversations may be difficult and challenge us greatly, but through honest dialogue, I am confidant we will excel in spite of these challenging times. Now that the Self Study has been completed and the Strategic Plan is in a draft format, it is the perfect time for us to have these important discussions. Over the next year, I will be talking a great deal about knowledge-based decision making and opening the door to listen to all members as we move forward in integrating this philosophy throughout the Association and, more importantly, finalizing the Association’s Strategic Plan. It is my hope that, through these courageous conversations, we will arrive at a new place that moves NACA to where we want it to be and transcend the obstacles, internal and external, that might have prevented us from reaching our full potential. I am excited about the year ahead and look forward to working and, more importantly, talking with each of you as we, together, elevate NACA to new heights. Please feel free to contact me via email at email@example.com or on Twitter at: @nacaboardchair.
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“Check Out” the NACA Digital Library NACA is committed to enhancing relevant resources for our members, and our Digital Library is an overflow of that commitment. Whether you’re looking for articles from Campus Activities Programming™ Magazine, need to find a website about risk management, or simply want to locate some education and entertainment resources, the NACA Digital Library is your place to find it. Search hundreds of articles, websites and documents TODAY! www.naca.org/MediaCenter/DigitalLibrary
NACA STRATEGIC PLAN Here are some of the specific actions recognized as the top priorities for each goal: Goal 1: Professional Development
Goal 4: Inclusive Membership
Through the development of a comprehensive educational strategy, NACA will be the preeminent learning source for its members. Actions to be taken: Use the Steps to Individual Excellence as a Campus Activities Professional and the College Student Leader Competency Guide as the foundations for volunteer and curriculum development. Evaluate and modify the new Regional Conference Program Committee structure. The National Volunteer Development Team will examine and improve the various components of volunteer engagement.
NACA will develop and implement programs and services that support its diverse and inclusive membership culture. Actions to be taken: Collaborate with state and local campus activities organizations in an effort to provide educational opportunities to professionals and students. Explore the possibilities of international relationships to position the members of the Association for a global education and entertainment marketplace. Engage members and non-members through e-learning and social media to develop a stronger, more frequent connection to the Association.
Goal 2: Research Through NACA’s efforts, there will be a robust research agenda that advances campus activities in higher education. Actions to be taken: Continue to grow the year-old digital library. Review data from the Student Affairs Assessment & Knowledge Consortium. Refine the research agenda for the association and promote participation in research grant programs.
Goal 3: Knowledge Source NACA will be increasingly considered the most credible and trusted source of information about campus activities among our members, higher education and the entertainment industry. Actions to be taken: Serve as a resource for data about campus activities and the college market overall; Further develop the NACA brand by solidifying the message, developing concepts and ensuring consistency; Market the value of this information to all constituencies.
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Goal 5: Business Networks All NACA members will see increased value in their participation and access to business opportunities. Actions to be taken: Explore non-dues revenue sources including new sponsorships. Improve the NACA website. Maximize opportunities to encourage and facilitate productive change, in part through reducing cultural and operational barriers within the Association which may impede change. Increase opportunities to preview talent via technology.
Goal 6: Advocacy Through proactive advocacy, NACA will increasingly influence the dialogue on campus activities issues. (This is a long-term goal.)
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s you prepare to graduate from college, there are many thoughts that are racing through your head. Am I going to get a job right away? Do I have the right skills? How am I going to get through that interview? Stop stressing and start preparing yourself for the inevitable: flip flops will become heels, hoodies will become suit jackets, and backpacks will become briefcases. However, there are some strategies you can employ BEFORE you graduate to ensure your successful entry into the job market.
Consider Your Resources
Avoid Certain Myths
In addition to knowing the right people and gaining the right experience, there are common myths that most graduates find themselves believing.
First, understand that your professor is not your enemy. I know it seems like all professors get together before the semester begins to decide that all your paper deadlines and tests days will occur at the same time. In fact, you should understand they do not pursue any such malicious, premeditated agenda. Instead, you should get to know your professors. They are teaching the subjects you take because they have appropriate experience and knowledge. They know firsthand what you should expect and what you need to do to be successful in your field of study. Use them as resources. Interview them about their field. Ask them the hard questions for a change: • What did you wish you knew before you started in the field? • What would you have done differently? • What is the worst thing I could do? Hopefully, your professors have a passion for teaching and sharing knowledge and would welcome the opportunity to offer career guidance to their students.
Myth #1: A college degree entitles you to a job. FALSE! Take a moment and think about how many people were in your high school graduating class. How about in your college? Multiply that by the number of high schools and colleges in the country. That will give you an idea of how many people you are competing against to get a job. You should also take the time now to figure out what you love to do. Having a successful career is based on the principle of finding out what you love to do and how to get paid for it. If you love your job, it is never “work.” It is better to explore your possibilities now while in college, before you invest precious time and money into earning a degree for a career you soon discover you no longer wish to pursue.
Myth #2: Internships You should also look into securing an internship or participating in a cooperative education program through your school. These programs give you hands-on experience and new networking contacts in your field. Your peers who have not participated in these programs will not have your advantage. Therefore, you will become more marketable to employers and have a better chance at getting the job you want. Once you obtain an internship, keep contact information on everyone with whom you work because you never know when they may lead you to a great job prospect. You can consider internships through various means. Start with the career services office at your institution. It can provide a wealth of knowledge regarding choosing a career, finding internships and co-ops, or connecting you with alumni who may be in your field of interest or who can serve as potential mentors. This kind of resource is free to students and it would be foolish for you to not take advantage of it.
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I am an expert in my field and will, therefore, get a great job. FALSE! Obtaining the requisite knowledge is only half of what it takes to get that great job you want. Your personality and ability to network are crucial pieces that could be missing. Let’s say Bob and Sue are competing for the same job. Bob knows the position inside and out, but is somewhat reserved. Sue is well versed in the field, but needs some additional training. She is outgoing, interviewed well, and was referred by another employee. Who gets the job? Chances are that it will be Sue. Remember how many people you are competing against? Just having the skills is not enough anymore to get a great job. You need to be able to interact with people on a friendly, but professional, level.
Join Professional Networks Your job hunt is not the time to be looking for a date for Friday night, but it is a time to build your social network. Research social networking organizations for your chosen career field and become a member. You can also ask your professors what
professional societies or organizations to which they belong. Most often, students can get discounted memberships to these organizations and they will provide you with a wealth of knowledge, as well as potential job opportunities. You will need to stay current on the latest trends and significant professionals in your field. An easy way to do this is through professional organizations. Being a member in one of these organizations can provide you with an impressive addition to your résumé.
Explore Job-Search Resources When it is time to conduct your job search, where do you start? There are several common job-posting sites, such as CareerBuilder and Monster, but there are some other places where many people do not think to look. In addition to your campus career services office, explore professional organizations. They often list job postings and boast a network of people who are already in the work force. You can also explore college-related organizations like NACA, for example, which provides you with the opportunity to network with other students across the country and even work together by volunteering at various events throughout the year. Another obvious resource is a job fair. However, if you are going to attend a job fair, you should always attend it as though you are going to an interview. Dress professionally, have several copies of your résumé available, and have your elevator speech ready.
Tell Who You Are
An elevator speech is basically your introduction that tells an employer who you are and what you can do, all in about the time you would spend on an elevator with someone.
An elevator speech is basically your introduction that tells an employer who you are and what you can do, all in about the time you would spend on an elevator with someone. You could say something such as, “I am a communications major and am expecting to graduate this May. I have two years experience working with the Downtown Times, editing and serving as a reporter covering local community events. I am looking to continue in the communications field with the hopes of becoming an editor of a major metropolitan publication.” Key components of this speech need to include what you have done, where you want to go in your career, and any quantitative statement that you can include. For example, share how long you’ve worked somewhere, report the percentage of growth in a project you’ve worked on, or the quantity of products sold, etc. Business professionals want to see and hear numbers. The best way to convince someone to hire you is to show them how you can positively contribute to their bottom line.
Prepare Your Résumé and Cover Letter If you are going the more traditional job-search route, you will most likely be submitting a résumé online in response to a job posting. If you want to stand out against the thousands of other applicants for the job, your first step should be to include a cover letter. This important step doesn’t take too much time on your part, but it shows the employer you are willing to make that extra www.naca.org
effort they like to see. Keep in mind these tips when writing your cover letter. Make sure: • The contact name and company name are correct. • The letter is addressed to an individual, if possible. • The letter mentions the position for which you are applying and where it was listed. • Your personal information (name, address, home phone, cell phone, email) is included and is listed correctly. • That if you have a contact at the company, you mention them in the first paragraph. • The letter is targeted to the position for which you are applying and is not just a general letter. • The letter is focused, concise, clear, grammatically correct and well organized. Once your cover letter is done, you need to focus on your résumé. Most college career services offices will offer free résumé support, but it helps to prepare a draft first. One of the most common concerns is how long the résumé should be. Many people say no more than one page, but that is no longer true. As you progress through your career, you will have pertinent job information that needs to be included and will most likely extend to an additional page. For now, if you are just graduating, you should keep it to one page. If you don’t already have a professional email, create one. The last thing a potential employer wants to see on the top of your résumé is something like firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep your email simple, in a format such as email@example.com. Listen to your outgoing voicemail message on your landline or cell phone. If a potential employer is contacting you for an interview and it goes to your voicemail, they are not looking to hear your favorite song or how you talk to your friends. Make it articulate and professional. In today’s job market, you cannot afford to give an employer an excuse to eliminate you from the candidate pool. Does your résumé look a little empty? There are several things you can include to help strengthen it: • Use internships as a category. • List student worker positions. • Include volunteer work. • Include projects you have lead or in which you have taken a leadership role. • Create a “Skills” category. • Create a “Related Coursework” category. • Include workshops or training. • List seasonal employment or family business experience. All of these can help offer insight into your work experience and work ethic. As with your elevator speech, be sure to include any “quantifiers” you can, such as how many people were involved in your projects, how many volunteers did you oversee, how long a project lasted, etc. This will help create a clearer picture of what you have accomplished to a potential employer. MAY 2011 | CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMINGTM | 9
Prepare for the Interview Once you’ve gotten a call to come in for an interview, you will need to decide what to wear.
Dress for Men Your attire should consist of a shirt and tie, possibly a jacket, dress pants and dress shoes (no sneakers!), with your wardrobe reflecting neutral colors. This is not the time to rock those plaid pants that you saw P Diddy wearing on TV last week. Keep your facial hair neatly trimmed or shave it completely, and keep your hair neat.
Dress for Women For women, your attire should include a business suit, dress slacks or skirt (knee length), panty hose and dress shoes (no sandals or boots), with your make up looking natural. You should not have any cleavage showing. It won’t necessarily help you get the job and, in fact, may keep you from getting it. Times have changed.
• Why should we hire you? The best way to respond is to give concrete examples as to why your skills and accomplishments make you the best candidate for the job. Take a few moments to compare the job description with your abilities, as well as mentioning what you have accomplished in your other positions compared to what they need. Be positive and reiterate your interest in the company and the position. • Do you have any questions for us? Make sure you don’t just say, “No.” Have some questions prepared for them, such as, “Can you describe a typical day in this position? Is this a newly created position or are you interviewing to replace someone who has left?” This is not the time to ask about salary or benefits. You will leave the interviewer with a negative impression if you bring it up at this point.
Say “Thank You” Finally, follow up after the interview with a handwritten thankyou note or personal email. This will keep you fresh in their minds, even after you have left.
A Rule for Both Men and Women Here is a simple rule for both men and women to follow: if you would wear it to bed, to a club or to prom, don’t wear it to a job interview. Also, remove any excessive piercings unless you are applying to a piercing or tattoo parlor or for a job at a store like Hot Topic.
Interview Questions The next biggest concern you will have is what they are going to ask. Interviews are pretty standard. You can have prepared answers for most topics and be able to fit them to the questions you are asked. The crucial thing to remember is to give examples whenever possible. Interviews are not designed for one-word answers. They are looking for much more. Some of the most common types of questions are: • Tell me about yourself. This is where the elevator speech comes into play. • What is your greatest strength? Your possible answers might include, “My time management skills are excellent and I'm organized and efficient and take pride in excelling at my work” or “I pride myself on my customer-service skills and my ability to resolve what could be difficult situations.” Then give examples. • What is your greatest weakness? Make sure you offer a positive spin on this. Possible answers could be, “Being organized wasn't my strongest point, but I implemented a time management system that really helped my organizational skills” or “I used to wait until the last minute to set appointments for the coming week, but I realized that scheduling in advance makes much more sense.”
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An Ongoing Challenge Seeking a job in today’s market is an on going challenge. The best thing you can do is follow these simple steps to help put you ahead of your peers in the job search and interview process. The important thing to remember is not to get discouraged and be willing to accept that you may not get your dream job right out of college. Keep in mind to always be prepared. You never know who you’ll meet and who may be able to offer you a job.
About the Author Heather Holcomb is the former director of Student Activities & Orientation at Burlington County College (NJ), where she had previously served as a student activities specialist. In NACA, she was an educational session presenter at the 2010 NACA® National Convention. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Long Island University (NY) and a master’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology from West Chester University (PA). She now works in the private sector as a human resources professional.
NACA says “Thank You!” to the generous sponsors that helped make our 2010–2011 events so exciting! Admire Entertainment Any Excuse For A Party!, Inc. Association of Music Entrepreneurs Auburn Moon Agency BMI Campus Entertainment Copyright Society of Composers , Authors & Publishers Creative Artists Agency Dan Martin-Magician Fun Enterprises, Inc. Greater Talent Network Jus’ Wiggin Entertainment Karges Productions Mike Super-Magic & Illusion mtvU NBC Universal Diversity Initiatives Party Vision, LLC Phantom Entertainment Services Promotions & Unicorns, Too! Public Identity Quick Tick International, Inc. Redd Promo StudentVoice/CollegiateLink SWANK Motion Pictures For more information about sponsorship opportunities with NACA, please contact Gordon Schell, Director of Business Relations, 803-732-6222, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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PREPARING FOR JOBSEARCH SUCCESS Lessons from Two New Professionals
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Meghan Harr Old Dominion University (VA)
Michael Baumhardt The University of Scranton (PA)
SEARCHING FOR A JOB IS STRESSFUL. It just is. It is especially so when you’re seeking your first professional position directly out of graduate school. And, while there is definite etiquette associated with the process, there is also an aspect of the search that requires you to find your own way and be true to yourself. It is important to ask questions and gain advice from as many people as you can about the process before you get started, as well as along the way. Much of the time, though, you may hear the same advice from different people. We each graduated in May 2010 and began our first professional positions a few months later. With this experience still fresh for us, we would like to pass along important information, lessons and insight about the job search process that we learned along the way. Take Advantage of Twitter Twitter. Tweets. Tweeps. Twibes. Twends. It can be overwhelming. However, Twitter can be useful for more than simply updating your status about events that are happening on campus and getting students to attend them. It can also be a very valuable professional development resource and job-search tool. A group of student affairs and higher education professionals from around the country have come together to build a community of professionals committed to professional development, to sharing and learning from one another, and to using technology to accomplish this. Many of these colleagues might never have met without being a part of the #sachat community. As a result of this, colleagues from throughout the nation are now meeting at conferences and having “tweet-ups.” These “tweet-up” opportunities allow for networking to occur and potential connections to be made for the job-search process. Every Thursday at 1 pm and 7 pm EST, they host the #sachat (short for “student affairs chat”). There is a topic voted on each week through http://www.thesabloggers.org.
But this is just the beginning. NACA also offers #nacachat monthly, which is hosted by the chair of the NACA Board of Directors. And, the #sagrad chat is also available. It is designed for current graduate students in higher education and student affairs programs. These “chats” are free, ongoing professional development opportunities that can help you stay current on issues and trends in student affairs and student activities (or another functional area in which you may be interested). Participating in this Twitter community will expand your professional network and can be useful for finding out about position openings, sometimes before they are even posted. It will also introduce you to helpful and supportive colleagues who are often willing to review résumés, answer job-search questions, and more. A job-search resource the #sachat community has also facilitated has been the formation of a mentoring program. This allows professionals in the field to connect with rising student affairs professionals as they go through their job-search process. This is an area about which both of us are passionate. We each have had a strong relationship with each person we are mentoring. To find out more about this initiative on Twitter, search #SAgrow.
