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“Why Student Affairs . . . ?” PowerPoint Presentation
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“Why Student Affairs . . . ?”

“Why Student Affairs . . . ?”

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“Why Student Affairs . . . ?”

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  1. “Why Student Affairs . . . ?” • Elizabeth J. Whitt • The University of Iowa • Wisconsin College Personnel Association • October 23, 2009

  2. Why Student Affairs . . . • As a profession/field of practice/ institutional entity. • As a career choice

  3. Agenda • “Why Student Affairs (as a field of practice)?” • The Past • The Present • Context for Higher Education/Student Affairs Practice • Student Success in College • Implications for Student Affairs • The Future • Joint Task Force • Why Student Affairs as a Career Path? • Advice about Student Affairs as a Career Path • Discussion

  4. Leftover Questions • Questions from this morning?

  5. Why Student Affairs • About me and my perspectives • Background and Past Experiences • Current Context and Experiences

  6. Why Student Affairs: Foundations of the Field

  7. Why Student Affairs . . . • As a profession/field of practice/ institutional entity. Student affairs provides essential support to achieving the educational mission of postsecondary institutions by working with academic affairs, including faculty, to facilitate student learning and success.

  8. Why Student Affairs: Past • Student affairs work resulted from changes in higher education after the Civil War: • Expansion of access and institutional types • Numbers of students and institutions • Coeducation • Specialization • Changes in faculty roles and interests: German model of education – graduate education, research

  9. Why Student Affairs: Past • The Student Personnel Point of View, 1937 and 1949 One of the basic purposes of higher education is the preservation, transmission, and enrichment of the important elements of culture: the product of scholarship, research, creative imagination, and human experience. It is the task of colleges and universities to assist the student in developing to the limits of his potentialities and in making his contribution to the betterment of society. This philosophy imposes upon educational institutions the obligation to consider the student as a whole . . .

  10. Why Student Affairs: Past • Student Services (post WWII) • Student Development (1970s) • Student Learning Imperative (1994)

  11. Why Student Affairs: Past • Student Development (1970s) • Application of theories of human development in college settings. • Interaction between the person and the environment. • Cognitive, moral, and psychosocial development.

  12. Why Student Affairs: (Recent)Past • Student Learning Imperative (ACPA, 1994) Student affairs professionals are educators who share responsibility with faculty, academic administrators, other staff, and students themselves for creating the conditions under which students are likely to expend time and energy in educationally-purposeful activities . . . Thus, student affairs programs and services must be designed and managed with specific student learning and personal development outcomes in mind.

  13. Why Student Affairs: (Recent)Past • Defining Student Learning: • Acquisition of knowledge and skills • Cognitive competence • Intrapersonal competence • Interpersonal competence • Practical competence

  14. Why Student Affairs: (Recent)Past • As we understand the term, learning is not something reserved for classrooms or degree programs. It is available to every member of the academic community . . . Learning is available to all . . . and all serve learning (NASULGC, 1997).

  15. Why Student Affairs: (Recent)Past • Student Learning Imperative (ACPA, 1994) Key elements: • Institutional Mission • Allocation of resources to focus on student learning • Collaboration • Research, data, assessment; accountability for facilitating learning

  16. Why Student Affairs? • What questions so far?

  17. What Matters for Student Success • How have you changed in college? • What do you know and what can you do as a result of your college experiences? • How did those changes occur? • What specific experiences contributed to those changes?

  18. Why Student Affairs: Present • President Barack Obama asserted “this country needs and values the talents of every American.  That is why we will provide the support necessary for you to complete college and meet a new goal:  by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.”  (Speech to the Joint Houses of Congress, February 24, 2009)

  19. Why Student Affairs: Present • “[The list of] fissures between higher education’s rhetoric and its performance is long, and it is growing . . . All this has led to a significant gap between the needs of society that should be met by universities and colleges and the actual performance of these institutions.” (Newman, Couturier, & Scurry, 2004, p. 67).

  20. Why Student Affairs: Present • “Colleges and universities, for all the benefits they bring, accomplish far less for their students than they should.” • “Has the quality of teaching improved? More important, are students learning more than they did in 1950?....The honest answer to these questions is that we do not know.” • “The moment has surely come for America’s colleges to take a more candid look at their weaknesses and think more boldly about setting higher educational standards for themselves.” Bok, D. (2006). Our Underachieving Colleges: A Candid Look at How Much Students Learn and Why They Should Be Learning More.

