A Word... from the co-chairs Thank you for reading the latest edition of the Student Leadership Programs Knowledge Community Newsletter. We hope that the articles contained within this edition inspire you to action, to create powerful service learning opportunities, and to deepen civic learning opportunities on your campuses and for your students. Civic engagement and service to others occupies our sphere of thought and action now more than ever, due in no small part to our current state of civic malaise (AAC&U, 2012). A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracyâ€™s Future described the decline of civic responsibility and knowledge among Americans and issued a clarion call to higher education leaders to create and inspire a new era of democratic engagement and civic learning: Reordering current educational priorities and building new levels of civic knowledge and engagement will require unprecedented, widely coordinated, and collective commitments to action. No single entity can effect change at the level and scale required. Leadership will be essential from multiple groups...The first step for all concerned is to recognize the erosion of the national investment in civic learning and democratic engagement â€“ and the dire consequences of that disinvestment. The second step is to mobilize the will and the commitment to reverse the downward spiral. (AAC&U, 2012, p. 29)
Danielle Howard University of Miami
The role of higher education in this recommitment to democratic engagement and civic learning is immeasurable. As student affairs professionals dedicated to student leadership, it is imperative that we take the mantle of creating program for our students that reinvigorate the notion of civic learning 2
and democratic engagement. Through programs that reinforce a commitment to others, service and civic learning, and responsibility for society, student affairs professionals can position higher education as an environment where the future of democracy can be ensured. We applaud the efforts undertaken at many campuses across the country, especially those highlighted by NASPAâ€™s Lead Initiative on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement. Matt Clifford The institutions and programs highlighted in the Wake Forest University Lead Initiative serve as shining examples of what collective effort and leadership can bring to bear on complex challenges.
SLPKC Leadership Team
SLPKC Leadership Team members come together from all over to share best practices, provide critical evaluation of the field, examine standards for leadership programs, support national and regional efforts to develop student leadership programs, make contributions to the literature, recognize exemplary programs, and cultivate a forum for the presentation of new ideas. Meet the Leadership Team and find more ways to connect with the SLPKC
Ashley Spicer-Runnels is the Leadership Institute Coordinator in the Dean of Students Office at Texas State
from the co-chairs
University. She obtained a B.S. in Family Studies from Lamar University, an M.B.A. from
University of Houston-Victoria,
and a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from Lamar University. Her research was broadly based on multiracial student persistence as well as the implications of social and academic integration. Prior to her existing role as Coordinator, she was responsible for the following areas: multicultural programming, new student programming, student government, Greek life, and parent and family programming.
EDITORS Amanda Horton is the Assistant Director for Integrative Student Services in the Wake Forest University School of Business.
received a B.A. in Communication from N.C. State University and a M.S. Ed. from Baylor University. Prior to her current role, she oversaw the My Journey, a class specific student
Forest . Before her work at
Amanda worked in the Office of the Chaplain at Baylor University.
LEI REGISTRATION IS OPEN 2014 Leadership Educators Institute December 11 – December 13, 2014 Texas Christian University, Fort Worth Texas The Leadership Educators Institute (LEI) is an innovative forum geared specifically towards new to mid-level student affairs professionals and leadership educators with these responsibilities. The Institute is coordinated by NASPA, ACPA, and the National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs.