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Be Cognizant of Your Own Development Student affairs professionals spend a significant amount of time focused on developing the students with whom they work. One thing that is important to recognize in your job-search process is that, in the field of student affairs, we also work to develop the professionals we supervise and with whom we work. While you absolutely want to articulate which skills and characteristics you would bring to be successful in a given position, you also want to articulate for your potential employer how the position for which you are being interviewed will contribute to your development as a professional. What aspect of this position or school will be a challenge for you? Why you are excited about this challenge? And, how do you know you will be able to handle it? It is also important to create and implement a professional development plan that includes both short-term and long-term goals. This may include functional areas about which you would like to learn more, professional association involvement and future career or educational aspirations. This professional development plan should be shared with a supervisor and/or mentor so they can help you to be held accountable and stay on track. This will also help provide opportunities for your supervisor or mentor to share other development opportunities with you. As you pursue short- and long-term goals, consider what role a new position, institution or supervisor will play in helping you achieve them. A question about where you want to go in your career will inevitably come up in every job interview, so be prepared to answer it thoughtfully.
Understand that Sometimes, It’s Really about the Interviewer Not every interview can go well. You should always take the opportunity to learn from each interview experience and figure out what you can do differently or better the next time around. However, sometimes, you may just need to recognize that an interview did not go well because you did not have a very strong interviewer. As hard as it is to realize that how well an interview goes is not always in your control, it’s true. This is especially the case during phone interviews. It can be awkward for both the interview committee and the interviewee, but a phone interview is a common first step in the job interview process. Sometimes, the questions you must answer simply do not allow you to talk about or sell all of your experience and accomplishments. That is not your fault. It usually means that the school or office involved would not have been a very good fit for you, anyway. So, learn what you can from it and move on to the next one. Another challenging aspect of the job search is that some interview committees may not always know all the aspects of the position for which you are applying. On some committees, there are representatives from throughout campus who conduct the initial interviews and may not know much about the position’s responsibilities, other than what’s listed in the job description. This can result in the interviewers not being able to appropriately match your skills and experience with what the office where the vacant position is housed is actually seeking.
Balance Flexibility with Honesty You have probably been told to be flexible when it comes to your job search, but it is crucial to balance that with being honest with yourself. It is true that it is important to be open and as 14 | CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMINGTM | MAY 2011
flexible as possible. However, if you know you would be truly miserable living somewhere with heavy winters, you need to honor that, too. Nevertheless, recognize that in this job market, it is really important to keep an open mind and be as flexible as possible. For example, if you are limited to a small geographic area, you may need to consider multiple functional areas when applying. But if you are willing to live anywhere, you can probably focus more on one or two functional areas that most appeal to you. Be completely honest with yourself about what your “dealbreakers” are, and be as flexible as possible beyond those. Sacrificing something you know is extremely important to you could lead to you ending up in a situation that is not a good fit— for you or your employer.
Establish Your Own Timeline One thing you are very likely to do during a job search is to compare yourself to others. At times, both you and another graduate student in your program may be applying for the same position. Perhaps the most important thing we each learned in our respective job-search processes was to not compare our jobsearch timelines to those of others in our graduate program, especially to those who had already obtained a job. Student activities positions are more limited in number than residence life jobs, for instance. Residence life positions also typically have a recruiting timeline that is able to begin earlier in the spring. By not comparing yourself to others, you are able to focus on your priorities and achieve the position that is truly meant for you. If you compare yourself, become panicky and settle for a position early on, you may end up being unhappy. You may miss out on a position that is a better fit, but which may require you to wait longer in your job-search process to find. In the past, not having a job by July created a lot of fear for many people. However, in this economic climate, there are many campuses that must wait for the new fiscal year to begin in order to get final approval for positions and post announcements. This means that after July 1, there could be a new batch of positions open that might interest you. A job posting going up in July does not mean there is anything wrong with the position or the employer.
Learn by Living As you continue your job-search process, you will learn much along the way, especially about yourself and what you are looking for in an institution, employer and office culture. Much of this you must learn by simply living it, but we hope what we have shared here will help you have a successful search. Remember to become engaged in social media such as Twitter, to determine how your professional development plan fits in with your job-search process, and to positively, but accurately, represent yourself through wants and necessities. Above all, be honest with yourself. We want to wish you the best of luck with your job search and encourage you to reach out to us if there is anything we can do for you! (Harr can be reached at email@example.com and her Twitter handle is @meghan08. Baumhardt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and his Twitter handle is @mikebaumhardt.)
About the Authors Meghan Harr is coordinator for Activities at Old Dominion University (VA). She previously served as a graduate assistant for Student Activities & Leadership, as well as an area coordinator for the Office or Residence Life, at Baker University (KS). In addition, she was a graduate intern for the Council on International Educational Exchange and Dublin City University. Active in NACA, she was a 2010 NACA® National Convention Graduate Intern and was named Outstanding Graduate Assistant by NACA® Central in 2009. She has also been involved with the National Orientation Directors Association (NODA) and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). She holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Drake University (IA) and a master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of Kansas.
Michael Baumhardt is assistant director of Student Activities and Orientation at the University of Scranton (PA). He previously served as a graduate assistant, functioning as an advisor for the University Activities Organization and Major Campus Programs, at Bowling Green State University (OH). He also served as coordinator of Programming and Assessment at BGSU. Active in NACA, he previously served on the Showcase Selection Committee and as the Graduate Intern for Ed Sessions for the 2010 NACA® National Convention. He has also been involved with the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration/human resources management from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs/college student personnel from Bowling Green State University.
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What Do You Mean
I’m Not in Charge? Transferring Campus Leadership Skills into the Workplace By
Grace Hahn University of South Carolina
ave you ever reviewed undergraduate H student leaders’ résumés and noticed the divide between work experience and extracurricular involvement? Students often separate these experiences on their résumés, forgetting that this extracurricular involvement allows them to obtain the same transferable skills they earned during their internship experiences. Given that students across the country are seeking internship opportunities in record numbers, re-affirming the value of participating in extracurricular experiences will be important in recruiting and retaining top students for campus leadership positions (Greenhouse, 2010). While vocational internships have increased in importance, students can also obtain the transferable skills developed through these internships in their student leadership experiences. Examples of these skills include: communication, teamwork and flexibility/adaptability. Let’s take a look at the rise in vocational internships, examine the transferable skills gained in student leadership positions, and illustrate how student affairs professionals can help student leaders identify and market these skills to future employers.
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The Rise in Internship Participation Levels According to the National Association for Colleges and Employers’ (NACE) “2010 Student Survey,” 42.3% of seniors who had internship experience and applied for jobs received at least one job offer, while only 30.7% of students who did not have an internship experience received an offer (2010b). A survey of career services professionals in spring 2010 by Internships.com (2010) reported that 96% of career services professionals agree/strongly agree that students who graduate from college without an internship experience are at a competitive disadvantage in the current labor market. The statistics from NACE and Internships.com highlight the pressure students are feeling to obtain internship experience in order to be competitive applicants in the job market. Many employers are also using their internship programs as a forum to test potential new hires. Another survey of employers by NACE (2010a), the “2010 Internship and Co-Op Survey,” found that 44.6% of their Class of 2009 hires had earlier completed their own internship programs. Students not only gain experience from their internships, but also opportunities to network and possibly secure future full-time employment. With the increasing popularity of internships, what will happen to the student leaders who are faced with choosing between campus involvement opportunities and internships their senior year? This could impact campus organizations that rely on junior and senior level students to fill key leadership roles. These campusbased leadership experiences can be just as valuable as vocational internships, but student affairs professionals need to help students do a better job of identifying and highlighting the transferable skills they acquire through these leadership positions.
managing a team of people or working on a group project, is an attractive attribute to future employers, especially in fields built on teamwork, such as engineering and public relations. With a positional leadership experience, a student might elaborate on how they motivated their committee members to market an event. Even if the campus leadership experience does not involve supervision of others, the opportunity to work with group members on an event or project gives the student experiences from which to draw. Teamwork is not just about accomplishing a task, but learning how to effectively work with others, especially those who are different from you.
Flexibility/Adaptability Teamwork requires coordination with many different types of people including other student leaders, staff and faculty advisors, and administrators. Each of these constituent groups offers a diverse perspective and will force the student to recognize their own work style and, consequently, adapt it to others. When working with so many different types of people, whether the differences are ethnic, personality, gender, sexuality or work style, it is important for students to understand the flexibility it takes to figure out how others work and the adaptability it takes to alter your own work style to get the project done. Students might find this experience most often when collaborating with other student organizations or offices on campus. With even the smallest workplace being impacted by more ethnically and socially diverse employees, these experiences illustrate that students are adaptable and able to be honest and open about how they work best. They can learn how to appreciate the differences of others and help bring out the best in their team.
Transferable Campus Leadership Skills According to the 2008 NACE Job Outlook Survey, the “Top 10 Qualities Employers Look For” are communications skills, a strong work ethic, teamwork, initiative, interpersonal skills, problemsolving skills, analytical skills, flexibility/adaptability, computer skills and technical skills (2008). Let’s focus specifically on communications skills, teamwork and flexibility/adaptability, which are all skills students can obtain while serving in their leadership and committee positions.
How Student Affairs Professionals Can Help Student Leaders Market Their Transferable Skills While students are responsible for presenting their experiences in job interviews, there are a few things student affairs professionals can do to assist them. They can help students better understand their involvement experience, reflect on what they gained, and learn how to market these skills on their résumé and/or in a job interview.
Create a Position Description Communication Skills Any student leadership position, whether it is student government president or vice president of the geology club, requires student leaders to communicate with a number of different constituencies, including club members, other student leaders, faculty and staff. Campus leaders should be encouraged to reflect on stories that can be used in cover letters and/or in job interviews that illustrate the communication skills they developed in their leadership roles. For example, student leaders can be asked questions like: • Tell me about a time you motivated a group to accomplish a significant goal. • Did you mentor and/or inspire another club member to become a leader in the organization? The experiences that student leaders have will help them relay to future employers their abilities to motivate and inspire others.
Teamwork Learning how to manage a team of people to accomplish goals and objectives is a valuable transferable skill that will be necessary in the workplace. The ability to motivate others, whether 18 | CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMINGTM | MAY 2011
The first and most important thing a staff member can do as a professional is to create a detailed position description for the leadership position. By doing this, the staff member clarifies the expectations of leaders up front and helps students begin to identify how these experiences relate to their future job aspirations. Students can also refer to the position description to update their résumé and elaborate on their related leadership experiences. In the job description, staff members should use career-related buzzwords and action verbs to assist students in conveying their transferable skills, such as communication and problem-solving skills. A detailed position description may also help widen the applicant pool for these positions by highlighting the experience that can be obtained through serving in the position. Student affairs professionals can then better market leadership opportunities to prospective leaders by relating vocational interests to the leadership opportunity. For example, if the organization needs a director of public relations, an email blast can be sent to the academic advisors and/or faculty members in the College of Communications, inviting them to nominate qualified students and/or forward the announcement to qualified students. Students www.naca.org
Campus leadership positions are valuable experiences that are an important part of a student’s co-curricular adventure, but student leaders often need help effectively marketing the transferable skills they obtain in these positions to future employers. who understand they are getting valuable career-related experience will likely be more engaged and involved in their work.
Help Leaders Assess Progress Once students obtain leadership positions, student affairs professionals can work with them to ensure they strive to improve both their strengths and weaknesses, as well as to intentionally acquire skills that will be valued by future employers. This can be accomplished by holding entrance interviews with the student leader, a mid-position assessment and an exit interview. • Entrance Interview: Talk to students about their strengths, weaknesses, career goals, and what they would like to gain from the experience. Help students establish personal goals for their tenure with the organization and in the position. Encourage student leaders from the beginning to identify the transferable skills they hope to gain from the position. • Mid-Position Assessment: Meet with the student about halfway through their position’s duration to assess their achievements and progress towards meeting the goals they identified in the initial meeting. This gives students points for reflection and improvement for the rest of the year. Some sample questions to promote student reflection include: • What has been your proudest accomplishment in this leadership role? • What has been your biggest challenge in this leadership role? • How has this experience helped you improve upon a strength or weakness you had previously identified? • Exit Interview: This is an important opportunity for students to reflect on their growth and development throughout the year. This would also be a great time to allow them to reflect on the impact they made on the position and organization, as well as to brainstorm ways their experiences will allow them to be successful leaders in the future. While various interviews and reflections throughout the position’s duration can be helpful in identifying skills gained, staff members are also able to directly assist student leaders in the actual jobsearch process. Having gone through the hiring process as a professional themselves, staff members are positioned to help students market their skills to future employers. Many of these activities can even be done with students whom the staff member had not previously supervised, as they are not related to a specific leadership position. Staff can assist students by offering to review their résumé, conducting mock interviews, and referring them to the services available at the campus career center.
Review Résumés If the staff member feels comfortable making the offer, they can agree to review the student’s résumé in the exit interview. Staff members should pay particular attention to the descriptions of leadership positions with which they have directly worked or in which they supervised the student to make sure the student has highlighted the transferable skills obtained through that leadership position. Sometimes, students tend to downplay their accomplishments and staff members can help them more effectively describe their accomplishments and skills. Encourage students to use action verbs when describing their leadership experiences. We all know that students do not just “hold” a particular position. They planned events, managed a team, and/or led a strategic planning process. The more specificity, the better.
Conduct Mock Interviews Staff members can help students practice for interviews by conducting mock interviews. In these practice interviews, staff can ask questions that force students to highlight the transferable nature of the skills they obtained through extracurricular experiences. Sample mock interview questions include: • How has your leadership experience prepared you for being a productive member of our workplace? • Tell me about a time when you faced a conflict. How did you react and how did you handle the situation?
Refer Students to the Campus Career Services Office Staff members should familiarize themselves with the resources available through the campus career services office and how these resources can be utilized by your student leaders. Most career services offices would be delighted to have staff members come to the office to learn about the services they have available for students. Similarly, consider inviting a career counselor to present a workshop specifically focused on helping student leaders market their experiences to employers. Let the experts be experts.
Partnering for Student Success Campus leadership positions are valuable experiences that are an important part of a student’s co-curricular adventure, but student leaders often need help effectively marketing the transferable skills they obtain in these positions to future employers. Student affairs professionals can partner with student leaders to help them reflect on their experiences and learn how to transfer their strengths to a future workplace.
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About the Author
Greenhouse, S. (2010, April 2). The unpaid intern, legal or not. The New York Times. Retrieved April 5, 2011, from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/03/business/03intern.html
Grace Hahn is a graduate assistant for Student Organizations at the University of South Carolina, where she is pursuing a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Kentucky. She has served as Professional Development chair for the USC Student Personnel Association and as president of the Delta Chapter of the Chi Sigma Alpha Student Affairs Honor Society. Active in NACA, she participated in the 2006 and 2007 NACA® National Conventions and received the Outstanding Undergraduate Student award from the NACA® Mid America Region in 2006. Before coming to USC as a graduate student, she served as an employer relations associate in the University of Kentucky Career Center.
Internships.Com. (2010, June). The spring 2010 survey of career center professionals summary. Retrieved April 5, 2011, from http://www.internships.com/spring2010survey Jobweb.com—National Association for Colleges and Employers. (2008). Class of 2008 steps into good job market. Retrieved April 17, 2011, from http://www.jobweb.com/studentarticles.aspx? id=1219&terms=Class+of+2008+steps+into+good+job+market. National Association for Colleges and Employers. (2010a, May). 2010 internship & co-op survey: Research brief. Retrieved April 5, 2011, from http://www.naceweb.org/Publications/ Spotlight_Online/2010/0512/Internship_Could_Be_Step_to_First_Jo b.aspx?referal=knowledgecenter&menuid=109 National Association for Colleges and Employers. (2010b, May). Interns more likely to have job offers: 2010 student survey. Retrieved April 5, 2011, from http://www.naceweb.org/ Publications/Spotlight_Online/2010/0526/Interns_More_Likely_to_ Have_Job_Offers.aspx
Membership Renewal Now is the time to renew your NACA membership online! Log in to the website, click on My Membership (under the Membership menu) and then pay online or download your invoice.
NACA. Connecting. Networking. Learning.
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Wherever you go, there we are.
Making the TransiTion from
to nEW ProfEssional By
Emily Virtue St. Olaf College (MN)
You’re almost there! Two years of graduate school are nearly complete and you’re getting ready to step into “the real world.” It’s a pretty exciting time, but it can be overwhelming, as well. Here are a few strategies to not only help you land your first professional position, but also to help you thrive in your new role.