  21. What Matters Most for Student Success: Student Engagement The greatest impact appears to stem from students’total level of campus engagement, particularly when academic, interpersonal, and extracurricular involvements are mutually reinforcing… Pascarella & Terenzini, How College Affects Students, 2005, p. 647

  22. What Matters for Student Success 1. What students do -- time and energy devoted to educationally purposeful activities 2. What institutionsdo -- using effective educational practices to induce students to do the right things

  23. What Matters for Student Success Effective Educational Practices • Academic Challenge • Active and Collaborative Learning • Student-Faculty Interaction • Enriching Educational Experiences • Supportive Campus Environments (c.f., Chickering & Gamson, 1987; Kuh et al., 2005; Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005)

  24. What Matters for Student Success • What makes the ‘high impact activities’ high impact activities: • Active engagement and learning • With peers and faculty members • On a regular basis • In and out of class • On matters of educational substance • About which students get regular feedback • And the outcomes of which are assessed regularly

  25. What Matters for Student Success • How have you changed in college? • What do you know and what can you do as a result of your college experiences? • How did those changes occur? • What specific experiences contributed to those changes?

  26. Why Student Affairs: Present • What are the implications, then, for student affairs professionals and entities of what we know about educationally-effective practices – practices that foster student success?

  27. Principles of Good Practice in Student Affairs

  28. Why Student Affairs: Present • Principles of Good Practice in Student Affairs (Blimling, Whitt, and Associates, 1999)

  29. Why Student Affairs: Present • Principles of Good Practice in Student Affairs • A challenge for you: • What does this have to do with you? • As a current undergraduate student? • As a future student affairs professional?

  30. Good Practice in Student Affairs • Engages students in active learning.

  31. Good Practice in Student Affairs • Active learning: Helps students move from current ways of thinking and acting to integrating new ways. • Experiencing • Processing • Applying

  32. Good Practice in Student Affairs • For example: • Generating community standards • Engaging in environmental assessment

  33. Good Practice in Student Affairs • Focus on student learning. • The academic mission of the institution is the mission of student affairs. • Support it, facilitate it, don’t compete w/ it. • Via educationally-purposeful activities, programs, initiatives, practices within seamless learning environments.

  34. Good Practice in Student Affairs • Helps students develop coherent values and ethical standards.

  35. Good Practice in Student Affairs • Building character: the habits of heart, mind and conduct that help students know and do what is ethical. • Integrating thinking, feeling, and acting.

  36. Good Practice in Student Affairs • For example: • Orient students to standards of academic integrity and civility. • Help students learn to live with others. • Prepare students for lives of civic responsibility.

  37. Good Practice in Student Affairs • Sets and communicates high expectations for student learning.

  38. Good Practice in Student Affairs • Institutional conditions for student success (Kuh et al, 2005): • High expectations for academic excellence. • Clear, high standards appropriate to students. • Clear and frequent feedback. • Appropriate levels of support for challenge.

  39. Good Practice in Student Affairs • For example: • Consider the gaps between what you want to expect and what you ask from students. How do you get from here to there? • ‘Expect more and you’ll get more.’

  40. Good Practice in Student Affairs • Forges educational partnerships that advance student learning.

  41. Good Practice in Student Affairs • Forges educational partnerships that advance student learning: • Create seamless learning environments. • Create shared vision of what matters in undergraduate education. • Shared responsibility for student success: academic affairs, student affairs, student affairs staff, faculty, students.

  42. Good Practice in Student Affairs • Create and sustain partnerships for student learning. • Cocurricular activities and programs support the academic mission. • Credit doesn’t matter . . . • Cross-cultural communication and outreach.

  43. Good Practice in Student Affairs • Uses resources effectively to achieve institutional missions and goals.

  44. Good Practice in Student Affairs • Uses resources effectively: • Responsible stewardship in a climate of accountability (external and internal); shrinking resources, competing priorities (external and internal). • “Put your money where your mind is.”

  45. Good Practice in Student Affairs • If student learning is the primary measure of institutional productivity by which the quality of undergraduate education is determined, what and how much students learn also must be the criteria by which the value of student affairs is judged (as contrasted with numbers of programs offered or clients served). (Student Learning Imperative, 1994)

  46. Good Practice in Student Affairs • Invest in programs and people that demonstrate contributions to student learning. • “We do a lot with a little, but where you put your money speaks volumes.” • Do more of what matters and less of what doesn’t. • And make those decisions based on good data.

  47. Good Practice in Student Affairs • Uses systematic inquiry to improve student and institutional performance.