Register HERE for LEI 2014! “If I had to choose only one professional development opportunity to invest in, it would be the Leadership Educators Institute.” -Joseph Ginese www.joeginese.com
PULSE, Sustained Dialogue Campus Network
In July 2014, the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue (IISD) hosted PULSE, an inaugural retreat designed to engage college students in dialogue about identity, diversity and inclusion, leadership, and social change. With the support of the Roger I. and Ruth B. MacFarlane Foundation, the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network, the campus arm of IISD, was able to host teams from fourteen colleges and universities at Bucknell University. Students, faculty, and staff from across the country gathered for five days of difficult dialogue around the topics of race, socio -economic status, religion, sexuality, and ability. Following the experiential opportunity, campus teams brainstormed ways in which they might establish similar programs at their own colleges and universities. Wake Forest University student Chizoba Ukairo said, â€œThe depth of intersectionality is the biggest take away I got from PULSE; it is the interwoven basket of oppression that affects most of us, but gives us all a reason to fight for change.â€? PULSE gives students the tools to listen deeply, make connections, and see complex issues from multiple perspectives. In addition, students learn key skills in facilitation and deep listening that are an essential part of dialogue. The Sustained Dialogue Campus Network offers a menu of programs and initiatives, including PULSE, training, webinars, conferences, and skill-building workshops. For more information, visit the website here: www.sdcampusnetwork.org
Marianne Magjuka Director of Civic Engagement, Global Service, and Justice Programs Wake Forest University email@example.com
What are the learning outcomes for those who participate in Sustained Dialogue? Participants should: Demonstrate a clear and comprehensive understanding of the ways in which systems and structures have impacted, and continue to impact, their own identities and the identities of those around them. Engage in critical and comprehensive self-reflection about their own position in systems in inequality, power, and privilege, and learn how to communicate and build relationships across lines of difference. Undertake action to create a more inclusive and supportive campus climate, local, national, and global community by recognizing issues that stem from political, social, and economic inequalities and diversities, frame options for ameliorating those issues, and decide upon action. Understand the art, practice, tools, and concepts of dialogue as a method for developing and conducting productive relationships that create practical, peaceful, and respectful solutions. Emerge as competent and powerful leaders and equity change agents on and off campus.
Ask an Expert Dr. Barbara Jacoby Barbara Jacoby is Faculty Associate for Leadership and Community Service-Learning at the Adele H. Stamp Student Union – Center for Campus Life at the University of Maryland, College Park. In this role, she facilitates initiatives involving academic partnerships, service-learning, and civic engagement. Dr. Jacoby’s publications include six books and one in process: The Student as Commuter: Developing a Comprehensive Institutional Response (ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Reports, 1989), Service-Learning in Higher Education: Concepts and Practices (Jossey-Bass, 1996), Involving Commuter Students in Learning (Jossey-Bass New Directions for Higher Education, 2000), Building Partnerships for Service-Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2003), Civic Engagement in Higher Education (JosseyBass, 2009), Looking In, Reaching Out: A Reflective Guide for Community ServiceLearning Professionals (with Pamela Mutascio, Campus Compact, 2010), and ServiceLearning Essentials: Questions, Answers, and Lessons Learned (working title, JosseyThere seems to be a national trend in higher education to combine civic engagement and service initiatives with leadership development initiatives. What are the benefits and challenges to that model? I am definitely seeing changes in organizational structure that are bringing leadership and civic engagement/service-learning under the same umbrella. My office, Leadership & Community Service-Learning at the University of Maryland, is a case in point. I believe this is a very positive trend that also is challenging in several ways. As I consult with leadership educators at many institutions, I often ask the questions: “Leadership for what?” “What is the purpose of your leadership development initiatives?” “What kind of leaders are you seeking to develop?” Happily, more and more of you are answering that you seek to educate leaders who are interested in social change and who want to create a better world. If our students are to develop their capacities for social change, we must continue to provide opportunities for students to learn about and practice civically engaged leadership across our leadership courses and cocurricular leadership programs. The good news is that this can be, and is being, done at colleges and universities across the country. Many leadership educators are grounding our work in the Social Change Model of Leadership, which is all about change: “Leadership is ultimately about change, and … effective leaders are those who are able to effect positive change on 8
behalf of others and societyâ€? (Higher Education Research Institute, 1996, p. 10). Social change is different from charity or volunteerism in that it addresses the root causes of the social problems that underlie the need for service. It is a collaborative process that involves working with those most affected by the problem rather than providing service to or for them. Social change is not simple or straightforward; it is, rather, multifaceted and complex. By infusing carefully planned and implemented service-learning and civic engagement experiences into our leadership initiatives, we can enable students to understand and practice social change. In addition to service, leadership educators can and should equip and empower students to use the multiple levers of social change that are available to citizens and leaders, including artistic expression, community organizing, boycotting/buycotting, philanthropy, formal political activity, public policy work, social media, confrontational strategies, and social entrepreneurship. Happily, there are more and more programs and courses that intentionally combine civic engagement and leadership development for the purpose of preparing students for social change. The course I teach is an example. It is in the advanced topics in leadership series and is called Now What? Composing a Life of Meaning and Purpose. Based on the Social Change Model, this course engages students in deep critical reflection about the values upon which they will compose their lives as civically engaged citizens, scholars, and leaders. They also study social change agents and the levers of social change. A large component of the class is a collaborative civic engagement project in which the students select one of the modes of social change, use it to address a social issue of concern to them, and evaluate the extent to which their project was successful. Needless to say, this work is not without its challenges. In my office at the University of Maryland, we struggle with how to fully implement our mission to promote positive social change through transformative learning and community engagement. We use the ampersand in our office name, Leadership & Community Service-Learning, to emphasize that we seek to separate the two areas of our work 9
as little as possible. But what is transformative learning and how do we make it happen? In Jack Mezirow and Edward Taylor’s excellent book, Transformative Learning in Practice (Jossey-Bass, 2009), they take the approach that transformative learning is predicated on the idea that students should be seriously challenged to assess their values and worldview and are subsequently changed by the experience. This occurs through the powerful combination of experience and critical reflection. Through critical reflection, students analyze, reconsider, and question their values, beliefs, and assumptions. Critical reflection adds depth and breadth to experience by comparing varying perspectives, examining causality, and raising more challenging questions. Without critical reflection, students may come away from our courses and programs with oversimplified views of complex issues, cling to a single perspective without considering a multiplicity of others, and fail to grasp the tangled web of social inequities in which many individuals and communities are mired.