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Capitalize on Your Strengths It’s important to remember that your experiences, no matter what they are, will help you distinguish yourself from other candidates and speak to your abilities. Even if your primary academic experiences are not focused on higher education theory, you still bring a lot to the table. Perhaps you’re hoping to move into a professional student activities position, but you’ve spent the last two years working in residence life. Remember not to diminish all the tasks you accomplished during your assistantship; instead, highlight the skills that will translate into your desired position. It’s likely that no matter what you did in graduate school, you have skills in event planning, time management, advising and/or supervising students, risk management, goal setting and assessment. While the subject matter may change, you already have plenty of work experience under your belt! Be comfortable talking about your strengths. If you are not quite sure what your strengths are, ask a trusted colleague or supervisor to write down a list of your strengths for you. You’ll get a great list of attributes and you’ll know that others have seen these strengths in action. Employers will want to hear specifically about these strengths; so, working with a colleague will also help you prepare how to articulate your responses and you’ll know you’re giving honest feedback.
Find the Right Fit
effort during the application process. The long and short of it is this: remain true to yourself and do not allow your desire to land a job change your values.
Getting Comfortable in a New Institution Once you’ve landed your dream job, it’s time to get settled. The best way to become familiar with your new surroundings is to meet people. Making connections both inside and outside of your division will be a priceless tool in helping you make a smooth transition. Make a list of all of the offices you could potentially collaborate with during the year, even those offices that you might currently feel would have very little contact with you. Stop in and meet people in their offices, rather than doing a phone or email introduction. Not only is it important to meet in person, but also visiting new colleagues’ areas will show them you are professional, proactive and willing to work on collaborations throughout the year. As your first year progresses, you’ll be able to help students navigate collaborations easily because of your previous experiences with your colleagues. You may also encounter an opportunity to create new programming for your campus simply by having a quick conversation with an office across campus. Understanding the who, what and why offices do what they do will allow for tremendous collaboration potential in the future.
Try To rEMEMbEr To TakE ThE saME adVicE you Will bE giVing your sTudEnTs all yEar long: MakE TiME for yoursElf and sTick To iT.
When you begin your search, you may think, “I don’t care where I get a job, as long as I get one.” With all due respect to your pocketbook, what matters more than having a job is having one that will make you happy. Consider the following attributes to help you narrow down your search: • At what size school do you want to work? • Do you prefer to work in public or private school setting? • In what region of the country are you hoping to settle? If you truly can’t see yourself enduring frigid winters or can’t stand the thought of being more than a day’s drive away from family, then don’t budge on those values. You will find a job that is right for you and you’ll be happier in the long run, even if the search is not as easy as you might have hoped. • In what functional area do you want to work? Again, a job is never just a job. If you know you do not want to live on campus, don’t take a residence life job just because it’s available. To help you narrow your initial search, create a list of nonnegotiable criteria pertaining to your dream job. As follow-up to this list, create a list of job characteristics about which you are willing to be flexible. With these characteristics clearly defined, you will be more likely to have success weeding through the thousands of online job postings. Many online job-posting sites will do a lot of the legwork for you by allowing you to define search parameters. If you’re a pencil-and-paper person, then think of your search as a Venn diagram: one circle for each of the characteristics that are non-negotiable. Those positions that fall into the middle of the circle are the ones on which you should focus your time and 24 | CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMINGTM | MAY 2011
Establishing Appropriate Relationships
While your first professional position will encompass a number of differences from your graduate assistantship, no change will be as great as that of your new relationships with students. It goes without saying that your relationships with your students should remain professional at all times. Does this mean you can’t have fun with them and show them your silly side? Certainly not, but it is important to think about how you will articulate this role with your students and set boundaries so you don’t find yourself in any sticky situations. In student activities, you’re bound to be spending many late nights on campus with the same group of students. It is natural for you become close with many of them, but blurring the line between friend and advisor may eventually put you in a compromising situation. While joining your students for a late-night bite to eat after an event at a local restaurant is okay, going to your student’s residence hall room for pizza is crossing the line. Most students are well intentioned and simply enjoy our company. However, some students may become too comfortable in this friendship role and end up using it to their advantage. For instance, an executive member of the programming board breaks a policy about letting friends into an event without a ticket because she knows that you are friends with her and, therefore, will look the other way. When this happens at a sold out show, not only is it not fair to other students hoping to get in, but it also creates risk management issues of overcrowding and puts all audience members in a potentially harmful situation. www.naca.org
Managing a Balancing Act When you start in your new position, especially one with a beginning-of-the-year programming push, it is hard not to spend all your waking hours on campus. It’s likely you’ll be doing studentleader training, program planning, orientation duties and more. Try to remember to take the same advice you will be giving your students all year long: make time for yourself and stick to it. The beginning of the year is busy, so schedule a personal day during the third week of class where you do nothing work related. Stay away from campus, don’t check your email, and turn off your phone. Just as you established boundaries for your student relationships, establish boundaries for your relationship with your job. While each person is different, creating some guidelines for yourself will allow you to keep your sanity and, ultimately, help you feel more fulfilled. My personal work boundaries include always running or reading a book for fun during my lunch hour, not checking email after 7 pm or on the weekend, and checking in on events via phone update rather than going to every single one. While these particular strategies might not work for you, find some that will. Remember to not feel guilty for time you give to yourself. You don’t have to do everything your first year, and no one expects you to.
Movin’ On Up While moving up or moving on from your first position might not be a first priority for you now, remember that your actions and interactions will determine your future. Remember those people you met during your first month on campus? Any of them
could be your future supervisor. And those folks you met at the NACA National Convention two years ago? Say hello to your future office mates. Try to keep track of all of the people you meet, collect business cards and email addresses and remember something about each person with whom you come into contact. Use your campus activities network to stay connected with your peers across the country. When you are ready to move on, you’ll have a whole support network willing to help you find the next perfect fit. Making the transition into a professional position can seem a daunting task, but by reflecting on your prior experiences and relying on your colleagues (old and new), you’ll find a home in your new position and be ready to take on the world!
About the Author Emily Virtue is assistant director of Student Activities at St. Olaf College (MN). She previously served as coordinator of Student Activities at the Savannah College of Art and Design (GA) and as a graduate assistant for the Association of Campus Entertainment at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. In 2007, the North Carolina College Personnel Association named her its Outstanding Graduate Student. She holds a bachelor’s degree in writing from Mount Union College (OH) and a master’s degree in English literature from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.
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firsT-TiME suPErVision how Will you succeed? By Amy Vaughan Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (FL)
ost student affairs professionals aspire to progress within the field. A natural act of progression includes supervising other professional and paraprofessional staff members, but learning the art of being a good supervisor requires more than any targeted training might provide. What, exactly, does it take to excel as a supervisor? And what should you know if you are new to supervision? The first thing to do is to determine how you define supervision and how you plan to supervise others. To supervise means â€œto oversee (a process, work, workers, etc.) during execution or performance; superintend; have the oversight and direction ofâ€? (dictionary.reference.com). According to this definition, your goal should be
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to oversee the work of others, but supervision can include much more. Who are the people you will be supervising? Are they professional staff members? Are they paraprofessionals or student assistants? Or, do you supervise people from both groups? To succeed as a supervisor, it is essential that you understand what role you are filling within your department. Talk to your own supervisor and ask what the expectations for your own position are. Your supervisor should be able to articulate the goals of the department and how those goals relate to the people you supervise. In response, you should make sure this message is delivered to those you supervise.
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How Do You Learn to Supervise?
Roles and Functions of a Supervisor
Supervision could be so easy if only there was an all-inclusive, foolproof course or class you could take, but that is not the case. The role of being a supervisor is learned largely from experience and impacted by an individual’s work personality. Who have you worked for, and would you want to be like them? After all, supervision is the consequence of the supervisor’s behavior. The most practical demonstration of supervision can be found in the person who currently supervises you, as well as those who have supervised you in the past. You can learn from the positive examples provided by past supervisors. If you had a supervisor who consistently remembered to thank you for your hard work, and you really appreciated this, then you should strive to emulate this behavior. If you are a person who feels valued when you are able to contribute your own opinion, you should look for ways you can allow your supervisees to contribute. You can also learn from negative interactions you have had with supervisors. If a supervisor admonished you in public and you felt embarrassed, you should remember to admonish others in private. If a supervisor failed to give you feedback and expressed disappointment when you did not make a change, you should strive to give feedback regularly. It is important to remember to treat those you supervise the way you would want to be treated.
The roles and functions of a supervisor can vary among institutions, but there are some basics that will remain consistent. Your primary responsibility to your institution as a supervisor is to serve as a resource for those whom you supervise.
Impact of Personality As I implied above, the role of being a supervisor is impacted by an individual’s work personality. How you act and react can define who you are as a supervisor. You should never have to change your personality in order to succeed as a supervisor, but you need to consider how others perceive your personality to gain a better grasp on how you will be perceived as a supervisor. You should set an example for how staff members should conduct themselves while at work, because you will be observed by your supervisees every day. You have the ability to set the tone for them. What kind of environment will you create? Consider how you react when you are disappointed, upset or frustrated. Do your reactions negatively impact those around you? It is easy for your reactions to go unnoticed when you work on your own, but when you are supervising others, they can be impacted by your personal reactions.
Exercise of Leadership Skills Supervision is also an exercise of your own leadership skills. When you supervise someone else, you provide leadership and guidance for another person. Remember to look for the connection between leadership and supervision. Are you being truly authentic to your leadership style when supervising? Or do you need to adjust your leadership style to better suit the needs of your supervisees? A relevant theory to consider is the Hershey-Blanchard Situational Leadership Theory. It is applicable because it impresses the importance of being flexible as a leader. You have to adapt your leadership style based upon those you lead. The same is true for supervision. You have to adapt your supervision style to those you supervise. There may be some employees who can be given instructions once and be prepared to complete the necessary task. There may be employees who need the instructions more frequently, or who may need additional support and guidance to complete the task. Try to think like a leader and be able to recognize when this pays off.
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Support and Guidance You must be able to provide support and guidance for your supervisees. If you are to serve as a resource, you should be able to find the answer or solution to a question or problem when someone else does not know where to look. You were considered to have the experience and expertise to guide others when given a position with supervisory responsibility. Look for ways to appropriately share your own professional experiences, including successes and challenges, in order to provide an example for those you supervise.
Feedback Another important role of a supervisor is the ability to give feedback. Your supervisees need a way to gauge their own success. If an employee is struggling with a task, give them additional guidance. It is also important to be able to give constructive criticism. If a task is completed incorrectly, teach the appropriate way to complete the task and explain what was done incorrectly. Remember to recognize success to show how much you value those you supervise.
Coaching One way to approach the role of being a supervisor is to consider yourself a coach for your team. Coaches start off by looking for ways to help their team win. As a supervisor, you should look for ways to coach your supervisees towards success. Five essentials of empowering your team to accountability and positive results are: 1. Providing clear direction 2. Being an effective listener 3. Considering other opinions 4. Trusting others’ abilities 5. Recognizing success By utilizing these essentials, you can strengthen your team and move your department forward. Just like a football coach has his team run through additional drills after they have missed a play, it is important to look for growth opportunities for your team members. You should look for training opportunities that would supplement the experience of those you supervise.
Communication One of the key functions of a supervisor is the ability to communicate with others. When you become a supervisor, you have to develop a voice of supervision. This means you need to be able to express yourself in manner that is both effective and appropriate for those with whom you are speaking. You may need to adapt how you share a message based upon the supervisee so that the message is clear. Six communication characteristics of a strong, effective supervisor are: 1. Being expressive 2. Being sincere 3. Focusing on your audience 4. Generating feelings 5. Listening 6. Getting action www.naca.org
You want to be able to sincerely express a message so your supervisee understands what you are saying. When you generate feelings, you build a unique connection between employee and message, making the message more personal. You cannot forget to listen to what a supervisee has to share regarding each message. One of the ways to make someone feel valued is to give focused attention on what they have to say. Ultimately, your purpose in communicating with a supervisee should be to get action. You should also strive to encourage open dialogue between you and your supervisees. If the instructions you have given are misunderstood, your supervisee should feel comfortable letting you know they do not understand. You want the people you work with to be able to ask questions or seek clarification when assigned a task. Communication is a two-way street. You should be able to receive a message as well as give one.
Teamwork An important function of supervising others is supporting your team, and the people you supervise are your team. They help carry out numerous essential functions. Without them, your department can be crippled. Look for ways to gain the support of those you supervise. Utilize your influential leadership skills to get their buyin. Build a supportive relationship with all of your individual team members. Again, supporting those you supervise aids in their success, which aids the overall success of the department. You should strive to learn how each member impacts the team as a unit. If you can understand this, you can look for ways to encourage everyone to work together. Help the team understand who you are in the workplace and your role in it. In the field of student affairs, it is rare to find a position that has supervision as its only responsibility. Most of us supervise staff members while also having job duties of our own to complete. If your supervisees understand who you are and the responsibilities you hold, you are more likely to have a smooth working relationship.
discover the root of the problem, you can find a positive solution. If you feel the challenge is caused by your role or style as a supervisor, then look for ways to improve your own skills.
How Can You Improve as a Supervisor? How you overcome your own challenges can positively impact your supervisees. If you feel you are struggling with supervision, here are some suggestions for improvement: • Understand who you are. This is one of the most important lessons for you to learn. A greater sense of self-awareness will help you understand how you interact with those you supervise. If you feel you are not getting along with your supervisees or you feel they do not understand you, start by taking a look at how well you understand yourself. Conduct a 360-evaluation on your supervision skills. The resulting insight can help you find ways to improve. • Know that it is just as important to receive feedback as it is to give it. Ask your supervisees what else you could do to help them be successful. • Consider how well you understand your supervisees. Learn to discover the causes for poor performance. Does your supervisee not understand the instructions? Or do they not have the training necessary to complete the task? If you know the causes for poor performance, you can look for creative solutions. • Seek advice from a mentor or another supervisor with more experience than you. This person can provide a different type of perspective to help you improve. • Take advantage of any training and assistance provided by your human resources department. The art of supervision is a skill developed over time. With plenty of practice and the ability to look for ways to improve, you, too, can succeed as a supervisor. The strength of your team comes from the contributions of every member. If you can strive to be the best supervisor possible, your team’s success will increase.
The Challenges of a New Position Often, we gain the responsibility of supervision when we move to a new position or to an entirely new institution. There can be additional challenges related to these types of changes. You might need to reflect upon what you may have done the last time you changed positions. Make every effort to increase your knowledge about the position you hold and the institution for which you work. Instead of getting frustrated with yourself, look for ways to grow and improve by asking for support and meeting new people. It takes time to become familiar with a new position, a new department and a new environment. Ask for patience while you are learning and remember to express the same patience when you hire a new supervisee. You can build a relationship with your supervisee by getting to know them and learning about their areas of expertise. The most important thing is to see a new role as an opportunity.
The Challenges of Being a Supervisor There can be a variety of challenges for you when you are a supervisor. A miscommunication can lead to misunderstanding. If you encounter a challenge with supervision, it is important for you to deal with it. Look at the challenge in a way that will help you discover its cause. Next, examine the cause and consider possible solutions. Is it a personality conflict? Is it a miscommunication? Is there a training opportunity? If you www.naca.org
References Dictionary.reference.com. Retrieved Jan. 2, 2011, from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/supervise. Hersey, P., and Blanchard, K.H. (1972). Management of Organizational Behavior: Utilizing Human Resources (2nd ed.) New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
About the Author Amy Vaughan is associate director of Student Activities & Campus Events at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (FL). She also served as a residence hall director at the University of South Florida and as Student Activities coordinator at Blackburn College (IL). Active in NACA, she most recently served as a 2011 National Convention Graduate Intern Mentor. She also recently served as the NACA® South RCPC Chair, after having served NACA® South as its Business Networks Coordinator, Production Assistant Coordinator, CAMP Coordinator, Mainstage Production Coordinator and Club Showcase Coordinator. She was the 2009 recipient of the C. Shaw Smith New Professional Award. She also received an Outstanding Service Citation from NACA® South. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and Spanish from Carson-Newman College (TN) and a master’s degree in college student affairs from the University of South Florida. MAY 2011 | CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMINGTM | 29
ONE of NONE A Survival Guide for Professionals of Color By
Venus L. Ricks, Lebanon Valley College (PA)
Dorsey Spencer Jr., Bucknell University (PA)
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e student affairs professionals are educated and trained to develop co-curricular environments that promote student learning, as well as support the development and growth of our students. Our graduate programs instill in us the importance of providing programs and services that meet the needs of the whole student—emotionally, physically, socially and spiritually. We work by the philosophy “meet students where they are” and challenge and support students as they develop life skills and experiences that will impact them for years to come. Additionally, we are taught the importance of creating campus environments that are inclusive and affirming for our students, particularly students from historically underrepresented populations. Multicultural competence is a key element of student affairs graduate programs across the country, with courses, assignments
and capstone projects geared towards exploring and developing personal and cultural awareness; the purpose being to prepare new professionals with the skills needed to work with the ever changing and diverse student body they will encounter on campus as a result of the push to diversify by recruiting and retaining students of color. After our last course, writing our final paper and running the job-search marathon, we ecstatically enter our first professional student affairs positions with a fervor that’s almost nuclear. We are ready to take all of the theoretical knowledge and practical experience from our assistantships and put them into practice to impact a new generation of students. We are proud to be student affairs professionals and are eager to collaborate with colleagues and bring fresh new ideas to the profession.
