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The Role of an Advisor in Organizational Growth and Development

I’ve had a lot of nudges thinking back to my work directly with students over the last week or so (including Stanford’s work using Design Thinking to completely reimagine the future of higher education and Christina Wellhouser’s post on Leaving Higher Ed), and I think about how different my work and its style looks now compared to the way it did as a a student affairs professional.  I realize that I now approach at my work from an entirely different place (partially given the scale and scope of the initiatives we’re focused on), having stepped into a consultative role with President’s and Provosts – but all it largely starts with identifying, agreeing upon, and understanding an agreed problem that we’re trying to solve.

There are a lot of different ways to approach getting to an initial problem and root cause, so I’m not going to focus on the philosophical approach that we take in the process of solving a problem- yet.

But given my background in student activities and leadership development, I couldn’t help but be drawn into focus on my current approach to problem solving compared to my approach when I was directly advising students.  Given the difference in audience between role, the style that is used to solve problems is likely to adapt, but the approach may have some consistency regardless of the context– and that’s what I’m curious about across advisors on your campus.

Often referred to as the place that we “get students involved,” there are an incredible number of opportunities to engage students in learning and skill development outside of the classroom, often focused around critical thinking and problem solving.  I’ve long thought of student involvement as a “leadership lab,” but continue to believe that there is still work to be done— and I’m interested in learning more about the landscape with all of you, and sharing my hypotheses, lessons, and prototypes along the way.

So, if you’re willing, tell me more about your approach to advising student organizations to facilitate their development, and share the link to the form below with other student organization advisors on your campus (find some scripting to copy/paste into an email below)- this is just the beginninghttp://goo.gl/forms/zmBjfRppk7

 

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Hey!

A colleague of mine is hoping to learn more about how we understand, engage, and initiate organizational growth and development for student’s in organizations that we advise.  Click here to take the 10 question survey (only takes about 7 minutes), and you can read more background around him and his work here.

Thanks,

Leading in Uncertain Times

If someone had asked me weeks ago what I thought I would be doing at 5 pm on a Sunday in mid September, I might have answered “reading case law or student development,” or at best, watching some football and preparing for the week ahead.  One thing is for sure, I would never have guessed I would be sitting down to the first meeting with a my new RA staff processing the recent departure of a staff member and affirming my support and focus on providing stability over the coming weeks.

At best, the group has been flying through turbulence over the last few weeks.  With often supplementary support by the department, the recent announcement of medical leave by their full-time staff member meant it was time for contingency plans to be brought to action.

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Professional Development on a Graduate School Budget

Between Ed Cabellon‘s clarion call for #sagrow students to describe their professional development needs and aspirations and a conversation I had earlier this week with some of the first year Graduate Hall Directors at A&M about “getting tapped into Student Affairs ‘hot topics’,” I thought it might be helpful to centralize a post with some suggestions about professional development with little to no budget. Read more

Getting students “in”volved: A view from outside the circle

Over the last few weeks I have been part of several conversations about the constant evaluation and evolutionary process of the leadership programs at my internship.  Not only are we continuing to develop program and learning outcomes, but also evaluating the structure and format of the programs themselves, and the resources that are allocated to them.

While the benefits of getting students involved are well-documented (often correlated to higher retention, GPAs, stronger engagement, and opportunities to build all kinds of beneficial skill sets and through their experiences), what continually sticks out to me, is that many of the programs and initiatives coming out of our offices of student involvement and activities are year long, or multi-year programs.  These allow us to not only build connections to student over time to see (and document) their growth, but also develop strong connections between students as well.  Everyone wins, right? Read more

Statement of Purpose: Beyond ‘About Me’

After getting an email from a friend at RWU interested in Student Affairs and working on developing Grad School applications, I realized that I while I’ve spoken a lot about the ‘process of graduate applications’ in Student Affairs: Farm League, I’ve never actually explained what my ‘Statement of Purpose’ was when I was entering Graduate School.  With the start of my experience only 4 weeks away, and a forum like this one to actually post it, I thought it would serve as a great reminder to me of how I got here.  I think every now and then I’ll need it, and posting I here means it’s easy for me to get at, and (hopefully) an interesting read for my audience, (whoever that may be) along with some insight on who I am and how I got here; beyond an ‘About Me’ tab. Thanks for reading!

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