Posts Tagged 'student affairs'

Hard Work Pays Off for Second Year SAHE Students

As the academic year closes, students in the College of Education’s Masters Degree programs are wrapping up extensive research and consultant projects — read on to learn more about their work!

It is that time of year again when second-year Masters students complete their degrees and showcase the knowledge they gained over the course of their time on campus. In their last semester, Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) students complete a final capstone project, called the “Office Consultation Project,” to bring together the information they were taught over the semesters. “The Capstone class, and the Office Consultation Project in particular, helps students to synthesize the content they learned throughout the program and apply it to practice. The project reflects our commitment in the SAHE program to teaching students how to apply theory to practice,” explained Dr. Jody Jessup-Anger, Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of the SAHE program.

As the faculty member teaching the course, Dr. Jessup-Anger solicits projects from clients (typically a department within either student or academic affairs at Marquette University or other area institutions). These clients then give a brief presentation of their issue to the students who choose which topic to address. Students then spend the spring semester looking at the issue, conducting a literature review, and meeting with their clients. In the final weeks of the semester, the students prepare a report and presentation as they present the results of their research and provide recommendations for resolution.

Along with the hard work, students find themselves feeling more prepared in interviews while preparing and researching the issue or question given by the client. “Students have reported that as a result of the project they feel more prepared to interview for jobs and also to implement change in their professional lives,” stated Dr. Jessup-Anger. All of the time and effort will pay off for future professional development.

This year, students had the opportunity to work with one of the three clients listed below:

  • Office of Institutional Research and Analysis and the Career Services Center, Examining best practices for collecting First Destination OutcomeInformation
  • The Graduate School, Assessing merit-based financial aid/discount rate in humanities-based graduate programs
  • Office of Residence Life, Assessing Marquette’s Living-Learning Communities.

All groups prepared detailed reports and presentations and demonstrated their hard work throughout the semester. Congratulations SAHE Class of 2017!

Want to know more about the College of Education’s Student Affairs in Higher Education Masters Degree? Visit us online!

Wrapping Up the Semester

writingThe end of the semester, the academic year, and even students’ time in the College of Education can be both challenging and exhilarating. For those students pursuing their Masters Degrees in the College of Education, this time of year brings presentations and the culmination of extensive research.

In particular, four of our programs (Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Educational Administration, Student Affairs in Higher Education, and Teach For America) have wrapped up with student presentations. Hard work, perseverance, and academic rigor have paid off in many ways. Read on for more details on our students and what they’ve been studying!

Want to learn more about graduate programs in the College of Education at Marquette University? Visit us online today!

Collegiality + Flexibility = Student Affairs Success

By Mike Lampe — Orientation. To students, it is considered a gateway of collegiate experiences or a boring day long process that seems to have no end.

Although orientation programs have obvious benefits for the students, there is much more that goes on for faculty and staff when planning the events. The first piece of this interesting event is the politics that goes on in planning. Regardless of the size of the institution, there are always departments that believe a great way to fix issues is by highlight their services during orientation. Although this sounds like a pain more than a benefit, the byproduct that occurs involves the interaction between professionals that usually never speak during the school year. This starts bringing a sense of collegiality that starts the beginning of the school year on the right track… granted nothing in the planning process goes terribly wrong.

Considering planning a successful orientation brings collegiality and a sense of accomplishment, the question remains on how to maintain that collegiality. Although there are times where the feeling of collaboration carries over for quite some time, what happens to those institutions that have issues where departments start silo-ing themselves for whatever reason? After all, it does not make sense to build walls when collegiality allows for shared resources for a common goal. With that in mind, an institution should find ways of keeping that spirit of orientation for all in the campus community whether it’d be by providing interdepartmental service opportunities or collaboration opportunities.

When it comes to my experiences this summer, I am gaining direct comparisons between a mid size private institution and a small public two year institution. I firmly believe that this has been the summer of restructuring and reorganizing based on my experiences. In the two year institution, my supervisor got promoted to help guide students services through a restructuring of departments to which flexibility was needed to finish the necessary work. There was also restructuring happening to the private institution due to recent vacancies, new hires, and initiating new approaches in student care. One of the vacancies happens to be the position to which supervises my assistantship. This, too, requires much flexibility to ensure community service resources and opportunities are presented to students.

Along with the flexibility needed during times of transition, collegiality is another important key to be successful. A person who becomes flexible will find ways to seek out fellow peers and coworkers for support and collaboration. Also, an institution with collegiality will have those same coworkers approach to those needing help do to those vacancies. Fortunately, I have had the support in both institutions to remind me to be flexible and help me if needing help to get through the fall semester.

