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Showing posts from April, 2014

#NASPA14: Is Student Affairs a Profession?

I attended a session on exploring if Student Affairs is a profession. It wasn’t an us vs. them conversation, it was a group of professionals from different fields and view points discussing if student affairs is a profession according to their lens. There was someone from NASPA to give the association standpoint, someone who looked at SA through an anthropological lens, another through an historical lens. It was really interesting. One person in the Q&A portion mentioned that this type of session continues the us vs them mentality, and I respectfully disagree. We should be critical of ourselves and our profession. Here are some of the things this session made me think about:

Do we need grad programs? Perhaps we should start picking up outside professionals and gear professional development toward theory and professional practice to bring in diversity and cutting back on the reliance on Student Affairs Masters DegreesCAS standardsHow to move more programs to following suggestionsAr…

Our hiring problem

The number of positions I applied to: 6 in 2014 (was offered a new position in the beginning of March) 27 in 2013 11 in 2012 22 in 2011
I was granted 6 interviews in total (11% of the jobs I applied to).
States where I applied includes: NY, NC, IN, TX, IL, FL, virtual/work from home, and VA.
I applied to positions that included: Admissions counselor/advisor, academic advising, campus activities, retention, HEOP, veterans services, internship advising, program coordinator, orientation and first year programs, financial aid, tutoring coordinator, staff assistant, and office manager.
The six interviews were for: two part-time positions (2011), 1 interim position (2011), 1 staff assistant position (2011), 1 veterans services coordinator (2014), and 1 office manager (2014). I was offered: 1 part-time position, the staff assistant position, and the office manager position (where I am now).
My experiences include: over 2 years in higher education, studying abroad, MS in Higher Education/Student Affai…

My #NASPA14 suggestions

Establish some type of Loner Pool I went to NASPA by myself, without knowing or traveling with anyone (save for my roommate). I think some type of meet up for people who are there by themselves or maybe with one other person would be great. While it’s nice to see all of the scheduled meet-ups, grad school gatherings, and regional stuff, it’s hard (especially as an introvert) to force myself to go to those things alone. If I was to make connections early in the conference (say the very lonely Sunday afternoon) it might make going to events easier. Re-think the whole schedule So I think the Sunday night start through the Wednesday morning end is too drawn-out and poorly planned. I think the conference’s opening session should take place after lunch on Sunday (say 1pm) and then start sessions after that. Hold sessions Sunday afternoon, Monday, and Tuesday and then hold the closing ceremony Tuesday in the early evening. This would allow those of us taking vacation or traveling a distance to …

Some Thoughts on Working with Student Veterans from #NASPA14

I learned a lot regarding student veterans and what we, as student affairs professionals, think of student veterans. I tried to live-tweet and take notes during the student veterans sessions. There was one session in particular that I realized the people doing the research had no idea how to work with veterans and were desperately scrambling for any theory they understood. They found a fantastic lens to look at the veteran population, but they decided to jam the population into a theoretical framework that just didn’t work (in my opinion).

One of the best presentations I attended was by Eric Wheeler, who works with the Academy for Veterans Success at Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY. One of the main take aways was that each campus has a unique population, and what works for one campus may not work for another. You can’t take one program and just plop it down on another campus and expect it to magically work. Veterans have one thing in common: they served in the military. That’…

Silos? What silos? No silos here.

Knowledge Communities. We focus on the success of specific populations or interest groups. But, you know, there is some overlap and you can be a member of more than one.

Regions. There is some map somewhere that’s color coded and places me (and you) within a region. It allows the conference to be more personable and regions even hold their own conferences.

SSAOs. Senior Student Affairs Officers. There was a special track for SSAOs at the conference. These are people who have been in the profession for years, so they (probably?) have different professional development needs than others. (Would some of these professional have benefitted from new research, current projects, and grad school concerns? Probably)

Mid-level professionals. People who have been in the profession for more than five years but are not at the senior level. There were several sessions and events geared toward mid-level professionals.

New professionals. This speaks for itself really; anyone in the profession for les…