“This is challenging work.” This is challenging work. Many of us who are leadership and civic engagement educators feel that we lack the knowledge and skills to teach students about the strengths and weaknesses of various leadership models and social change strategies. We may question our ability to engage students in critical reflection and to answer their difficult questions about oppression, power, and privilege. We may wonder how to facilitate our students’ efforts on behalf of positive social change. I am happy that NASPA and other higher education associations offer many opportunities for professional development in the form of print materials, workshops, conferences, and online resources and discussions. I strongly encourage you to engage with them as both learner and contributor. There is quite a bit in my newest book, Service-Learning Essentials: Questions, Answers, and Lessons Learned (JosseyBass, publication date November 10, 2014), about how to engage students in critical reflection in both curricular and cocurricular experiences, as well as about how to integrate service-learning with leadership education.
In most cases, leadership development initiatives and service and civic engagement initiatives have separate learning outcomes therefore making assessment tricky. What are ways we can assess civic leadership? Assessment helps us answer questions like: To what extent do our initiatives enable students to achieve our desired outcomes for civic leadership? What it is about particular initiatives that makes them effective? What is most effective with particular kinds of students? And, of course, what are the long-term effects of student learning about and practicing civically engaged leadership? 10
Assessment of our initiatives also enables us as well as our supporters and funders to gain an understanding of the importance of our work to students, faculty, community members, the institution, and to higher education and society. In addition to effectiveness in achieving our desired outcomes, assessment can reveal the cost-benefit ratio to all its constituencies and what is required to enhance the value and outcomes of our work. In thinking broadly about what students should know and be able to do as a result of learning about and practicing civically engaged leadership, I like to think in terms of the simple framework from Janet Eyler and Dwight Giles in Where’s the Learning in Service-Learning? (Jossey-Bass, 1999): Values
“I ought to do.”
“I know what I ought to do and why.”
“I know how to do.”
“I can do, and it makes a difference.”
“I must and will do.”
