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 beginning: http://goo.gl/forms/zmBjfRppk7
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.