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Baptism by Fire The transition from graduate student to new professional is a baptism by fire. Often, expectation and reality collide in ways graduate programs and mentors are not able to prepare new professionals for, and not until we are thrust into the throes of student affairs work do we realize what we expected often is not reality. On campuses, we are met with negotiating the clash between academic and student affairs, fighting for limited resources, funneling through campus bureaucracy and learning the institutional culture. Although we are now credentialed, we find we still must prove ourselves and teach others—faculty, students and parents— what it is we actually do and that, “No, we are not students.” Efforts to enact new and innovative programs come up against seasoned professionals who, although willing, are at times hesitant to recreate the wheel. Where does this leave new professionals? Ultimately, it can leave them feeling defeated, overwhelmed and possibly reassessing the decision to pursue a career in student affairs. Without the appropriate support systems in place to navigate this experience, it can also leave any new professional feeling isolated. Now, how would these feelings be intensified if you found yourself working in a student affairs division where you were one of none or just one of a few?
serve as representations of diversity and provide the diverse perspective. Often, it is assumed we have more knowledge regarding how to make our departments and campuses more diverse and are asked for our thoughts on the best ways to make diversity happen. Students of color seek us out as a resource, advocate and support system as a result of the limited number of administrators of color on these campuses. For a new professional, this is a lot to manage. In addition to the regular workload, new professionals of color are also faced with “other duties as assigned” that we feel obligated to fulfill. Ultimately, feelings of defeat, being overwhelmed and questioning whether this is the career for us are coupled with feelings of isolation and additional pressure.
Advice for New Professionals of Color While the value of research is immeasurable to an administrator, occasionally, it is best to go to the source for advice and guidance. We contacted several administrators of color and asked the question, “What advice would you offer to new professionals of color in higher education administration who find themselves one of a few or even one of no administrators of color in their office, department or division?” Those we contacted hold various positions in student affairs and represent varying degrees and years of experience in the profession. In reviewing their responses, we found that several themes emerged.
AS PROFESSIONALS OF COLOR, OUR RACIAL IDENTITY IS ALWAYS WITH US, WHETHER WE BRING IT TO THE TABLE OR SOMEONE ELSE BRINGS IT TO THE TABLE FOR US.
Understand the Importance of Mentorship
Considerations for Professionals of Color Given the composition of colleges and universities across the country, chances are many professionals of color have or will start our careers on a predominately white campus (PWI). On these campuses, we find ourselves part of conversations focusing on how to make said campuses more culturally diverse and inviting for students of color. At this point, our graduate school discussions concerning diversity and the like come into play and we find ourselves grappling with the dichotomy between ideals we have for the environments in which we work and the reality of these environments. As we know from our history of higher education classes, PWIs were founded to serve the interests of white communities. Therefore, the foundations of these institutions are not set up to support the needs of populations of color. For professionals of color, this is a tough row to hoe, as PWIs are struggling to reflect the same diversity in their student affairs divisions that is represented in their student body. Therefore, the “baptism by fire” mentioned earlier is compounded by the reality that, in looking to create spaces that are inclusive, inviting and supportive for students, student affairs divisions are lacking in this area as it pertains to the experience of professionals of color. As professionals of color, our racial identity is always with us, whether we bring it to the table or someone else brings it to the table for us. On our PWI campuses, we are called on involuntarily by colleagues, faculty and others to speak for “our people” and, as a result of our identity, are asked to sit on committees to 32 | CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMINGTM | MAY 2011
As administrators, we often emphasize to our students the importance of finding support and guidance through mentors and, more times than not, also serve in this role for our students. As administrators of color, it is equally as important that we have strong mentors to assist us in navigating and making sense of our experiences. “ ... Find a mentor on that campus ... . Not only are there benefits for the person being mentored, but also for the one doing the mentoring, especially when there is a difference in race,” said Dr. Walter Kimbrough, president of Philander Smith College (AR). “Make sure you find a mentor in the field that you can use as a sounding board; someone who you can ask any question, voice any opinion, or unload your concerns without fear of retribution,” added Dr. Zebulun Davenport, vice president of Student Affairs at Northern Kentucky University.
Seek Community Involvement Dr. Chon Glover, assistant to the president for Diversity & Community Initiatives at the College of William and Mary (VA), suggested getting involved in the surrounding community through organization membership, community service, finding a church, recreational activities and, if available, getting involved with local alumni chapters of Greek letter organizations. Finding ways to be involved outside of your campus environment will provide outlets and build a supportive community outside of the institution.
Understand Your Impact Understanding your impact on your campus, fellow administrators, faculty and students also emerged as a theme. “Always remember that you bring your own culture to the table and that you have an incredible opportunity to train and develop others along the way,” said Byron Bullock, dean of Students at the American University of Nigeria. “I am certain that many of the professionals at institutions where I have been employed, some of which have never encountered an AfricanAmerican male professional, have been able to grow and develop because of their interactions and involvement with me and the work I have done throughout my career.”
Build Networks Student affairs professional Jessica Quintana-Hess noted that new professionals of color should attempt to seek out other employees of color on campus to foster a network. Many of these individuals may actually be faculty members. Nevertheless, it is still good to make these connections, even if you rarely see or work with these individuals. This type of effort was described by another administrator as the opportunity to have someone act as an outlet for questions, concerns and a way to “let your hair down” from time to time.
Know Your Limits As we mentioned earlier, being a professional of color in an environment where you are one of none or a few, you will be called on for committee service, student-of-color support and the like. Therefore, do not bite off more than you can chew. Ultimately, you will burn out and be no good for anyone. Knowing your limits and learning to maintain balance and taking ownership over how and where you will be used as a representative of the “only” in the division is important.
About the Authors Venus L. Ricks is director of Multicultural Affairs at Lebanon Valley College (PA). Previously, she served as a student development specialist for Residence Life at the University of MassachusettsAmherst. She also served as acting director of Multicultural Affairs and as an area coordinator in the Office of Residence Life at Smith College (MA). She is a member of the American College Personnel Association and has been previously affiliated with the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Susquehanna University (PA) and a master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Dorsey Spencer Jr. is assistant director of Campus Activities and Programs at Bucknell University (PA). He previously served as graduate assistant for Events and Programs at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Active in NACA, he served as a Leadership Fellow in 2009-2010 and has presented educational sessions for NACA on the regional and national levels. He is also a member of NASPA (National Association of Student Personnel Administrators). He holds a bachelor’s degree in sport and recreation management from Temple University (PA) and a master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.
Choose Your Battles Wisely Finally, choose your battles wisely and make certain you have thoroughly investigated the issue you seek to challenge or discuss. Before supporting or making an accusation of unfavorable treatment, it is critical that you have all the facts. Never do you want to place yourself in a position to be labeled or seen as the administrator who cried wolf! Ultimately, you are part of a team; your best ally is not always another person of color. Do not shut out your white colleagues before you get to know them and their intentions.
A Culture of Care The work we do centers primarily around students. Although this is our work, we must also understand that, as professionals, we need to provide the same culture of care for ourselves and the places in which we work. In our work, we spend so much time fostering growth and development and setting examples for our students that we often neglect the same issues that play out in our offices, departments and divisions on a daily basis. Professionals of color have a unique experience at PWIs, but the same methods we use to create inclusive and affirming campus environments for our students can very easily, with a few tweaks here and there, be applied to our work environments. As the old adage goes, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander!”
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LINKED for LIFE
Engaging Students beyond Graduation By
Brian Shuffield Washington State University
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URING THE PAST 10 YEARS AS A PROFESSIONAL IN STUDENT AFFAIRS, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with hundreds of students. While there are many things I love about my work, my favorite days are undoubtedly those in which I hear from former students. It’s very exciting to reconnect with them as they move in endless directions, becoming successful professionals and contributing members of our global society. I know of former students working in myriad professions from coast to coast, ranging from the entertainment industry to social work. However, I am not unique, as this is true for most all higher education professionals. As social media platforms continue to emerge and develop, networking is becoming increasingly easier for people everywhere. Facebook, Linked In and other popular networking systems have created mechanisms for keeping groups connected for as long as people want to remain associated. Many groups and individuals with whom I’ve worked in the past decade are finding each other and reviving relationships, while organizations and individuals with whom I currently work are beginning to form the networks this highly effective technology will continue to facilitate. I would like to share some recent alumni networking strategies employed by the Washington State University Student Entertainment Board (SEB) that begin with positive college experiences and a little collaboration.
Creating Meaningful Relationships with Students While I am focusing here on former students, I must begin with the relationships with current students. There is no connecting with alumni and past members of your programs if there are no meaningful and lasting relationship built with students in the first place. Here are three concepts that can help ensure a great connection with your students.
1. Create a dynamic student experience. Loving and becoming effective at what you do may be two entirely different things. Students will connect with their program if they have ownership of it and the opportunity to develop the organization in which they are investing their time and energy. The Student Entertainment Board (SEB) at Washington State University is only in its eighth year as an organization. During that time, it has developed from a board of three to 12 executive officers and has acquired two additional graduate advisors to assist in its programs and activities. The SEB plans and implements more than 100 events each year, ranging from an open-mic series to an outdoor music festival that attracts more than 7,000 participants. I could go on and on about the successes and truly outstanding aspects of the organization. Certainly, the SEB has a tremendous amount of resources when it comes to its budget and advisement, but perhaps the organization’s greatest achievement is the leadership experience its positions provide for student executives. The SEB is student driven, with its members having the opportunity and responsibility to determine the best use of its programming resources.
2. Love what you do. If you love your work and look forward to each day, you are most likely connecting well with your students, colleagues and friends. More specifically, if you love working with students and listen to and truly engage with them, then you will have a stronger connection that will be sustained long beyond their graduation. www.naca.org
Not only will your students have a stronger connection to the programs in which they are involved, but the office environment and all those around you will benefit from the work you do. This year, the SEB changed how executive officers are paid, moving from a stipend to an hourly timecard compensation process. This transition resulted in quite a bit of conflict and turmoil, as the perception of these positions was accordingly altered from being leadership experience with pay to student employment positions. When the students were required to clock in and out, it seemed to affect their mindsets. Thankfully, these positions are fun and rewarding beyond the pay, and students really tend to love the experience.
3. Learn from the best. Even the strongest organizations must network, collaborate and research the successes and strategies of other programs. Whether it is tapping into that really dynamic faculty or staff member on your campus; attending a conference, workshop or institute; or reading an article or blog, or staying active on a good Listserv, listening and learning from others is crucial for every advisor and organization to build upon their successes. Much of the design and structure for the SEB is modeled after the well-established University Program Board (UPB) at St. Cloud State University (MN). The UPB inspires me constantly, as I have been fortunate to stay connected with some of the dynamic staff there and receive an alumni newsletter each semester. They are currently raising funds to endow a scholarship for current students serving on the UPB. When the SEB attends NACA regional conferences or the National Convention, we always build in time to connect with other activities boards, typically during the meals-on-your-own time slots to get a more in-depth opportunity to share best practices. Attending events and activities that neighboring schools are planning or inviting other schools to attend our events and activities provides for great learning opportunities, too. MAY 2011 | CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMINGTM | 35
Building a Strong Alumni Base
Once you establish a dynamic student experience, building a strong alumni base will surely follow. For the SEB, creating an alumni database with contact information and development of an alumni Facebook group served as the initial phase of connecting SEB alumni from Washington State University. A former SEB director spearheaded this effort and was also instrumental in the development of the first alumni reunion. Accordingly, our student directors have begun a tradition in which they all return to campus for the end-of-the-year Springfest event.
This experience was very positive for everyone involved, from the alumni who returned for the occasion to the students who are leading the organization today. In a debriefing with some of the alumni following the weekend reunion, they expressed overwhelming excitement to do it again and offered many suggestions for developing future reunions, including locations for the alumni dinner, setting up a room block at one of the local hotels, and encouraging alumni to bring significant others or close friends next time. Discussion also covered setting up carpools for traveling to future reunions, as several members who attended our first event traveled from the same location. In addition, they suggested having alumni wear past SEB apparel and showing off some of their past organizational swag. Because both our organization and alumni base are very young, we are not yet involved in any large fund-raising events. We did charge a nominal fee to offset the cost of the banquet, and one alumnus has presented the organization monetary gifts totaling $1,500. However, in time, as all our alumni become more established, we are sure they will remember their student activities board when giving back to the university.
A First Alumni Reunion In April 2010, we held our first Student Entertainment Board Alumni Reunion, which proved to be very successful. It was centered around our annual spring festival, Springfest, and included great opportunities for past student leaders to return to campus to interact with current and future leaders of the organization they once led. With an undertone of reliving the past, enjoying the present, and preparing for the future, we had past student leaders travel from as far as Southern California back to Pullman, Washington. In all, 14 former student leaders returned to their alma mater. For many of them, the trip began with a tour of our student union building, which recently underwent a student-funded $87 million complete renovation, right down to its structural walls. This was followed by a reception and Alumni Dinner that, in addition to our alumni, included current board members, as well as board members selected to serve in the year to follow. Following a loose structure, the alumni evening featured a slideshow of photos from the past seven years. With the sharing of many stories from the past, along with stories from current membership, it was truly a special evening. After the dinner, the celebration moved to one of the local establishments that allowed participants to enjoy a private space where they could spend the evening reconnecting and reliving their days as “Cougs.” The second day of our Springfest activities included a daytime carnival with musical performances, including a former SEB alumni member. Later that evening, participants enjoyed a concert featuring the Ying Yang Twins and The Maine. It proved to be an action-packed weekend and celebration for our young alumni. While the weekend was full of entertainment, more importantly, remarkable networking and connections were made. Numerous connections were reestablished and bonds that were formed as SEB members were renewed while reminiscing about great college experiences. One result of the reunion was that a current SEB member learned of an internship that ultimately turned into a full-time job for her this spring.
About the Author Brian Shuffield is associate director for Campus Programming at Washington State University. He previously served as assistant director for Leadership & Operations at Our Lady of the Lake University (TX). Active in NACA, he served as the NACA West Volunteer Coordinator in 2007 and as the former NACA Upper Midwest Region’s Co-Educational Services Coordinator in 2000. He was also named the former NACA Pacific Northwest Region’s Outstanding Student Leader in 1998. Active in ACUI, he was the Region 12 Conference Chair in 2003 and the ACUI Recreation and Poetry Slam Coordinator for 2008-2009. He holds a master’s degree in student personnel in higher education from St. Cloud State University (MN) and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Idaho State University.
If you love your work and look forward to each day, you are most likely connecting well with your students, colleagues and friends. More specifically, if you love working with students and listen to and truly engage with them, then you will have a stronger connection that will be sustained long beyond their graduation.