As the new year begins, I am very excited on the experiences I will have to better my future.

Balancing Idealism and Practicality in the Student Affairs Profession

By Michael Lampe — It has been yet another sizzling skillet of fun at the practicum site while producing an online orientation program and assisting at UW-Waukesha’s registration sessions.

On my days off these last couple of weeks, I was contemplating finding out who started the company that made my air conditioning unit and send them a thank you card.

However, once I got back on track, I was excited to offer the opportunity for one of the orientation leaders to be a voiceover for some of the online tutorials explaining students how to utilize various institutional tools. It is amazing how much you could do with a smart phone. I was able to use my phone as a microphone, send it to my email, then use it as the audio to the tutorial videos.

One of the great aspects of Marquette’s College Student Personnel Administration Program is the focus gaining practical skills through their practicum courses and numerous assistantship opportunities. Having these opportunities combined with a rigorous study on student development theories and best practices allowed me to analyze and balance between the ideal and practical. Although it is quite simple to just blindly follow best practices, professionals should analyze and critique the documents that guide our practice in a forward direction.

There are many variables that play into best practices and approaches that may inhibit our ability to do so. For example, we live in a new age of rapid information sharing that creates an environment of criticism from the media and analysis from political institutions. On top of this environment, the economic labor markets have some implication on how institutions may adjust in their academic programming and student services. The million dollar question is how to balance these two variables while providing the best service for our students?

Also, should student affairs professionals have an enhanced understanding of politics and economics? The answer should clearly be yes.

Just as highly rely on accountability measures for learning outcomes, professionals should learn how to explain their importance in a manner to which the general public understands. There should also be a call to have more connection of why our services help create a better competitive workforce applying for jobs.

Do not get me wrong, I am completely on the student affairs bandwagon when it comes to professionals enhancing the student experience. However, we must not totally disregard the political movement citing fiscal red flags connected to government educational funding.

The more we learn to work together, the more we can save money and present a case for doing something about it. If we continue to disregard criticism as a profession, economic and political forces will undo the impact student affairs has had on the college population since the profession’s inception.


It Takes Nerve: Presenting A Different Professional Perspective

By Mike Lampe —  Throughout my experiences in both undergraduate and graduate experiences, I had the opportunity to present on information both controversial and new.

In many cases, I challenged myself by presenting to my peers information in a different perspective, a perspective that may not have been part of the mainstream way of thinking. However, I did not feel as relaxed presenting material to my internship site when discussing utilizing online technological tools to emulate an orientation experience.

Why did I feel the uncomfortable feeling?

After all, I did the right research on comparing how other institutions are approaching online orientations. I also asked my site supervisor to look at my materials I was going to present to which she thought everything looked great. The technology was not an issue due to my experience working on technological devices on a daily basis.

After doing some thinking, I starting thinking of other possible explanations if it was not the lack of content preparation. I started to realize how nerve racking it can be to present to professionals of the same field in another institution. It started to kick in that I will be a student affairs professional next year. It is also nerve racking to know that, after graduate school, professionals will not judge you based on the grades you got in class, but by the quality of work you do when presenting new ideas or doing the job right.

I also started to think about the ramifications of utilizing online tools to provide services to students enrolling at a higher education institution. This reminded me of a conversation I had with a faculty member at my old service learning coordinating position in Sheboygan discussing how technology may be hindering social skill development of college students. Although this was one conversation, I wondered how other people felt about the situation. Even though the intention of my online project was only to supplement students who could not attend any orientation sessions, I could see that some were concerned about the use of technology as a tool.

This brings me to my thoughts on utilizing technology in student services. I believe there will always be some form of professional-student interaction in the student affairs field. This is part of the best practices as described by the various professional associations. Considering technology will always be a part of society, there will be a social balance between practical and excessive usage in student affairs programming.

Although I do believe it may be somewhat excessive to replace the entire classroom experience online, I believe creating online orientation content may help improve retention rates for students who may have not taken the time to attend an on campus orientation.

Student Services: Do We Make You Comfortable?

By Mike Lampe — It has been a little over a month since I started my internship, of  which I am enjoying every minute.

The experience has provided me the opportunity to interact with various students ranging from returning adult students to young adults straight out of high school. Working with the fun and energetic Orientation Leaders reminded me of back in the day where I was a “First Year Experience” Mentor at St. Norbert College. It is quite ironic that some of the new students who sit like they do not think pre-semester programming is worth it become part of the student population that become very active and jump on opportunities on campus.

