Graduates should be able to demonstrate their understanding of and ability to design and execute high quality programs (i.e. seminars, workshops, trainings or other similar experiences that are meant to facilitate development and learning that are thoughtful, engaging, and learner-centered). In meeting this competency, students should demonstrate their experience with/ability to. . .
- Design original programs including the identification of needs, goals, and resources;
Notes: Org & Admin course – design Orientation Program. Work – design study abroad orientation. CSSA blog internship – created online program to engage student affairs students and professionals. How did I identify NEEDS, GOALS and RESOURCES for each of these programs? What have I learned from developing these programs that I can use in my future career in student affairs?
Fortunately, program design rarely happens solely as the result of a single individual’s efforts. When charged with the task of designing a program, it can feel overwhelming at first. However, there will be others involved in making any program a reality. Therefore, it is very important that I am able to work collaboratively as a team member or leader. When the team is initially assembled, a great way to start is to determine who has specialized knowledge of particular elements of the program. By allowing those with particular interests or expertise to contribute from where they are already comfortable, each member of the team becomes an indispensable resource. When designing the Orientation Program for the Org & Admin course, my team found that we each knew more about certain areas of orientation programming than others. It turned out that by allowing each of us to contribute in the areas where we were most knowledgeable, we pieced together an orientation program very smoothly, while learning from one another along the way.
Regardless of the program being created, considerations have to be made with regard to the needs of the students and the institution, the goals to be reached as a result of the program in operation, and the human and financial resources that will be necessary to maintain the program effectively. I have learned to take these things into consideration when designing programs. The OSU International Students Blog was created to meet the needs of international students by giving them an electronic meeting place where students with an internet connection from anywhere in the world could contribute to educational discussions. The goal was to engage international students in conversations with one another, where they could be anonymous if they liked, in order to build lasting relationships in a safe space. The resources were minimal, because the blog only needed an administrator to moderate and interested international office staff to encourage blog participation. This is just once example of how I intentionally consider needs, goals, and resources when developing a student program.
Document: OSU International Students Blog!
In the Technology in Higher Education course, I envisioned a single interactive program to be available on the internet where students could receive personalized access to information and engage in activities specific to their individual needs. During the creation of this proposal, I learned that the web is yet another forum for contemporary student affairs programming. By designing a web suite that consolidates student activities in one location, we are concurrently providing an opportunity to meet students where they are at. We know that our students are using online services on a daily basis. So designing programs that students can engage in to meet their needs and provide additional resources while online should be a goal of the student affair profession.
Document: Universal Online Web-Suite Proposal
- Market programs appropriately;
Notes: Advertising the CSSA blog. Would this be a good spot to talk about “advertising” curriculum integration to the ANS department as part of my International Programs practicum? What did it mean to “market” the curriculum integration program? What have I done to advertise the New Zealand study abroad program that I am administrator for?
My experience marketing programs has been in the form of communicating the multiple benefits of program involvement. When advertising the CSSA Blog (described in competency 7), I make it a point to remind people that we have an opportunity to engage in professional dialogue related to student affairs in a very visible internet forum. The benefits come in the form of knowing that a central location exists where those involved in the student affairs profession can continue to communicate and share information regardless of whether they are an incoming student or retired faculty member. The blog remains available to anyone with an internet connection. When working with Animal Sciences on the curriculum integration project, I had to start out by selling the department on the potential usefulness of an international opportunities flier. At first, it just seems like more work for an already overworked and understaffed faculty. So I have learned that marketing, once again, must be framed in terms of benefits for our students and faculty. The Animal Sciences advisors quickly came to understand the benefits of such a flier to their students and the ease of working with study abroad programs when advisors are aware of the overseas institutional course offerings in advance. Finally, in my job I have spent a lot of time thinking about how to market the study abroad program at Lincoln University in New Zealand. I am not under any pressure to increase participation in the program. However, when students go to their advisor seeking study abroad opportunities, it should be well known that the New Zealand program exists and is specifically designed for College of Agricultural Sciences students. So, I communicate to students and advisors the benefits of participating in this particular program due to the long-standing relationship between our college and Lincoln University. The result is that students hear about the benefits of participating in the New Zealand program and come to me for further information, at which point I can provide more details on the unique opportunities available while studying at Lincoln.
- Facilitate the implementation of programs; and
Notes: Using the programs identified above, how can I illustrate my role in facilitating the implementation of the programs? Not all of them were my idea from the start, but did I do work that led to initial implementation? What activities did I engage in when starting these programs in order to really get them running? In what ways did I “facilitate?”
Once the benefits have been described and key constituents have become sold on a program, implementation must take place. I was fortunate enough to be involved with the implementation process of two of the three programs mentioned above. I wasn’t around thirty years ago when the New Zealand study abroad program began. However, I was there and involved with the launch of the CSSA Blog and the curriculum integration process for the ANS international opportunities flier. Facilitating these program launches required leadership capabilities (which are explained in more detail in Competency 3). All stakeholders need to be made aware of program initiation and their role in helping to make a program become a success.
Comment: Although you refer to Competency 3 (Leadership), I’d like some more specific thoughts about what you think is important to keep in mind when facilitating the implementation of programs.
Response: It is important to constantly pay attention to whether or not the interests of all stakeholders are being considered and addressed during the implementation process. It is possible to start a program with great intentions and a plan that addresses the needs of everyone and then end up neglecting a particular stakeholder during the process of making a program go from an idea to reality.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of programs in meeting desired goals and outcomes.
Notes: How much follow-up have I done on these programs to determine effectiveness? All of the programs had a goal and learning outcome. So, how did I find out if those outcomes had been met? CSSA Blog – Amount of use and feedback on the usefulness of such a tool. New Zealand Orientation – Asking students if orientation was helpful – Especially after they return. Curriculum Integration – Tom Savage has contacted me to let me know that the ANS fliers have been a hit with students and advisors. What positive aspects of the flier meet the intended goals and outcomes that were laid out from the start? Was the entire process of curriculum integration part of what led to those goals and outcomes? How can the effectiveness be measured?
After a program has been in place for some time, it becomes necessary to evaluate effectiveness, often by means of engaging in assessment (explained in Competency 5). On a more immediate level, this evaluation can take place by monitoring the use of programs. An easy measure for me as to the effectiveness of the CSSA Blog is how often authors are posting, how often readers are commenting, and the quality of content provided. Since one goal of the CSSA Blog is to continually provide a source of discussion and debate, I can consider the blog a success when people are participating in online discourse. Additional learning outcomes should be determined in order to measure the effectiveness of the blog at an educational level. Curriculum integration was in one part successful because we met the goal of creating the international opportunities flier with input from the Animal Sciences department. In order to measure ongoing effectiveness of the program, we now must maintain contact with Animal Sciences advisors and solicit feedback on the usefulness of the flier in providing information on study abroad opportunities. When working with the New Zealand study abroad program, I find it beneficial to ask students individually about the perceived effectiveness of the program related to their own learning goals. I learn a lot just by listening to those engaging in the program. Adjustments can be made based upon advice from participants without the need for a lengthy assessment project. However, in order for long-term, complex programs to be considered a success, assessment should be conducted to identify trends and troubleshoot programmatic elements to maximize learning potential and overall effectiveness.