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Reflection on the Leadership Identity Development Model: A Pathway to Success
Michelle Ganio University of South Carolina
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uring my undergraduate career, I participated in an 18-credit Leadership Studies Certificate Program that changed my outlook on life and the way I view leadership. Through these courses, my classmates and I had the opportunity to reflect on our own leadership experiences so that we could help our fellow students better understand the concepts and theories of leadership in practice. One of the exercises that had the most impact on me was assigned in the Leadership Studies “Capstone” course. This assignment required us to reflect on our own personal leadership journeys through the lens of the Leadership Identity Development (LID) model (Komives, Owen, Longerbeam, Mainella, & Osteen, 2006). In order to promote student reflection on leadership style, this powerful assignment can be used by student affairs professionals to help students become more effective at creating change within their organizations. I would like to provide an overview of the LID model and provide suggestions for guiding student leaders in reflection on their personal leadership journeys. The Leadership Identity Development Model The Leadership Identity Development (LID) model is based on the LID grounded theory study (Komives et al., 2005). The purpose of the study was “to understand the process a person experiences in creating a leadership identity” (Komives et al., 2006, p. 403). It is stage-based, meaning that one must move through one phase before going on to the next. Within these stages, transitions occur that signal the end of one phase and the beginning of another. These transitions mark, “a shift in thinking, a gradual process of letting go of old ways of thinking about leadership to trying new ways” (Komives et al., 2006, p. 406). Basically, something happens that makes the student reflect on their current stage, sense a need for something more, and then move on to the next stage. The model consists of six stages, each of which is influenced by five categories. The first stage, Awareness, occurs when individuals realize that leadership exists. They see that there are definite leaders in the world and they begin to explore opportunities for involvement. The second stage, Exploration/Engagement, occurs when students actually become involved in activities and begin to take on responsibilities within these activities. The third stage, Leader Identified, consists of two distinct phases. The emerging phase comes when students try out different roles, determine the skills necessary to succeed in those roles, and attain individual accomplishments. The immersion phase happens when students begin to manage others and utilize different leadership styles and approaches. At this point, “Leadership is seen largely as a positional role held by the self or others (leaders do leadership)” (Komives et al., 2006, p. 404). The fourth stage, Leader Differentiated, also contains an emerging and immersion phase. In this stage, emerging happens when students have a “new belief that leadership can come from anywhere in the group” (Komives et al., 2006, p. 405). They
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realize that sharing tasks and group goals are important for both group members with positions and those without positions. Immersion is “an awareness that leadership is a group process” (Komives et al., 2006, p. 405), and students commit to the group community. The fifth stage, Generativity, is when students are committed to personal passions and realize that they are responsible for the development of others, team learning, and sustaining an organization. The final stage, Integration/Synthesis, involves students understanding the value of life-long learning and self-development and they strive “for congruence and internal confidence” (Komives et al., 2006, p. 405), but they realize they are, in fact, leaders. The five categories that influence students during each of these stages are: 1. A broadening view of leadership (from external, to positional, non-positional, and finally, a process); 2. Developing self (self-awareness, self-confidence, interpersonal skills and new motivations); 3. Group influences (engaging in groups, learning from members and changing group perceptions); 4. Developmental influences (adult and peer influences, involvement, and reflection); and 5. Changing view of self with others (from dependent, to independent, and finally, interdependent).
Promoting Student Reflection Via the LID Model When students are able to reflect upon their past and where they have been, it may shed light on their present-day situations and give them the confidence they need to lead in the future. From personal experience, I can attest to the benefits of going through the reflection process based on the LID model. This activity can help students identify and focus on their personal values, beliefs and goals, while envisioning where they want to be in the future.
There are many ways for student affairs professionals to incorporate such a reflective activity. For example, on a retreat for executive board officers, an overview of the model can be shared and students can then identify which stage best reflects their current status. A group discussion could generate ideas about the transitions that need to happen in order for them to move on to the next stage. Here are some questions to help guide this reflection: 1. What stage are you currently in? 2. Partner up with a peer. Do they agree with the stage you believe yourself to be in? Why or why not? 3. What do you think needs to happen for you to move on to the next stage? 4. How can you utilize your strengths and work on your weaknesses in your current stage of the LID model? 5. How will you use this new knowledge of yourself to make greater change within this organization? Professionals could also have students reflect during one-onone advisory meetings. Prior to coming to the meeting, assign students to read an overview of the model and to write down any questions that the reading may have prompted. At the beginning of the meeting, discuss any questions students have about the model before asking them to self-identify which stage they believe they are currently in. Sample reflective questions to ask include: 1. How do you think you got to this current stage? What values got you here? 2. What are you currently doing that could possibly trigger a transition to the next stage? What is one thing that you are not currently doing that could possibly trigger a transition to the next stage? 3. As a leader of this organization, how do you think you can best model the idea that leadership can come from anywhere within the group to our members? 4. What new goals do you have for yourself as a result of learning about the LID model? 5. How can you move forward from this point, with this new knowledge of the LID model? Other activities and ideas for reflection include: creation of a personal leadership timeline or scrapbook, musical or lyrical composition, journaling, role-playing scenarios, or case studies.
A Lifelong Process As a result of these guided reflection activities, student leaders will hopefully develop an overall better understanding of themselves. They may even learn new things about themselves, as well. For my leadership class, I presented my personal leadership journey
in the form of a scrapbook that described my activities, leadership roles and development throughout college. Positive affirmations from my classmates about my strengths and weaknesses as a leader helped me to become more confident in my abilities. This reflective assignment led me to pursue a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs. I would encourage student affairs professionals to engage students in a similar activity to help guide them towards their dreams, no matter what they may be. It is important for a student to realize that leadership is not solely positional, but a lifelong process of exploration and discovery. Transitioning through the LID model, from awareness to integration/synthesis, will not occur overnight. Understanding and applying the LID model in daily practice can greatly benefit student affairs practitioners in their attempt to enhance the development of student leaders. Guiding students in reflection based on the LID model in both group and individual settings may allow them to become more aware of themselves. It may also allow them to create greater change within organizations and individual campuses, understand more deeply their values and beliefs, and help them become more confident and ready to take on life’s challenges after graduation.
References Komives, S.R., Owen, J.E., Longerbeam, S.D., Mainella, F.C. & Osteen, L. (2005). Developing a leadership identity: A grounded theory. Journal of College Student Development, 46(6), 593-611. Komives, S.R., Owen, J.E., Longerbeam, S.D., Mainella, F.C., & Osteen, L. (2006). A leadership identity development model: Applications from a grounded theory. Journal of College Student Development, 47(4), 401-420.
About the Author Michelle Ganio is pursuing a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs at the University of South Carolina, where she is a graduate assistant for the Career Center. She previously earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from The Florida State University. She is a member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.
AS A RESULT OF THESE GUIDED REFLECTION ACTIVITIES, STUDENT LEADERS WILL HOPEFULLY DEVELOP AN OVERALL BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THEMSELVES. THEY MAY EVEN LEARN NEW THINGS ABOUT THEMSELVES, AS WELL.
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FINDING YOUR SUPE Creating an Intentional Plan to Lead Others
Krysten Edwards Concordia College (MN)
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RVISION STYLE A
t first, the practice of supervision sounds like a straightforward task to accomplish. In fact, it takes practice, time and dedication to become a truly effective supervisor. Webster’s dictionary defines the act of supervision as, “a critical watching and directing.” To anyone who has been a supervisor, this description fails to capture the depth of what it means to supervise people in a way that promotes their own personal and professional growth. Effective supervision can take on different forms, depending on the institutional culture and the supervisor-supervisee relationship. Many times, a supervisorsupervisee relationship can create as much growth for the one supervising as for the one being supervised. No matter whether you are supervising seasoned professional staff or novice student staff, there are a few theories and models sharing basic concepts that can help supervisors find their own unique supervision style and approach.
Four Supervisory Approaches In 1997, Winston and Creamer created an instrument to define supervisory approaches named the “Approaches to Supervision Inventory.” The theory behind the inventory identified four supervision styles that are common in the workplace. 1. First, there is the Authoritarian supervisor, which describes a person who believes staff members need constant attention and direction. These supervisors are most commonly known as “micro-managers.” 2. The second style is the Laissez Faire supervisor. This person has a desire to allow the supervisee freedom in accomplishing job responsibilities and provides little to no direction. 3. The next approach is the Companionable supervisor, whose focus is to create personal relationships and connections with staff. 4. Lastly, the Synergistic style of supervision is based on a cooperative effort between the supervisor and the staff member to reach institutional, professional and personal goals. In the past few years, the synergetic supervision approach has become a separate theory in itself and has been embraced by many institutions of higher education. Each supervisor has a predominate approach that comes more naturally to them. It is important that a supervisor is aware of their predominate approach to supervision so their style may www.naca.org
be adapted as the situation or the staff member requires. The process of supervision can take on one or a combination of styles, and one particular style may not be appropriate for every supervisory situation. Each style has its strengths and weaknesses, but some are favored in the workplace more than others. Awareness of all the styles can help a manager properly supervise each staff member based on their needs and the situation at hand.
Two Additional Theories There are two additional theories that can assist in effectively supervising staff.
Synergetic Supervision Model As previously mentioned, the synergetic supervision style, even though a part of Winston and Creamer’s original supervision theory, has broken off into its own sub-theory, which has been the focus of numerous studies and articles. The Synergetic Supervision Model suggests that supervision is a holistic approach that should be seen as a helping process provided by the institution to benefit and support staff, both personally and professionally. There are many aspects and characteristics of the model that make it unique and attractive to many corporations and institutions. Synergetic supervision is based on the idea of supervisee and supervisor working together to support the professional and personal growth of the supervisee. The supervisor’s position MAY 2011 | CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMINGTM | 43
lends them more responsibility in initiating and structuring the methods of development, but ultimately, responsibility for the process falls on both parties. Another important aspect of the model is that it has a dual focus and looks to achieve institutional goals while accomplishing the supervisee’s personal and professional goals. Creating commonalities between the supervisee’s goals and institutional goals can create a culture of support in which the institution receives the dedication and progress it needs to make towards its mission and the supervisee is able to receive the support they need to reach their goals. This can, in turn, help the employee feel a stronger connection to the institution and create a nurturing workplace. Apart from goal alignment and collaboration, there are other aspects and practices that need to be present for the Synergetic Supervision Model to be successful for both parties. 1. First, and perhaps most important, is open and honest communication. If there is a lack of trust between the supervisor and supervisee, this model will not be as successful, and the full potential of the collaborative relationship will not be realized. A frank and sincere dialogue needs to occur between the supervisor and the supervisee for real progress to occur. 2. Also, there must be a focus on four competencies: knowledge, work-related skills, personal and professional skills, and attitudes. Making sure employees have the knowledge and skills to effectively and successfully thrive in their position is essential for the institution, as well as for the employee. 3. Another aspect that is important to this model is forward thinking. Goals that focus on the personal and professional growth of the individual are necessary for ideas such as career development, self-awareness, expectations, strengths and shortcomings to be considered. Having a plan of action that is meaningful and fulfilling for the supervisor and supervisee to develop and follow together can give direction and intentionality to the process. 4. Lastly, because this model relies on continuous collaboration between both parties, it is necessary to have regular meetings, formal evaluations and repeated check-ins to keep both parties accountable and motivated.
give them proper support along the way. Taken from the counseling discipline, where it is used to properly transition new counselors, it is called the Integrated Development Model (IDM). This model involves three main developmental levels that begin with teaching new staff about the position and getting them acclimated to their new environment. It then follows them through to the level of being a seasoned professional. In each level, the model gives supervision strategies or activity suggestions to help with transition and information dissemination. The first level applies to new professionals at the beginning of their career. At this point, the supervisee is dependent on the supervisor and wants structure, support and information. They are likely concerned about knowing rules and procedures and are anxious about performance and fearful of making a mistake. In this level, new professionals are highly motivated and eager to learn. A strategy to use during this level is role modeling because the supervisee is going to look to the supervisor to find the “correct” way of performing certain tasks. Other strategies include closely reviewing their work, giving direct and specific feedback and role-playing situations with them to give them experience. New supervisees at this level will be collecting all the information they can to ensure they will be successful in their new position. Supervisors need to take advantage of the supervisee’s enthusiasm at this level before it fades or it can lead to frustration on the part of the supervisee. Supervisees enter level two at different times and at different points in their development. Generally, after they have been in the position for a while and have become more comfortable with their role is the time they enter this level. A characteristic of a staff member at this point includes their ability to focus on the development of others and not just themselves. They also begin to realize strengths within the position, yet they may still avoid areas that are weaknesses. Also at this level, they are more assertive, even though they may be struggling with autonomy and are still dependent in some areas. Strategies that can be used at this level include using leading questions that allow supervisees to talk out problems themselves, as well as brainstorming and getting supervisees’ input. When a staff member is at this level, it can be an optimal time to facilitate self-exploration and begin to push them out of their comfort zones to try new things. It is important to remember that a supervisee can stay at this level for quite a while. They will not move to the next level until they are fully confident in their abilities as a professional. In the third and final level, the supervisee is increasingly more comfortable in their position. They are beginning to find balance between personal growth and helping others and developing a professional style and identity. Employees in this stage are able to accept professional strengths and weaknesses, and they
YOUR SUPERVISION STYLE WILL COLOR THE WAY YOU SEE SUPERVISION AND HOW YOU GO ABOUT LEADING AND GUIDING STAFF MEMBERS. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT EACH SUPERVISOR FIND SUPERVISION STRATEGIES AND APPROACHES WITH WHICH THEY ARE COMFORTABLE AND THAT ARE AUTHENTIC TO WHOM THEY ARE AS A PERSON.
Integrated Development Model The Synergetic Supervision Model is a strong process to use with established staff members who have a firm understanding of their position and role within the institution. Even though it can be used with new staff members, there is another theory that more specifically follows staff from novice to expert in order to 44 | CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMINGTM | MAY 2011
are much more autonomous, needing consultation and support only at specific times. In this final level, a supervisor can begin to challenge the staff member. They can use strategies such as collaboration, confrontation and appropriate self-disclosure to encourage further growth. Getting a supervisee to the third and final level is the ultimate goal of a supervisor. There are many benefits to using the IDM with supervisees, starting when they are new professionals and continuing throughout their time as employees. First, it takes a supervisee from novice to expert and can ultimately be structured to fit a supervisee’s needs. Secondly, the model offers strategies of how to best lead supervisees at each level, while encouraging growth appropriate to their level. Lastly, the IDM focuses on building rapport and personal connections within professional boundaries. Similar to the Synergetic Supervision Model, the IDM relies on ongoing, structured supervision with regular meetings, documentation, goal setting and evaluation. Both the Synergetic Supervision Model and the Integrated Development Model have the same goal, and that is to guide and track the intentional professional development of the supervisee. No matter what supervision style you have or what supervision model you use, it is important that you have an intentional and ongoing professional development strategy for any staff you supervise. This plan can look different, based on factors such as: • Professional staff vs. student staff, • Your campus culture, • How many staff members you supervise, • staff education level, and • The breadth of your position.
Important Questions to Consider Some important questions to consider when creating a professional development program are: • What are my staff development needs? • How am I going to go about developing open and trusting staff relationships in a way that is authentic? • In what ways will the professional development program meet both individual and organizational needs? • How will I go about understanding a staff member’s life and career goals? These questions should all be answered in your professional development program, even though the answers may be different for each supervisee. Your supervision style will color the way you see supervision and how you go about leading and guiding staff members. It is important that each supervisor find supervision strategies and approaches with which they are comfortable and that are authentic to whom they are as a person. These models and theories will work only if both parties are dedicated to growth and progress. Each supervisee must understand that their professional growth is ultimately in their hands and each supervisor must know that investing in their staff reaps huge rewards. In the end, each supervisor-supervisee relationship will be unique and have its own ups and downs. But, no matter what style you pursue or model you use, intentional supervision must include a relationship built on trust, self-reflection and dedication to personal and professional growth.
References Bryan, W.A. & Schwartz, R.A., ed. (1998). Strategies for staff development: Personal and professional education in the 21st century, San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Janosik, S.M., Creamer, D.G., Hirt, J.B., Winston, R.B., Saunders, S.A., & Cooper, D.L. (Eds.). (2003). Supervising new professionals in student affairs: A guide for practitioners. New York: BrunnerRoutledge. Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved April 6, 2011, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/supervision. Stock-Ward, S.R., & Javorek, M.E. (2003). “Applying theory to practice: Supervision in student affairs.” NASPA Journal, 40(3), 77-92. Winston, R.B., Jr., & Creamer, D.G. (1997). Improving staffing practices in student affairs. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
About the Author Krysten Edwards is a residence hall director at Concordia College (MN). Active in NACA, she has served on the NACA® Northern Plains Regional Conference Committee, as well as the region’s Awards Committee Chair, as its Associate Registration Coordinator, as its CAMP Coordinator and as a member of its Showcase Selection Committee. She holds a bachelor’s degree in social studies education and a master’s degree in counseling and student affairs, both from Minnesota State University-Moorhead, where she served as a graduate assistant for Campus Activities and Greek Life. Additionally, she has served as the College Chapter Director (alumni advisor) for the Theta Nu Chapter of the Delta Zeta Sorority at Minnesota State University-Moorhead.