This framework can serve you very well as a starting point for developing your own set of learning outcomes for civically engaged leadership for both your overall program and for individual courses and initiatives. It is easy to become confused by the number of assessment methods, determining which method is best for a particular purpose, and the varying levels of complexity of implementation. In addition, assessing leadership for social change is a case in point for the admonition often attributed to Albert Einstein that not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. Assessment can comprise qualitative and quantitative methods and indirect as 11
well as direct assessment. Methods for collecting information useful for assessing our work include self-report surveys, content analysis of student work, achievement testing, direct observation, interviews, and focus groups. The chapter on assessment in Service-Learning Essentials contains much information that is readily transferable to assessing civically engaged leadership outcomes. You can combine assessment of civic engagement and leadership outcomes on the course or program level by assessing students’ achievement of the eight values of the Social Change Model using the Socially Responsible Leadership Scale. The Multi-Institution Study of Leadership is a cost-effective way of assessing capacity for social change on the institution-wide level. Both of these assessments are available from the National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs . There is growing conversation and movement toward democratic engagement within higher education. Why is democratic engagement an important component of leadership education? I’m sure many of you are familiar with the 2012 report from the Association of American Colleges and Universities, A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy’s Future. It is this report and others that have fueled the movement toward democratic engagement in colleges and universities. The report opens with a chilling statement: “Events are moving us toward what cannot be, a citizenless democracy” (D. Mathews, p. 1). This report points to several trends in public life that “sideline citizens”: exacerbating the deep divides that shape our politics instead of focusing on what brings us together, replacing what should be thoughtful deliberation about public issues with incivility and polarization, and diminished public confidence in our nation’s political institutions. What is even more frightening is that these trends are disproportionately affecting young people. Since 2000, more young people are volunteering in their communities than voting, to say nothing of other kinds of civic and political engagement. The levers of social change that leaders need are also the tools of active, engaged citizens in our democracy. Equipping our students with the tools of active, engaged democratic citizens is what leadership for a better world is all about. However, the work of AAC&U and CIRCLE indicates that when universities provide extensive and accessible opportunities for civic and political participation, students actively engage in them. However, such opportunities are not evenly distributed across institutions. They are plentiful at some and rare at others. As leadership educators, we can add a democratic engagement dimension to our work to increase these opportunities for our students. What does this look like? One example I’m seeing more and more of is leadership 12
courses and programs that sponsor immersion experiences, or alternative breaks, which most commonly happen during spring break but also during winter and summer breaks. Immersion experiences can be inside or outside the formal curriculum. Most involve direct service to the community, such as building or renovating homes and schools, working with disadvantaged children, and various environmental projects like clean-ups and playground construction. What is most exciting is that many of these alternative breaks are intentionally adding a potentially transformative democratic engagement dimension, such as policy work or advocacy. For example, students on one alternative break worked with recent immigrants from West Africa to the U. S. They collaborated with organizations that serve these immigrants to provide direct services. They also worked with organization staff to design and conduct interviews of clients to determine the effectiveness of the services they were receiving and what additional services they might need. In the additional democratic engagement component, the students worked with the immigrants and service providers to develop and implement ways to protect the rights of the immigrants and to help them advocate for additional services for themselves and their families. The students used their leadership and advocacy skills and taught them to members of the immigrant community in the spirit of colleagueship. Among the challenges we face as leadership educators is to help our students develop the values, knowledge, skills, and efficacy to make the difference in the world that they seek to make. I’m sure that you, like me, see articles in the popular press about millennials that call them “me-focused” or “the selfie generation.” Based on my experiences with today’s students, this is simply not true. Many of the students I encounter in my classes and on campuses around the country are in the midst of navigating what I call the “quarterlife crisis,” the transition into early adulthood during which young people often experience great anxiety about finding their life’s purpose and grapple with how they can make a better world in their own way.
Barbara Jacoby, Ph.D. Faculty Associate, Leadership & Community Service-Learning Adele H. Stamp Student Union University of Maryland firstname.lastname@example.org
Empowering Leaders Through Re-imagining Structure
Two years ago, a student-run co-curricular service learning program I oversee hit, what one might identify, as a potential leadership crisis. It was one of those years where, as a student affairs professional, you suddenly have the startling realization that a substantial portion of your leadership are preparing to graduate. In the Fall of 2012, I realized that The Campus Kitchen at Wake Forest was going to graduate 18 seniors from its 30 person leadership team that Spring. Not only would this be a numbers blow, these were students who had been present for, and instrumental in, a dramatic and successful reorganization of the program. This reorganization was part of an overall period of growth for the organization that included an increased focus on food justice and education programming, an increased profile on campus and in the community, and a dramatic growth across all of our metrics, most notably volunteer participation and food rescue. Basically, we were not just losing a lot of student leaders, we were losing a cohort whose strategic vision for the organization had made it what it was, and continues to be today. After the initial panic wore off, the dire need for transition planning began to sink in. I realized that this transition planning