A professional development model
Student Affairs offers a number of professional development opportunities, some of which are planned well in advance and others of which are offered as the opportunities arise. Attendance at regular meetings (described below) is required, although exceptions may be made at the discretion of the department directors.
- Annually hold two, all-day, all-staff retreats (“Renewal Days”), one in August and one in January before the students return from break. Topics for Renewal Days are chosen primarily by the Vice President, with considerable input from the department directors. In many semesters, at least a part of the upcoming Renewal Day is planned by a small committee made of up professional and support staff reps from different departments.
- Monthly offer two-hour meetings of the division professional staff. Topics for professional staff meetings are also chosen primarily by the Vice President, with considerable input from the department directors.
- Twice a semester offer 90-minute development meetings for the support staff. The topics for support staff meetings are chosen primarily by the Assistant to the Vice President, taking into account ideas and feedback provided by the support staff.
- In addition, the Division also sponsors webinars and audio conferences throughout the year as interesting programs are brought to our attention. These programs are generally offered by our professional associations and we make them available to all members of the division (and sometimes beyond the division, if appropriate). The decision to participate in a given webinar hinges on the relevance of the topic, the cost, and the level of interest (as gauged by a particular committee chair, for example).
- Funds are available for professional staff (and occasionally support staff) to attend regional and/or national conferences and workshops. For off-site opportunities, department directors determine the available funds and cover the expenses of their own staff members, as they deem appropriate.
The combination of formal, planned professional development and opportunistic professional development has the advantage of providing stability as well as flexibility. The webinars, which are usually attended by staff across several departments, provide food for thought and discussion among people with common interests. Renewal Days and regular professional/ support staff meetings give our employees a chance to gather as a whole, get to know one another better and also have a common, content-rich experience. Our goal is that these opportunities contribute to the overall effectiveness of the division, in part because people in the division know and trust one another based on the formal and informal interactions they’ve had at these staff gatherings.
For more information, contact Jodi Fisler at 1-1234 or [[jfisler]].