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Awareness for New Professionals By
Demetria Bell Anderson Hiram College (OH)
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ou submitted your résumé, breezed through the phone interview, and had way too much fun during the on-campus visit. After what seems like an eternity, but was really only about two weeks, the phone finally rings and on the other end is someone presenting you with your very first professional higher education job offer! Congratulations! You are now just one “yes” away from landing the job of your dreams. You have absorbed all the relevant theory in graduate school, and your assistantship, internships and practicum experiences have each provided some very valuable how-to and hands-on opportunities—but are you really prepared and ready for this new, person-in-charge-is-you responsibility? According to my go-to-spontaneous decision-maker (also known as my trusty Magic 8 Ball, purchased just six months into my own first post-graduate school professional position), as I see it, yes, most likely, without a doubt, the outlook is good, it is decidedly so, and signs point to yes (but since it is used for entertainment purposes only, better not tell you now). Sure, you are ready, but there are a few crucial points that may have not been covered during class or, perhaps, you may have missed that day. So, in your best interest, I contacted a few trusted colleagues to address the new Freshman 15. No, we are not expecting you to add 15 pounds that show up when you step on the scale. These are 15 tips, tricks and other things we wish someone had told us when we started our careers in student affairs. So, no matter whether you are working in student activities, campus involvement, multicultural affairs, Greek life, residential education, commuter services, or in one of the many other specialty areas that make up the amazingly awesome world of student affairs, you will definitely want to be aware of the Freshman 15. You might even want to beware of some of them, as well! While very fulfilling, student affairs work can be very taxing on staff members, if we are not mindful. Trials and triumphs related to advising and supervising staff, networking, professional development and personal development all crop up constantly. How you address them can make or break your day, perhaps even your career. Here are a few nuggets of collective wisdom from student affairs professionals at various stages of their careers, ranging from assistant directors and directors to deans and vice-presidents. Take note of what they have to share to help make your first year as a professional an enjoyable, educational and enlightening experience.
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SUPERVISING AND ADVISING STUDENTS 1. Be both challenging and supportive. As with student development, it is necessary to both challenge and support. Holding people accountable is the biggest lesson I learned as a new supervisor. Everyone wants to be liked; and a good relationship with staff includes providing support when they have personal or work-related issues. But the bottom line is that the work has to get done for the benefit of the students, the institution and ultimately, the individual. Failure on your part to address problem areas (behaviors or work habits) is not being fair to that person or other team members who are doing their jobs and can potentially adversely affect students, as well as the college or university. Confront concerns head-on in a positive and respectful manner. Your job is to help make those you supervise successful by providing them with feedback and resources to improve or move to the next level in their career path.—Deanne Hurley, Vice President for Student Affairs, Ursuline College (OH), a student affairs professional for 23 years
2. Trust your instincts. It is difficult to prepare new, young professionals for the onslaught of ethical dilemmas that you will face. Although we focus on ethical principles and best practices in graduate school and training, it is still a rude awakening to find yourself having to fire a staff member based on a choice they made. Ultimately, we want our staff members to respect and like us, but we cannot lose focus on the boundaries we need to create with/for students and staff members.
3. Understand that student issues can be scary. We cannot predict when or where, but we will have to work with crises and tragedies. Although it is difficult to think about, you will have to respond to highly emotional situations at times. It is likely, regardless of your role in student affairs, that you will have to deal with a student death, a severe mental health concern, a sexual assault, or another serious incident. Most of us have had to deal with all of the above. Pay attention to how these situations will impact students, your staff and you, personally. We are in this profession because we care about students and these issues will take a toll on us. Although these look like they are on the negative side, I want young professionals to think about how they might respond when they are faced with challenges. —Bob Beyer, Assistant Director of Residence Life, Baldwin-Wallace College (OH), a student affairs professional for 11 years
WHILE VERY FULFILLING, STUDENT AFFAIRS WORK CAN BE VERY TAXING ON STAFF MEMBERS, IF WE ARE NOT MINDFUL. TRIALS AND TRIUMPHS RELATED TO ADVISING AND SUPERVISING STAFF, NETWORKING, PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT ALL CROP UP CONSTANTLY. HOW YOU ADDRESS THEM CAN MAKE OR BREAK YOUR DAY, PERHAPS EVEN YOUR CAREER. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT 4. Learn how to say “no” when appropriate. There is nothing worse than being a “yes” person and taking on too many tasks and not getting any of them completed.
5. Create campus networks and community connections. Set up lunch meetings or coffee breaks with college or university stakeholders and develop a mentoring relationship outside of your division. If you work in student affairs, develop a mentoring relationship with someone in academic affairs. Get involved in community efforts and find ways to bridge the campus community with the local community. Ask to be a member of a committee that will foster a working relationship between the college and surrounding area. Join a young professionals group that will cultivate professional relationships and allow opportunities to collaborate. —Tiffany Washington, Director of Student Activities, Ursuline College (OH), a student affairs professional for six years
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6. Know what you know and what you don’t know. It is important that you remember you are a trained professional with growing expertise. As a new staff member, there are things about your new position (and your campus, for that matter) that you know and there are things you do not yet know. The key takeaway here is to not be afraid to make a mistake or to ask questions. Chances are, you are the only person who expects you to be all knowing!
7. Be open and flexible. Many of us are working in student affairs because we had such an amazing time with our own college experience. In this case, you will want to take special care to be open and flexible to the treasures and traditions of your new surroundings. Make the effort to resist the urge to recreate the awesomeness that was your undergraduate experience. Take time to get to know your new environment and learn what works there and makes it a unique place.
8. Stay in the know. While in graduate school, you may have joined professional organizations and subscribed to professional publications (and if you did not, get on the mailing lists ASAP). Staying current also means staying relevant, so be sure to continue with important affiliations so that you remain on the cutting edge.
9. Chart your course. This sounds deceptively simple, right? After starting a new position, I once had new initiatives and programs planned for at least two, maybe three years out, but I expected to have them all implemented by the end of the year. In a one-on-one meeting, my supervisor listened carefully, took notes, smiled, and finally asked, “So, how long do you plan to be here?” Her question and our follow-up discussion taught me that while it is important to plan ahead, as the new person, you must allow time to ready and steady yourself. The key takeaway here is that when they shout, “Ready, set, go,” realize that the race has only just begun. Tie your shoes on tight and take the scenic route. BONUS: Learn about HOCs and LOCs. These are not to be confused with the Pop N Loc, Pop Rocks, or even ham hocks. You must embrace HOCs and LOCs, otherwise known as Higher Order Concerns and Lower Order Concerns. I learned about the fabulous world of HOCs and LOCs from my current supervisor. Her lesson here is that the key to managing all on your plate is to localize and address your priorities, based on the rank of where they fall on your chart of concerns. So, when you feel your plate may be on the verge of overflowing, do not forget to establish HOCs and LOCs.
WORK-LIFE BALANCE 10. Maintain relationships.
12. Don’t be afraid to take time off.
14. Make yourself at home.
You will want to stay connected with colleagues and professors. Checking in from time to time will not only keep you engaged with the folks who helped you get to where you are, but will also keep you in their minds for possible career-enhancing opportunities. Besides, lasting and meaningful relationships are just good for the soul. BONUS: You will want to especially take care of personal relationships. At times, student affairs work can be very time-intensive and, unless someone works in the profession, they have no true understanding of what is actually involved. In that case, you will want to make sure you pay extra attention to family, friends, partners and off-campus commitments so that the people involved may be understanding and are able to be continued sources of support throughout your career.
No matter your personal level of enthusiasm, your body will inevitably need to rest and you are entitled to days off once in awhile. They are known as vacation days, comp days, personal days, or some variation thereof. Be sure to get acquainted with them. As difficult as it may be to imagine being out of the office only to return to more than a few emails, voice mails, tweets, wall posts and the like, just remember that you need your R&R (rest and relaxation) so that you can live to fight another day.
Due to the sheer nature of the job, you, as a newbie, will probably spend more time at work, in the office, or hanging out on campus to put in the face time needed to comfortably acclimate yourself and get to know students and colleagues than you will at home (even if yours is a live-on-campus position). Your office, desk, cubicle, or whatever you have on campus to call your own, is a direct reflection of you, so be sure you love the space you occupy. Include what I call personal points of vanity—little things that say, “I love being here” when you or anyone else walks into your space. These items— pictures, teachable toys, favorite pens or whatever— are the things that will make you smile after a long day and, as your career continues, become awesome conversation starters, too.
11. Set boundaries and expectations. This is especially important for the new professional. In student affairs, many of us often try to be all things to all people. Whether you are dealing with students or colleagues, remember that your personal time is your personal time, and while accessibility is invaluable, there may be times you really need to unplug and decompress without guilt and interruption. In many instances, you are the person you have to remind of this. The tip here is to be mindful of to whom you distribute your personal cell-phone number or who you let into your personal social media networks. There may be no right or wrong answers here, but just remember once you have opened that door, it may be difficult to shut it again.
13. Assess yourself and your surroundings. Continue to assess your skills and competencies, as well as those of your work environment. You want to make sure your time and talents are matched and that you are being challenged by your work environment. Reciprocity in this area is supremely important in having a meaningful work experience. BONUS: A mentor once shared that she maintains an updated résumé and looks at jobs sites every year, not because she is constantly job-hunting, but because she wants to make sure she is aware of what is needed to stay relevant and marketable in the profession. It is her way of taking a personal and professional inventory.
15. Remember why we do what we do. Remember that our work and efforts do matter, as we are the folks entrusted to teach others what it means to be an engaged and collaborative contributor to the global society (or some variation of your campus’ mission statement), so do not be afraid to go all in and enjoy your work. You will soon see that-on-the job training is very important in the area of student affairs. Some things are learned only through experience, so you will more than likely encounter occurrences that were not covered on your comprehensive exams or even in your case-study competition. I hope this new twist on the infamous Freshman 15 will prove useful to you as you pursue your new responsibilities and goals pertaining to student supervision and advising, professional development, and work-life balance.
About the Author Demetria Bell Anderson is director of Campus Involvement at Hiram College (OH). Previously, she served in the Office of Multicultural Development at The University of Akron (OH). She has also worked in residence life at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, in campus involvement at Lake Erie College (OH) and in student activities at Ursuline College (OH). She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Bennett College for Women (NC) and a master’s degree in higher education from The University of Akron (OH). She is currently pursuing a doctorate in higher education from the University of Toledo (OH). In NACA, she is a Leadership Fellow. Editor’s Note: Articles written for the NACA® Leadership Fellows Series are crafted by participants in the NACA® Leadership Fellows Program, which serves as an opportunity for NACA® members of diverse backgrounds to become familiar with Association programs and professional development opportunities. For more information on the NACA® Leadership Fellows Program, visit www.naca.org/volunteers/pages/leadershipfellows.aspx.
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Academic, Community and Student Organization Outreach
Jana Vise, Appalachian State University (NC)
D.J. Walch, University of Arkansas
Collaborations and sponsorships are an ever-growing part of student activities. With budget cuts being more the norm than the exception, collaborations and sponsorships are ways activities boards can continue to provide programs that may not necessarily be within their budgets and are a great way to attract support for an organization and its events. In fact, securing a collaborator and/or sponsorship may determine whether or not a program is even brought to campus by passionate students. Collaboration is best exemplified by an activities board working with another organization or department to put on a specific event. In the short term, this means focusing on one specific event, but in the long term, sponsorship can be described as a formal relationship between an activities board and another party that is ongoing and mutually beneficial to both parties.
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The Importance of Collaboration and Sponsorship for every event, but it will give activities board members ideas of Collaboration and sponsorship are important for many different reasons. One of the most important is networking. Creating longstanding contacts and relationships with organizations and departments on campus is a great way to build camaraderie for your organization and produce activities and events with other departmental areas. They generate a source of “people-power” to help market and work the event; thus doubling your human capital resources. Collaboration and sponsorship also create teamwork energy between two different organizations’ members. By combining resources to achieve a common goal, more people can benefit. Members can share ideas and lean on each other’s strengths and talents (i.e. creativity, organization, shared design of marketing materials, financial support, etc). Exposing a new audience to programs and events is another important aspect of collaboration and sponsorship. Reaching out to an organization or department that may not be aware of the activities board’s programs or mission builds awareness on campus and creates a support network. In fact, building these relationships is a key element for growth and support on campus. For example, collaborating with academics is a great way to show colleagues in that area that your activities board is about more than fun and games.
Starting a Collaboration or Sponsorship Collaboration and sponsorship should be considered for each and every event the activities board is interested in bringing to campus. This doesn’t necessarily mean there will be collaboration www.naca.org
whom they can speak to about the event for either a collaborative effort or for targeted marketing. The best time to start looking for collaborative partners is during the process of selecting events to bring to campus. NACA regional conferences and the annual National Convention are great places to broach the subject. When a group sits and discusses various acts in a Block Booking meeting, for example, it is a good idea to bring up potential collaborations and begin preliminary discussions. Another ideal time to discuss collaboration is when the event is brought before a committee for approval. This allows the group to brainstorm various departments and organizations to approach and decide which ones would be best suited to serve as a collaborator for the event.
Defining the Partnership Define the collaboration from the very start. Let the collaborating organization/department know whether you’re seeking a financial contribution, help with marketing, or assistance with event preparation. Let the collaborator know how much money, time and peoplepower are needed from the beginning. Once the collaborator has signed on, make sure to have a collaboration form or co-sponsorship agreement on hand for both the activities board and the collaborating student organization/department to sign that states who is in charge of what. This keeps much miscommunication from occurring and helps partners know what is expected of one another. When questions arise, refer to the form. (Visit http://www.naca.org/education/pages/tab.aspx to see MAY 2011 | CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMINGTM | 51
a copy of the Texas Tech Activities Board Co-Sponsorship Agreement.) For sponsorships, develop different levels of support for businesses and departments to choose from. (Visit http://www.naca.org/education/pages/tab.aspx to see a copy of the Texas Tech Activities Board’s Partnership Categories & Contribution Levels information sheet.) Some may be able to give only a little, while others can help out quite a bit. You can start your sponsorship categories with amounts in the low hundreds of dollars and go over the $1,000 mark on the higher end, depending on your community. Make sure each category is well defined with regard to what the sponsors will get in return for partnering with you. Spell out everything in writing, putting it in a format you can easily share with all involved. Sponsorships can be furnished in cash or goods and services. Some businesses may simply want to cut your organization a check for the amount they agree to provide (make sure you have worked out with your accounting department how to deposit these checks in advance). Others may want to offer goods and services. This means they will give you coupons, food or other items that equal the amount they’ve agreed to provide for your organization to use throughout the year. In making the sponsorship agreement, develop a form that outlines everything your sponsor will receive throughout the academic year through the agreement. (Visit http://www.naca.org/ education/pages/tab.aspx to see The Texas Tech Activities Board’s partnership agreement.) Have both the sponsor and your organization sign off on the form. It is extremely important that your organization conducts followup with your sponsor throughout the year and checks on everything outlined in the agreement. Building a good relationship with your sponsor helps bring them back the following year and may create a long-lasting relationship.
SEEKING SPONSORSHIPS CAN BE INTIMIDATING AND OVERWHELMING IF YOU HAVEN’T DONE IT BEFORE. START BY SELECTING DIFFERENT BUSINESSES AND DEPARTMENTS YOU THINK MIGHT BENEFIT YOUR ORGANIZATION AND DETERMINE HOW YOU MIGHT BENEFIT THEM, IN RETURN.
Seeking Sponsorships Seeking sponsorships can be intimidating and overwhelming if you haven’t done it before. Start by selecting different businesses and departments you think might benefit your organization and determine how you might benefit them, in return. For example, if your organization distributes large quantities of food during the year, it may be a good idea to approach restaurants for sponsorships 52 | CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMINGTM | MAY 2011
so your food needs are covered. If you are already working with a department on campus, such as your bookstore, you can always talk to them about being a full sponsor instead of just collaborating on book signings and coffeehouses with your organization. When selecting a business, make sure you know whom your university has contracts with so you don’t unintentionally contract with a rival business or an existing partnership that is restricted because of their affiliation with other departments or athletics. Once you have a list of business and departments, set up appointments to meet with the appropriate managers. Let them know who you are, that you are with the university, and tell them about your organization. It is best to have a packet of information that includes: 1. A letter of contact information, 2. The organization’s mission, and 3. The levels of sponsorship available. Many businesses truly do want to get on campuses to reach the student population and this may very well be their way onto your campus. Always make sure to set these meetings well in advance of when you need the sponsorships confirmed. Many businesses will have to consult with their corporate offices to get a sponsorship approved.
Timeline Considerations When seeking collaborations and sponsorships, you need to consider when to connect with the other departments and organizations involved. Student organizations often work only a few weeks in advance. You can contact them when you first book your program, but remember that officers usually change each semester and the organization may not be prepared to commit to or even begin working on a project. Campus departments can work anywhere from a semester to a year in advance. The sooner you start to meet with them, the better. If money is involved, their representatives may have to speak with their dean or director. It’s a good idea to meet with them early so they can put the event in their syllabi for the semester and notify others in their department about the event. Businesses usually need to be contacted around the start of their fiscal year when they have sponsorship money available. When meeting with them, it is a good idea to find out when this occurs so you can contact them at the appropriate time for the following year; however, don’t be afraid to cold call them during the year for a sponsorship. They may have money or goods set aside for each month that they can donate throughout the year. Sometimes, another sponsorship in which they had planned to participate will have fallen through and they will have funds available, just waiting for someone to ask for them.