was not merely necessary for the health of the organization, but for the affirmation of the graduating student leaders: in order to affirm the sustainability of the organization we had worked together to build, we had to determine how we would transition their knowledge and passion to the next generation of leaders. So, I brought it to our Executive Board. The Campus Kitchen at Wake Forest, or CKWFU, is part of a national network of Campus Kitchens on more than 30 college and university campuses nationwide. Our mission is to harness the power of student leadership and engagement to use cooked but never served food from campus dining that would otherwise go to waste as a resource to social service agencies in our community. Like ours, many kitchens also rescue or glean produce and work with restaurants. They also provide nutritional education programs. In recent years, I have created a tiered leadership structure for students. Each shift has two students who are dedicated to it every week and they offer a consistent presence for community partners and volunteers. After serving on the leadership team as shift leaders, students can apply to expand their roles on the Executive Board, in roles that mimic those of a fully functioning non-profit 14
including Procurement Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator, and Community Outreach Coordinator. The Executive Board is led by two Student Coordinators who have served on it previously. All of these positions are unpaid and come with job descriptions complete with essential functions and measurable goals. The Executive Board leads the strategic vision of the program. Together, these students serve between 900-1200 hot meals to social service agencies and distribute more than 4,000 pounds of fresh produce to food insecure communities monthly. The restructure of CKWFU was phased. Only about one-half to two-thirds of leadership team members were staying involved through the course of the year. When I talked with those that left and those that stayed, I developed a theory that our way of engaging students was too nebulous. Our focused and organized students needed more structure. In creating a finite shift leader application where students could apply to lead shifts for the agencies they cared about, we both created a consistent presence for the agencies and an accountability measure for student volunteers. Next, we discovered that student shift leaders needed progressive opportunity to lead. The creation of the Executive Board not only created this opportunity for advanced leadership, it expanded the capacity of the organization by tapping in to student skill sets that they sought to professionally develop. Finally, the finalization of job descriptions in tandem with the Executive Board has ensured that students are not merely applying for a title. They are applying for something with clear, measureable outcomes; outcomes that they can later talk intelligently about in job or graduate school interviews. So, we knew that we had something good with the structure of CKWFU, but how to maintain this structure through a massive leadership transition? Fortunately, our Executive Board did precisely what it had been designed to do and developed a strategic solution to this problem which we piloted successfully that Spring. In the Spring of 2013, we launched the CKWFU leadership mentoring program. Any student volunteer interested in becoming a shift leader could register for the 6-week program to be mentored by an existing shift leader and shift leaders interested in Exec could register for the executive mentoring program. Shift leaders opted in as mentors. Mentor pairs were required to serve together for the duration of the program, attend regular meetings, and get together at least three times outside of the scheduled programs. In the first year, we had 12 mentor pairs, all of whom joined or advanced on leadership team. I have learned several important lessons from my work with Campus Kitchen, but the most salient is that students are hungry for meaningful leadership opportunities. Todayâ€™s student wants to shape, vision, and experiment. As student affairs professionals, we can create structures where this passion to create enables great positive social change on our campuses and in our communities.
Shelley Sizemore Assistant Director, Pro Humanitate Institute Wake Forest University email@example.com
Summer Spotlight Award Winner Profiles On a quarterly basis SLP KC recognizes the contributions of members who are transforming higher education through outstanding and innovative leadership programs and services. All NASPA members are encouraged to share successes and highlight good or promising practices in research and assessment, influences on student learning in and outside the classroom and theory to practice.
Utah Valley University The LEAD Program Spotlight Award for Influences of Student Learning In & Outside the Classroom
In todayâ€™s world, community college students are in need of a competitive edge that sets them apart. The Center for the Advancement of Leadership at Utah Valley University, a state university that houses a community college, has created an engaged learning leadership certification program in which students gain theoretical and hands-on leadership experience. It is the mission of the Center for the Advancement of Leadership to prepare students with the leadership knowledge and skills necessary to be competitive in the world market and to make significant contributions to society. The Centerâ€™s LEAD Program works year round to do just that. Specifically, the LEAD Program is a developmental program that uses first year experience to building on the second year for students. This idea of addressing leadership developmentally and mentoring is something that can be easily replicated at other institutions. Students in the LEAD Program spend two years focusing on their leadership development. Students meet with a volunteer mentor twelve times, spend over 24 hours in leadership workshops, seminars, and reading leadership related books, take four leadership based courses, and spend over 200 hours putting their newly learned skills into practice. Students are assessed in various ways including, written reflections for each mentor meeting, hours spent at conferences, and for their leadership project. Reflections are at least one typed page in length and consist of something the student learned and how they implemented that learning into their life and leadership practices. In addition to reflections, students also work on case studies that are turned in at the beginning and end of each semester. These responses are rated using a rubric with Bloomâ€™s Taxonomy as the foundation. Students also meet monthly with their peer mentor to ensure success and progress in the program. Annually, each 16
student is interviewed and asked specific questions regarding anticipated outcomes. The students also gives a professional presentation on a significant lesson from the year. Once per year, each student meets one on one with the program coordinator to ensure progress and clear communication.
This program has become such an integral part of the campus the one of the most competitive and prestigious positions a student can receive at Utah Valley University, that of Presidential Intern, is filled with LEAD students. Out of 34,000 students only 8 annually are chosen to be Presidential Interns. Currently, seven of those interns are in the LEAD Program or have graduated from that program. Over the last 3 years has seen a steady increase in LEAD students receiving this position. In the student interviews and written reflections, students are stating things like, “The LEAD Program has helped me with time management,” “I’ve learned how to take the initiative, work for goals, network, and be ethical,” “I’m improved my communication skills as well as conflict resolution skills,” and “My punctuality has improved.” Though these may seem like simple things, they are things that many college students struggle with and our students are getting a leg up in life by participating in the LEAD Program. For photos: http://www.uvu.edu/leadership/
Belinda Han Director, Center for Leadership Utah Valley University firstname.lastname@example.org
John Jay College of Criminal Justice SASP Peer Mentoring Program Spotlight Award for Research and Assessment The SASP Peer Mentoring Program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice develops student leaders who are dedicated to supporting the transition and the personal, academic, and professional growth of their peers. They guide freshman, sophomore, and transfer students to identify and engage with John Jay College’s justice mission and succeed on their academic journey. With its inception in 2011, the SASP Peer Mentoring Program targeted support to freshmen, the population most obviously in need of adjusting to a new environment. After its initial success, support expanded to transfer students, another population with unique needs as they transition to a new college. Most recently, in 2013, the program expanded its services yet again to include support for sophomores–a population moving through a critical time of decision-making in their academic journey, yet often overlooked. To support freshmen transition even before the first class, peer mentors utilize the connective power of phone calls. Friendly and knowledgeable upperclassman conduct proactive phone outreach to incoming students to provide individualized support and to answer questions about the next steps in the admissions process. With our streamlined approach to phone outreach, peer mentors are able to make an average of 6,000 calls every summer. Once students arrive in the fall, peer mentors support the personal, academic, and professional growth of their caseload of 50–75 “mentees.” Because the program is uniquely housed under Academic Affairs, peer mentors work closely with faculty and are integrated with courses that are designed for freshman and transfer transition. This essential integration provides a well-defined population as well as faculty support for the peer mentors. During their weekly class visits, peer mentors model the behaviors of successful students. They inform students of upcoming college deadlines and opportunities for learning beyond the classroom. Faculty are also made aware of the variety of student development resources through their peer mentors. 18
Outside of the classroom, peer mentors provide a variety of services to impact student learning and development. These include carefully crafted weekly emails with recommendations for student success, monthly phone calls for a personalized check-in, workshops on success strategies, and events that foster campus engagement. Through their support in and out of the classroom, peer mentors help students develop success skills, study habits, and self-advocacy skills, build confidence, and secure valuable networks with the campus community. As mentees move into the sophomore year, they arrive at a crucial stage of academic planning–solidifying their major choice and considering their minor choices. In spring 2014, peer mentors drove an elaborate six-week Major and Minor awareness campaign in an effort to guide sophomores into the next step in development of their academic journey. The program also focuses on the development of peer mentors’ own skills and growth. Peer mentors participate in three days of intensive training. Training includes a professional development workshop, diversity awareness, oral and written communication activities, and public speaking preparation, among other modules. Beyond the initial training, peer mentors are provided with many opportunities for development. SASP Peer Mentoring Program exemplifies the SLP KC mission because of its dedication to developing college students into leaders and professionals that can be competitive in the graduate school and job markets. Through ongoing training and application of knowledge, peer mentors acquire skills that allow them to stand out from the crowd. Every year, as a result, thousands of freshmen and transfer students benefit from ongoing, proactive support by their peer mentors. In 2013–2014, the program served over 1,740 students in First Year Seminars and Transfer Transition Courses this past academic year by pairing each student with their own peer mentor. Between 2011 and 2013, student surveys have consistently indicated the effectiveness of peer mentors. In particularly, students agreed that, as a result of having a peer mentor, they: felt a connection to the college and campus community, had a resource on campus that was readily available to assist them, and were kept informed about opportunities for campus engagement and opportunities. In turn, mentees are inspired by the work done by the peer mentors and apply to be peer mentors themselves—with that, the leadership and learning cycle continues, allowing the SASP Peer Mentoring Program to be a highly sustainable and impactful program.