Building Relationships with Collaborators and Sponsors Making sure the collaborators/sponsors are recognized is an important part of the agreement. Their logos should be placed on all marketing your organization does for the academic year, not just on posters. Any ads placed in newspapers, calendars and the activities board’s website should feature the sponsors’ logos, as well. Additionally, consider printing their logos on items such as T-shirts, promotional items and freestanding displays. Their logos can also be displayed on food tables and at the activities board’s table at various events. Sponsorships can even be mentioned on chalkboard runs in academic buildings and, if your www.naca.org
campus allows, via sidewalk chalking. Be sure to mention and thank sponsors at each of your events, too. Recognize your collaborators/sponsors by incorporating in your agreement ways they can market to the university community. Incorporating two ads a year in the university newspaper, allowing them a mail-out to all the student organizations twice a year, and tabling at few of the activities board’s events each year are wonderful ways to show your appreciation. Follow up with letters to your collaborators and sponsors, letting them know how your activities board’s events are going and how their department/business has helped make each of them a success. Send thank-you notes to the collaborators and sponsors who helped out with specific events. For sponsors who have donated a large sum of money, it is even acceptable to send a thank-you gift to them after the agreement is signed to show them your gratitude for their donations and assistance. Invite your collaborators and sponsors to your end-of-year banquet to recognize their contributions to the board. Create an award to be given out each year to the one sponsor/collaborator that made a significant impact on the activities board.
Getting Others Involved in Your Programs Incorporating academics is often an important part of what an activities board does within its mission. An easy way to accomplish this is by sending letters to professors whose classes correlate with your event. Often, professors will give extra credit to their students for attending events. For example, if you are having a slam poet perform on your campus, be sure to send letters to the English department. Make sure to follow up with professors with a second letter closer to the event or with an email to remind them the event is approaching. If you contact them early enough, they may be able to place the event in their syllabi. Remember, students may need proof they attended the event. Be prepared to hand them some type of event certification at the end of the program. Don’t forget other departments whose functions may be similar to yours. Student health or residence life may be interested in knowing about the latest speaker you might be bringing to campus to address healthy eating habits or STDs. The career center may want to know about the etiquette dinner you are presenting, while the student judicial department or Greek life may want to know about the binge-drinking program you are offering. Other departments often have mailing lists to which they can send information about various events. Reaching out to them shows them the impact your events have on the university community and may help increase attendance, as well.
About the Authors Jana Vise is associate director of Student Programs at Appalachian State University (NC). Previously, she was affiliated with Texas Tech University for 10 years, advancing through several student activities-related positions, ultimately serving as assistant director. Active in NACA, she served as the 2010 NACA® Central Graduate Intern Coordinator, as well as a member of the 2009 NACA® Central Showcase Selection Committee. Currently, she is serving as the 2012 National Volunteer Center Coordinator. She is also affiliated with the Association of College Unions International, as well as the Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from McMurry University (TX) and a master’s degree in higher education from Texas Tech University. D.J. Walch is the program coordinator for Late Night and Weekend Programming at the University of Arkansas. He previously served as a graduate assistant for the Student Union and Activities at Texas Tech University. Active in NACA, he was a 2009 NACA® Central Graduate Intern. He has also presented educational sessions for the region and served as its Volunteer Center Coordinator. Additionally, he is affiliated with the Association of College Unions International. He holds a bachelor’s degree in music and a master’s degree in higher education, both from Texas Tech University.
Collaborate and Conquer Arranging collaborations and seeking sponsorships sounds much more daunting and difficult than it actually is for an activities board. Just by looking around your campus and community, you can find many more opportunities than you might expect, ready to be taken advantage of by your group. Think outside the box, make a plan, and contact those campus departments, other student organizations and nearby businesses. Make them an extension of your activities board by including them in your events. Everyone can benefit from working together.
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Aged Students By
Michael C. Metzger and Mike Nelson University of Connecticut
MAGINE YOU ARE THE PROUD OWNER OF ONE OF THOSE QUAINT 1950s ROADSIDE DINERS. For many years, the diner was the place the cool teens went for a greasy burger and a wicked frappé. Lately, you have been noticing that there are larger numbers of older people living in town and you wonder how could you better serve this growing population. To answer this question, you decide to make some alterations to the menu, adjust prices and expand your hours. In doing so, you hope to better serve the older crowd in town. Right now, there’s a good possibility that your institution is facing or will be facing a similar clientele change. Although you may occasionally find them mystifying, you are probably most accustomed to working with traditionally aged Millennial students. A group that you may be less familiar with is comprised of the non-traditionally aged students. Data from Van Der Werf and Sabatier (2009) indicates that nontraditionally aged students, ages 25 to 44, will be the fasting growing sub-population of students in higher education during the next decade. Students of those ages are members of Generation X (Taylor & Keeter, 2010). So the question is: how can you, as the student activities “diner owner,” serve these non-traditionally aged customers?
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But Wait, Why Should Non-traditionally Aged Online surveys can be emailed directly to students, which might Students Get Involved? reach more non-traditionally aged students, as they can complete Besides that gut feeling that many of us get when anyone questions the value of students getting involved, Astin (1984) offers an insightful reason for student involvement that is independent of age. Astin argued that involved students will experience greater learning and personal development. Using Astin’s theory of involvement, it is reasonable to argue that regardless of age, all students can benefit from greater learning and development; therefore, involvement is an important piece of a non-traditionally aged student’s educational experience. For the purposes of this article, when we refer to “involvement,” we do so in the broadest way to include organizations, attendance at programs, and purchasing of tickets. Accordingly, we can discuss a variety of ways to meet the involvement needs of this population.
Get to Know Them With the “importance question” answered, start by getting to know your new non-traditionally aged “customers.” Schlossberg, Lynch and Chickering (1989) argue that to serve older students effectively requires understanding their motives, the realities they face and their orientations toward family, work and citizenship. Knowing this information about nontraditionally aged students will help you create programming and services that meet their needs. Start by familiarizing yourself with the types of non-traditionally aged students out there. According to a study by Campbell, Wilson and Hanson (as cited in Schlossberg, Lynch, and Chickering, 1989), there are five types of non-traditionally aged students, which are listed in Table 1. With such variation in the types of non-traditionally aged students, it is clear that each type will have different needs and time available for what your office offers, which means your strategy for serving these students cannot be one-size-fits-all. To find out specifically what types of non-traditionally aged students are currently on your campus, connect with your institutional researcher. This individual will have a wide range of statistics available to give you a good overview of your institution’s student body. This person also may be able to help point you towards any other office that might have more detailed information. With a rough sketch of this population, you can then create your own assessments to gather even more information. Informal assessments, such focus groups, open office hours, or keeping your ears open while walking around campus, can be very helpful. A formal survey can also be useful. Ask questions to determine: • When does the student have free time? • What interests does the student have? • How much money is a student willing to spend for programming? (Mulé Lyons, 2006) Be sure to ask the basic demographic question of age, so that you can sort the data by age after collection. And although the time-tested pencil and paper can be useful, consider using an online survey tool, such as www.surveymonkey.com, to collect data.
With all of these barriers in mind, you should also think about the chefs who create the programming at you campus. Are they all traditionally aged students who need to guess what older students might like?
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the survey whenever and wherever is convenient for them. Another useful way to get to know non-traditionally aged students is by looking at some of the college success barriers the population faces, as these barriers are similar to non-traditionally aged involvement barriers. According to Cabrere-Buggs (2006), the non-traditionally aged population faces three barriers: • Situational, • Institutional, and • Dispositional. A situational barrier can be something caused by the student's situation, such as childcare, job responsibilities or lack of free time. An institutional barrier is something caused by the student's institution, such as faculty and staff sensitivity, hours of operation or a lack of resource information. Finally, dispositional barriers are caused by factors internal to the non-traditionally aged student, such as a feeling of alienation on campus (Cabrere-Buggs, 2006).
Addressing Situational Barriers The first situational barrier for a student’s involvement may be their family. Many older students will have family responsibilities that traditionally aged students do not typically have (Ely, 1997). Non-traditionally aged students may not feel welcome at programs if they feel they cannot bring their families. With this in mind, try adding some new “family-friendly” events to your menu. Events such as G-rated on-campus movies, tickets for kid-friendly musicals, or even novelties that do not have height minimums can make for great family friendly programming (Mulé Lyons, 2006). In addition, to help these students determine if the event might be appropriate for their families, label it as “family friendly.” Language that indicates a student can bring a friend, spouse or other family member may also make family less of barrier to getting involved (Mulé Lyons, 2006). Another situational barrier is hiring a baby sitter or day-care for events that are not family friendly. If available, refer students to the on-campus day-care center. If your campus does not offer childcare for students’ children, see if you can recruit a student group to offer childcare when a major event occurs. To manage the risks associated with offering childcare, do consult your campus’ designated risk management official. Finally, a non-traditionally aged student’s situation may cause them to focus more on career and maintaining their finances than traditionally aged students do (Ely, 1997). Instead of trying to help non-traditionally aged student overcome this situational barrier, support them in their situational concerns. Do so by offering programming that might appeal directly to them. For example, partner with your career services department to offer workshops on résumé creation and cover-letter writing. Think, too, about developing a speaker series on career development. While at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, I [Metzger] assisted my supervisor in creating a leadership speaker series of senior university staff to present topics such as a servantleadership-oriented career and how to maintain longevity in your chosen field. This program proved to be popular and cost effective, as we did not have to pay speaker fees. Practical lectures from faculty also may be popular, and may cover topics such as money management, study skills and stress management (Ely, 1997).
Addressing Institutional Barriers A common institutional barrier is timing. Many non-traditionally aged students work during the day and take classes at night, so you should review your hours of operation and programming times. Survey data can be very helpful in determining when nontraditionally aged students are on campus. Tracking attendance of traditionally aged and non-traditionally aged students at programming events can also be helpful to determine when nontraditionally aged students are on campus. A second institutional barrier to involvement that may occur is a lack of information about how to get involved. You can combat this through a non-traditionally aged student mentorship program. To create a formal mentoring program, start by finding a qualified team of mentors. There are many characteristics that can indicate the potential of a mentor such as: • Campus knowledge, • Welcoming personalities, • Ability to meet the time commitment, • Life experiences that will help them connect with the non-traditionally aged students, and • Determination. Once mentors are found, they will have to be trained. A mentor training manual with handouts and tips that can be discussed with their “mentees” can be particularly helpful. Finally, you will need to connect your mentors to non-traditionally aged students. Look for a campus functional area that can offer some assistance in acquiring names and emails of students who fit the mission of the mentoring program. A third institutional barrier to involvement is cost. Many of these students are paying for college themselves (Ely, 1997). Take a look at your menu to figure out which items can be priced at cost or lower so that non-traditionally aged students do not have to spend too much of their limited funds to participate. Survey data about how much money a non-traditionally aged student is willing to spend may be helpful in making your decisions about appropriate price-points.
Addressing Dispositional Barriers Dispositional barriers for non-traditionally aged students stem from prior experiences and self-perceptions. Examples of these barriers can include fears of being too old to learn new things, worries about balancing school and family, or concern over going to school with younger students (Schlossberg, Lynch, and Chickering, 1989; Cabrere-Buggs, 2006; Ely, 1997). To help students overcome this barrier, try hosting a discussion group specifically for these students. If you think the prospect of healthy discussion may not be enough to recruit an audience, try promoting the event as an ice-cream social or mix-and-mingle for nontraditionally aged students. When facilitating the discussion, remember that these students are experiencing a large amount of transition in their lives. Many will be negotiating an unbalanced family life, the reality of departing a job or even a career for the prospect of something better in their future, and the loss of a large portion of their free time (Ely, 1997). To help these students cope with the transition, encourage them to discuss their situations, resources and strategies for making their transition smoother. And do not forget that affirmation and referrals from you can go a long way (Evans, Forney, Guido, Patton & Renn, 2010). Friendship, networking and building a sense of community can www.naca.org
also be a benefit of such an event (Ely, 1997). If you feel uncomfortable hosting this type of event alone, consider collaborating with your mental health department.
Bring in a New Chef With all of these barriers in mind, you should also think about the chefs who create the programming at your campus. Are they all traditionally aged students who need to guess what older students might like? If so, actively recruit students who can represent non-traditionally aged students. Look to faculty on campus for recommendations of non-traditionally aged students who might be interested in such a role, as non-traditionally aged students tend to build strong bonds with their instructors (Ely, 1997). Be sure when recruiting older students to have some talking points ready about what these students will get out of the experience. Remember, many of them have full-plates and will need to be convinced as to why they should add something else to their schedules. Try selling them on the learning outcomes of your department and the transferable skills a person can learn by getting involved. Well-crafted learning outcomes and marketable, transferable skills can serve as experience compensation— something a career-focused, non-traditionally age student might find very attractive.
Keep Experimenting and Listening Going forward, it will be important to keep trying new ways to serve this population as the number of non-traditionally aged student continues to grow. Experimentation is the key to figure out what works for the students on you campus (Mulé Lyons, 2006). When something works, build on that success and when something does not, learn from that failure. Finally, do not forget that age is just one piece of a student’s identity. Other identity elements such as race, class, gender, ethnic heritage or ability level, may be of equal or greater importance for a student (Adams, Blumenfeld, Castañeda, Hackman, Peters & Zúñiga, 2010). So, be listening for barriers related to age and other elements of identity in order to best serve the whole, nontraditionally age student in your restaurant.
Types of Non-traditionally Aged Students* Student Status
Full-time Full-time Full-time Part-time Part-time
Not employed Not employed Not employed Employed full-time Employed full-time
Spent with family Available Spent on school work Available Spent with family
* Be on the lookout for combinations that may have developed since this study was published (i.e., a full-time student that is employed full-time and spends free time on school work). Also look for hybrid combinations (i.e., full-time, not employed, spending time with family and school work).
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About the Authors
Adams, M., Blumenfeld, J., Castañeda, C., Hackman, H., Peters, M., & Zúñiga, X. (Eds.) (2010). Readings for diversity and social justice. New York, NY: Routledge. Astin, A. (1984). Student Involvement: A developmental theory for higher education. Journal of College Student Personnel, 25, 297-308. Cabrere-Buggs, N. (2006). Perceived barriers and levels of satisfaction with student services for adult learners. The Journal of College Orientation and Transition, 13, 18-28. Ely, E. (1997, April). The non-traditional student. Paper presented at the American Association of Community Colleges Annual Conference, Anaheim, CA. Evans, N., Forney, D., Guido, F., Patton, L., Renn, K. (2010). Student development in college: Theory, research, and practice. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass. Mulé Lyons, N. (2006) Serving non-traditional students. In G. Farr & D. Thomas (Eds.), The programmer’s handbook. Retrieved March 20, 2011 from http://www.naca.org/MediaCenter/Digital Library/Pages/DigitalLibrarySearchResults.aspx?alpha=Program mer's%20Handbook. Taylor, P., & Keeter, S. (2010). Millennials, a portrait of generation next. Retrieved March 209, 2011 from Pew Research Center website www.pewresearch.org/millennials Schlossberg, N., Lynch, A., & Chickering, A. (1989). Improving higher education environments for adults: Responsive programs and services from entry to departure. San Francisco: CA, Jossey-Bass. Van Der Werf, M., & Sabatier, G. (2009). The college of 2020: Students. Chronicle Research Services. Retrieved from Chronicle Research Services website: http://research.chronicle.com
Michael C. Metzger is receiving a master's degree in higher education and student affairs at the University of Connecticut this month. During his time there, he held a graduate assistantship in the Office of Orientation Services and received UConn’s 2010 Outstanding Advisor of the Year Award for advising student organizations. He previously earned a bachelor's degree in history at the University of MassachusettsBoston. While there, he served as a Student Program Coordinator for the Student Arts & Events Council. He was the 2010 NACA® Northeast Graduate Intern for Professional Development and Educational Sessions; has presented at the 2011 NASPA (National Association of Student Personnel Administrators) and ACPA (American College Personnel Association) National Conferences; and is a recipient of the 2011 ACPA Gerald Saddlemire Masters Research Award. Mike Nelson currently works for The University of Connecticut Foundation Incorporated as an Annual Giving Data Specialist. Before that, he was employed at the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and the Office of Institutional Research at UConn. He previously graduated with a bachelor's degree in math and statistics from The University of Connecticut. As an undergraduate, he was involved as a resident assistant, an orientation leader, and as a UConn Connects Facilitator. Additionally, he was involved with the Asian American Cultural Center.