Nancy Yang Coordinator, SASP Peer Mentoring Program John Jay College of Criminal Justice email@example.com 19
Recognizing the Value of a Civic Identity The Leadership Institute at Texas State University is a vision turned reality whose purpose is to bring students together to learn leadership skills, engage in activities that foster ethical behavior, build an inclusive community, demonstrate social responsibility and inspire a commitment to excellence. Although the Leadership Institute is pleased with their extensive programming model, staff members within the department take most pride in their ability to incorporate the Instituteâ€™s core values into the efforts. The core values of the Leadership Institute are: Ethics/Integrity, Excellence, Social Responsibility, Inclusivity, Civic Engagement and Empowerment.
The Leadership Institute seeks to help students recognize that leadership is a process rather than a journey and works with them to develop their identities throughout their college experience. Although it is important to work with students as they develop all of their identities, we are reminded, through the process of our strategic planning, the importance of helping our students develop a civic identity. In her article "Civic Identity: Locating Self and Community," L. Lee Knefelkamp (2008) explains that civic identity "does not develop in isolation," but rather "through engagement with others who bring a wide variety of interpretations, life experiences, and characteristics to any discussion of moral dilemmas." As a student affairs professional and leadership educators, I ask that you reflect on your approach to helping students successfully develop their civic identity. How can we, as leadership educators, help students integrate their academic and social experiences with their civic identities and ultimately influence their ethical development? As we all work to master our teachings and maximize the development of our students, I encourage all of us to continually evaluate the power of our intentionality and efforts to remain true to our core values. As institutions evaluate influences on retention and graduation, student affairs professionals should take pride in knowing that their efforts, including those of leadership educators, directly influence the persistence of their students and their contributions to society beyond graduation. Too often we forget to tell our story which, as a result, diminishes our ability to express our value. Remaining grounded in the core values that drive your programming decisions will not only help you tell your Dr. Ashley Spicer-Runnels story, but also make sure Dean of Students Office that it is an accurate Leadership Institute depiction of your influence Texas State University on the institutionâ€™s mission. firstname.lastname@example.org 20
Through their Eyes: Reflections of a Graduate Student When I started my journey as an undergraduate, I did not know how college worked. No one told me that my SAT would matter, or that GPA’s will effect if I get a job or not. When I wanted to transfer from a community college to a university, I came to realize that my GPA does matter as does campus involvement. As I started my journey at a new university I recognized that my involvement on campus also allowed me to give back to my university and its surrounding community. This sense of social responsibility not only enhanced my college experience, but also ended up shaping the person I am today. To further this new found passion, I became more involved with student organizations and ultimately ended up actively involved with the leadership institute on my campus. Through this department I had the privilege to attend the Institute for Leadership Education and Development (I-LEAD). I-LEAD is a “ACUI’s premier student program, designed to emphasize the key concept areas of leadership, community development, and change.” During my time at I-LEAD, I was able to develop my leadership skills and learned the importance of giving back to my community.
During I-LEAD, we were split into groups to help the community with various service projects. I was in a group that went to a wildlife rehabilitation center in La Verne, California. The opportunity to work with this project and seeing the workers so happy to have a little help really made me realize the impact we made for that center. They were so thankful for what we were doing at their center. Receiving their overwhelming gratitude made me want to give back to my campus. Not only did we learn that hard work pays off, but we also reaffirmed that building a sense of community and bonding with individuals is important to creating authentic relationships. Giving back to that community in California showed me that even little things do make a difference in an individual’s life. I know through I-LEAD I was able to meet some amazing individuals and without those individuals and my involvement I would not be where I am today. As I begin my work as a master’s student and prepare to become a student affairs professional, I intend to remain committed to expanding my sense of social responsibility and help shape college students into civic-minded leaders who make their community a better place.
Mackenzie Davidson Graduate Research Assistant Dean of Students Office Leadership Institute Texas State University email@example.com 21