Thirty is the new... well... thirty. The NACA Foundation is turning 30! Pledge to donate $30 during 2011–12. Be a cool kid and pledge today!
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2011 NATIONAL CONVENTION IN REVIEW
Swing for the Fences! 2011 NACA速 National Convention Hits Homerun With Swing for the Fences as its theme, the 2011 NACA National Convention scored well with school and associate delegates who came to pursue Block Booking, networking and educational opportunities. As always, the Convention featured the latest trends in original stage entertainment, informative and timely lecturers and thought-provoking educational programs. In addition to the Campus Activities Marketplace, always a hub form school and associate interaction, delegates were able to enjoy special activities and features, ranging from entertainment featured as part of the Night on St. Louis offsite event and international acts to nationally known entertainers and speakers. Additionally, Block Booking activities resulted in a significant increase in submitted forms (see Page 66), helping the 2011 NACA速 National Convention to hit a homerun.
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Diversity continues to be a significant emphasis of the Association and one way it was expressed at the 2011 National Convention was through HBCU Connections activities. Above Will Atkins (holding laptop) informally addresses delegates from historically black colleges and universities.
Joshua Brandfon (left), associate director of Student Activities & Student Organizations at the University of Miami (FL), completes registration of his delegation.
Educational sessions, while informative for delegates, were sometimes interactive and often packed to capacity.
School delegates have an impromptu meeting to plan how they will make their way through the Conventionâ€™s four days of activities and events.
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Nexcyx, from Barbados, performs at Windows on Washington, part of the Night on St. Louis event, in which delegates were able to travel off site to see talent perform in the Washington Ave. area of St. Louis, MO.
Actor/comedian/writer B.J. Novak from The Office appeared at the Convention Kick-Off, which also featured Nick Cannon from Americaâ€™s Got Talent, as well as comedian Sheng Wang and recording artist Ryan Star.
Collins Tuohy, adoptive sister of NFL Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Michael Oher, delivered the Convention Keynote address. Tuohy and her family were the subjects of the book and film The Blind Side.
Delegates find volunteer opportunities at the Volunteer Center near Registration.
Comedian Daniel Tosh, named to the NACA Hall of Fame, accepts the honor via a video message.
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A Homerun for Entertainment NACAâ€™s 2011 National Convention brought delegates the latest entertainment available to the college market. Bands, soloists, comedians, songwriters, poets, novelty attractions, lecturers and more were on stage to help delegates hit an entertainment homerun when they book them on their campuses.
Spoken-word artist Asia (left) performs with his brother-in-law Jollan as The Asia Project.
Diego Val (left) brings an audience member onstage, where he charms her with his music.
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Kyshona Armstrong keeps it real with her individual brand of acoustic folk soul.
Mainstage Showcase Emcee Ross Mathews keeps the audience entertained between showcase sets.
Comedian Seaton Smith makes a comedic point.
Juggler Nick Pike gets audience members to juggle him. Nick Cannon from Americaâ€™s Got Talent entertains the Convention Kick-Off audience.
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A Homerun for Education Education and professional development have long been a part of NACA’s mission and services, and delegates participating in the 2011 National Convention were treated to a full slate of outstanding and innovative educational programs covering pertinent and timely topics, ranging from dealing with students in an age of perceived entitlement to “nuts-and-bolts” staples such as organizational transition and publicity and promotion. They also were able to network with other professionals and hear a special message during the Professional Development Luncheon.
The Career Preparation center gave staff and students entering the field of student affairs and professionals seeking new directions or career opportunities the chance to network and pursue career advancement.
A delegate reacts excitedly to something she learned in an educational session.
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Much valuable information can be shared with delegates in a traditional lecture session.
Students and staff get down to business in a breakout session.
Thanks to an icebreaker activity, students become acquainted during an educational session.
Student delegates take notes to share with fellow programmers once they return to campus.
Dr. Ronald Mason Jr., president of The Southern University System (LA), the nationâ€™s only historically black university system, addressed delegates attending the Professional Development Luncheon. Networking is also an important benefit of participating in educational sessions.
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Block Booking Results: Substantial Increase in Number of Forms Submitted Interest in Block Booking at the 2011 NACA速 National Convention increased substantially in comparison to 2010, with 1,991 forms submitted at the recent event. In 2010, 1,521 forms were submitted, which was up from the 1,368 forms submitted in 2009. A new form category, SD (Strong Interest for a Single Date) was also included at the 2011 National Convention and outranked CR and CB forms (see below). When it comes to booking entertainment on campus, Block Booking drives savings, which continue to be important in the current economy. For a breakdown on the kinds of forms processed, the form count by region, the agencies and artists receiving the most forms and the schools submitting the most forms, see the displays on this and the following page. You may also review Block Booking results online at: http://www.naca.org/ncblockbook.aspx.
FORMS ENTERED AT CONVENTION CB (Contract if Block Forms) ..................................................................393 CR (Contact Requested on Site) ............................................................360 SI (Strong Interest) ..................................................................................819 SD (Strong Interest for a Single Date)....................................................419
ARTISTS RECEIVING THE MOST FORMS (Artists receiving 15 forms or more)
Magician Norman Ng meets with delegates in his booth during a Campus Activities Marketplace session.
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SCHOOLS THAT WERE MOST ACTIVE IN BLOCK BOOKING (Schools submitting 15 forms or more)
Elon University (NC) shows interest in a block as it forms.
AGENCIES RECEIVING THE MOST FORMS (Agencies receiving 15 forms or more)
FORMS BY REGION FOR THE 2011 NACA速 NATIONAL CONVENTION
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tonio phia n An a del S Phila isville 2–5 e 2 n 1 u – Lou D J ne 9 EKEN TUTE Ju ne 16–18 aukee E W Ju ilw STI HIP d 0 M S IN UTE ERS T 1 C I D I – T hmon A S 7 S c E A i y l L N B R I u E er C NS 10 ING TE J HUG Denv on, D ly 7– t AMM ANIZATIO INSTITU 0 u g J R 1 n i – G ash IUM NT RG PRO uly 7 7 W NT O NAGEME SYMPOS ITUTE J 1 E – 4 D 1 ST ly STU HIP T MA ST IN ITUTE Ju ERS E CER D W N A T O C ENT L LE INS ONA RNM AST I E E T V A T O N G ME N ENT ERN V O STUD G ENT STUD 68 | CAMPUS ACTIVITIES PROGRAMMINGTM | MAY 2011
NACA SPOTLIGHT Block Booking All-Year Round Free Webinar for NACA Members (School Staff and Students) An NACA webinar, Block Booking All-Year Round, originally presented Sept. 28, 2010, is available for viewing at your leisure at http://vimeo.com/15461284. Through this webinar, you will learn how to better understand how to utilize Block Booking during and beyond the NACA regional conferences and National Convention. You will learn how to more effectively book performers, save money and better understand why this process is an important part of how NACA does business. Whether you are a veteran Block Booker or a rookie, there is something new for you in this webinar pertaining to recent changes in the Block Booking process. The webinar is facilitated by Katie D. Holdgreve-Resendez, assistant director of Campus Life at Eastern Michigan University, and Gordon Schell, director of membership Development & Member Services in the NACA Office.
Register for STARS® The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS®) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to gauge relative progress toward sustainability. STARS® was developed by AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) with broad participation from the higher education community. NACA is a Founding Partner in the program. STARS® is designed to: • Provide a framework for understanding sustainability in all sectors of higher education. • Enable meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements developed with broad participation from the campus sustainability community. • Create incentives for continual improvement towards sustainability. • Facilitate information sharing about higher education sustainability practices and performance. • Build a stronger, more diverse campus sustainability community. The STARS® framework is intended to engage and recognize the full spectrum of colleges and universities in the United States and Canada—from community colleges to research universities, and from institutions just starting their sustainability programs to long-time campus sustainability leaders. STARS® encompasses long-term sustainability goals for already high-achieving institutions, as well as entry points of recognition for institutions that are taking first steps towards sustainability. To learn more about STARS® or to register to become a STARS® Charter Participant, visit: https://stars.aashe.org/. www.naca.org
Universal Calendar To keep up with event dates for NACA and other student affairs organizations, check out Mistaken Goal: Where Student Affairs & Technology Meet at: http://mistakengoal.com/blog/2010/08/19/ student-affairs-conference-and-events-calendar/.
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Holz Named Dean of Students
Upcoming NACA® Foundation Scholarship Deadlines
Stephanie Russell Holz has been named dean of students at The University of Tampa, where she previously served as associate dean of students and director of the Office of Student Leadership and Engagement. Active in NACA, she has served in a number of volunteer capacities and was a member of the Board of Directors from 2005 through 2007.
The NACA® Foundation offers numerous scholarships that are available to graduate students, undergraduate student leaders and associate members on an annual basis. Scholarship nominations are solicited each year. Upcoming scholarships and deadlines include: NACA® East Coast Graduate Student Scholarship— May 30, 2011 NACA® Foundation Graduate Scholarships—May 30, 2011 NACA® East Coast Higher Education Research Scholarship— June 15, 2011
Share Your Good News
A complete listing of scholarships and criteria can be found online at: http://www.naca.org/Scholarships/Pages/ ScholarshipListings.aspx. For additional information, contact Paige Jeffcoat at email@example.com.
Share what’s going on with you professionally and personally in the Campus News section of the NACA website, as well as in the NACA Spotlight in Campus Activities Programming™ magazine. This feature is designed for students and staff to inform others about what’s going on in their lives. It’s an easy way to announce a: • New job or promotion • Marriage or civil union • Birth or adoption of a child • Graduation • Award or other recognition • Thank-you to other members • And much more Visit http://www.naca.org/Education/Pages/CampusNews.aspx to submit information, or e-mail it to Glenn Farr, editor of Campus Activities Programming™, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NACA® Chair Video Update NACA® Chair of the Board of Directors Brian Wooten is posting monthly video blogs designed to give NACA members essential information about the Association. See and hear his comments at: http://thenaca.wordpress.com.
CALL FOR ARTICLES
Interested in Writing for NACA’s Campus Activities Programming™ Magazine?
Call for Volunteers!
Do you have expertise in a particular topic related to the field? Are you interested in taking on writing assignments that will help you learn more about a topic that piques your interest? Then, it’s time to become published in Campus Activities ProgrammingTM. Topics for the 2011–2012 publication cycle include: • Financing Campus Activities • Social Media and Other Technology • A Healthy Campus Environment Programm • Alternative Programming ing • Diversity • Community Colleges/Community OMG! I’m a Involvement Student Leader! • Assessment Visit the NACA website or contact Editor Glenn Farr at email@example.com for more information.
Many opportunities exist for NACA members to become involved in the volunteer leadership of the Association on the regional conference and National Convention levels. • For information on regional volunteer positions, visit: http://www.naca.org/Volunteers/Pages/ ConferencePositions.aspx • For information on national volunteer positions, visit: http://www.naca.org/Volunteers/Pages/ NationalPositions.aspx
C A M P U S A C T I V I T I E S
MARCH 2011 Vol. 43, No. 7
Students Adv ising Students Creating and Sustain a Culture of Thiring st Five Things Known about I Wish I’d Leadership Getting the from Your Volu Most nteers
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NACA® LEADERSHIP 2011–2012 NACA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Immediate Past Chair
Vice Chair for Programs
Kennesaw State University (GA) 770-423-6329
University of South Carolina-Aiken 803-641-3411
Suffolk University (MA) 617-573-8320
University of South Florida-St. Petersburg 727-873-4180
Fontbonne University (MO) 314-719-8057
NACA Office 803-732-6222
JOEY EDMONDS Presents (CA) 818-426-1279
Texas A&M University 508-353-6979
North Dakota State University 701-231-8242
Maryville University of Saint Louis (MO) 314-529-9480
University of South Florida-Tampa 813-974-2599
The University of Texas at San Antonio 210-458-4160
Fun Enterprises, Inc. (MA) 781-840-0180 firstname.lastname@example.org
2011–2012 NACA PROGRAM LEADERS
NACA Mid America
NACA Mid Atlantic
NACA Northern Plains
ANGEL LEE MIANO
Cameron University (OK) email@example.com
Northern Kentucky University firstname.lastname@example.org
Community College of Baltimore County (MD) email@example.com
Central Connecticut State firstname.lastname@example.org
Beloit College (WI) email@example.com
University of South Carolina-Aiken firstname.lastname@example.org
University of the Pacific (CA) email@example.com
National Convention Program Committee Chair
International Programs Chair
Institute Series Coordinator
Webinar Series Coordinator
Leadership Fellows Coordinator
National Volunteer Development Coordinator
SHELBY HARRIS University of MassachusettsBoston firstname.lastname@example.org
Fort Hays State University (KS) 785-628-5801 email@example.com
Valparaiso University (IN) firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Washington-Tacoma 253-692-4481
Fitchburg State University (MA) email@example.com
Guilford Technical Community College (NC) firstname.lastname@example.org
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Questions 1. Leadership/management book you are currently reading? I was recently sent The CCL Handbook of Coaching: A Guide for the Leader Coach by mistake when I tried to order another (unrelated) book. The company allowed me to keep it, even after they sent me the correct order, and I’ve been thrilled by the happenstance opportunity to learn more about a topic I’m really quite interested in! 2. What recent campus program most exceeded your expectations and why? Last month, my students decided to bring in a balloon artist to visit campus for a few days. I was slightly skeptical, but it turned into a phenomenal event that engaged students, staff and community members alike, and brought a great deal of fun and light-hearted energy to our campus. He made amazing artwork out of simple balloons and provided a unique and entertaining perspective on life that was irresistible! 3. Favorite campus program in your entire career and why? This is a really hard question. I’ve been a part of some wonderful events. I suppose one particularly memorable event last year was a Streetdance Showcase featuring young dancers from the Portland area. They performed nonstop for an hour to a packed house in our campus center ballroom and it was truly phenomenal. That, combined with the effort and enthusiasm my students put into the planning process, make it one of my favorite programming memories. 4. Three things on your desk right now you couldn’t live without for work? My planner, the dual monitors set-up for my computer, and my full-spectrum light (I need something to get me going through the long, dreary winter).
because of Google Docs, and that benefits both me and the students who will succeed them in their positions. 7. Most challenging aspect of your job? The most challenging aspect of my work is striking a balance between advising and supervising my students. Knowing when to use different levels of direction with each student and watching them struggle to make decisions when I can’t just “give” them the answer can be exhausting. But watching students grow through those experiences is more than rewarding enough to make the challenge worthwhile.
Leann Adams Assistant Director of Student Activities Whitman College (WA) 5. Best teaching tool for your students? I’m not sure I’d really call it a tool, but my office works hard to emphasize reflection with our students and the use of our department learning outcomes to help intentionally direct student learning. I know that the time we put into talking at length with students, both one-on-on and in groups, really helps them make meaning of their experiences and connect the things they are learning to other aspects of their lives. 6. Technology that most benefits you at work? My students and I use Google Documents extensively to exchange and share information. It’s been a great addition to my work with both programmers and student government. I’m particularly pleased with how much more successful my students are at record keeping
8. Tip you can share for balancing work with a personal life? I tend to believe that the more balanced I am, the better example I set for my students. When I have to say “no” to a request because I just don’t have time to accommodate everything or when I require meetings to be scheduled during the 8 am–5 pm work day, I always take time to explain to my students why I have those boundaries. It’s amazing how much easier that makes it to maintain a healthy balance in my life. 9. Best programming advice you’ve ever received? Expect the unexpected! 10. Something unique about your programming board? Our program board has prioritized developing cosponsorship opportunities with other campus groups and departments. They both actively seek out co-sponsorship opportunities and receive requests for co-sponsorship, which has led to a high percentage of the their time and budget being committed to these types of events. It’s been great for both the program board and other campus groups!
“10 Questions with ...” is a recurring feature in Campus Activities Programming™ that recognizes individual campus activities professionals for their outstanding work and gives readers a chance to know more about them. If you’d like to recommend a professional staff member to answer “10 Questions,” contact Editor Glenn Farr at email@example.com.
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Advertising opportunities: CALL todAy! Associate members, promote your acts, products and services to college students across the country! NACA can help you gain exposure to college programmers and their advisors. For more information about print and web advertising, or to reserve your ad space, contact Tracey Portillo at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, call her at 803-732-6222, ext. 207. Call today and reach thousands of eyes with your message!
Programm ing OMG! C A M P U S A C T I V I T I E S
MARCH 2011 Vol. 43, No .7
Iâ€™m a Student Leader!
Students Advi sing Students Creating and Sustaini a Culture of Th ng irst Five Things Known about I Wish Iâ€™d Leadership Getting the from Your Vo Most lunteers