I felt like I made major improvements on the online orientation session that I am proposing to the student services staff at UW-Waukesha. This week, I started on the video making of example scenarios students might want to know during their orientation session. The goal is to make sure a student who could not attend the physical orientation has a similar experience to understand the numerous opportunities the campus has to offer. It was also a great experience to learn about the different ways institutions were able to address the issue of giving crucial information to students who are yet to be fully engaged in the college experience for any reason. My hope is to create an online orientation that is both creative and sustainable to allow little follow up work.

My Thoughts: The Student Services Lobby Area
During my time in class and work, we always want to make sure we value the whole student in everything we do. Whether in student programming or our daily interactions via advising, we try to see how our actions match up with an institutional learning outcome or student development theory.

This photo was taken in the counseling center at Marquette University. Take note of the atmosphere, which aimed to make student clients as comfortable as possible before meeting with them.

However, I believe more can be done in the most basic, essential, and preliminary student experience. More could be done when each student walks through the door at Student Services. No matter what institution I worked at, each institution had a front desk, some uncomfortable seating, reading material, and a television with cable. The one institution that had a television was rarely used because the controller was in a drawer behind the front desk and it was also slightly awkward to watch television while there are professionals working on admissions work.

I’m wondering how we can best make prospective and current students as comfortable as possible while waiting to see their student services staff without feeling the nervousness of starting classes in the upcoming semester. Could there be a possibility where students are sitting on nice comfortable sofas in a comfortable environment while having some low volume music in the background?

Although people growing up the last generation might have expected to have a boring waiting room, young students of this generation long for environments such of that as Google, inc. where clothing expresses their personality and where fun does not separate from work. I am not saying to go to that extreme, however, we could do more to be interactive or provide some sort of activity to keep them engaged and comfortable.

Life in Kuwait: Work and Social, Part I

By Zaynab Baalbaki — So, I have been in Kuwait for about 20 days now, and during that time I have been able to experience an entirely new environment.

Let me just give you an update on the temperature. The temperature here is ALWAYS in the three digit range. I think the highest so far was 120°F, which basically means “IT’S WAY TOO HOT!” However, keep in mind, no one really spends time outside. For example, the only time I’m outside is when I am walking to work in the morning – and it’s only a block. Everything is air conditioned. Both of my placements are actually freezing!

Here are some random quick little updates of my time and what I’m noticing while I’m here:

  • I went jet skiing last weekend in the gulf. It was really fun, but my eyes are in so much pain. Whenever the water got in my eyes it would sting…because it’s salt water.
  • This past weekend was an extended weekend because it was a holiday. It was the Prophet’s Ascension. Also, the weekend here is different than the States, in Kuwait it is Friday and Saturday.
  • A co-worker took me to experience a part of Kuwait known as the Fabric Souk, Fabric Market. Which is basically a huge mall full of fabrics. You can find any type of material or pattern there. As my co-worker said, “If you can’t find it here, they don’t make it!” They also had all the possible clothing accessories you could think of, from buttons, gems, ribbon, chains and more. There were stores that had either only white or black fabric to typically make either an abayah or distasha, traditional Kuwaiti clothes.
  • People that know me know I am a soccer (futbol) fanatic. Kuwait is also a soccer driven country. Currently there is the EURO 2012 occurring right now. Almost everyone watches the games. I have watched them all J! Usually, I watch them at a sheesha (hookah) place with friends. I have some friends in Kuwait that attended my undergraduate, so I often meet up with them.
  • Professionally speaking, getting used to Kuwaiti work has taken a bit of adjusting. The workplace is much more relaxed compared to the states. Also, I am working at a university, and it is the summer, so there are fewer students on campus. Furthermore, a lot of the staff and faculty will tend to go traveling during the summer.
    • Specifically looking at my placement in Career Services and Wellness Center (CSW), I am learning a great deal about the political and social rules in Kuwait relating to helping students and providing them with support. Overall, there is not a lot of external support for students who come to the CSW with pressing issues/concerns. Even the support and resources provided at CSW are limited. People in Kuwait do not talk about rape, depression, assault, sexuality. It is a taboo. Even coming to the CSW has stigma associated with it. There are students who lie to their parents and say they are going to the gym/hanging out with friends/movies and instead, come for counseling.
  • I was able to observe a classroom at the university. I wanted to learn more about the student academic life. Here segregation is legal and expected, gender segregation. At American University of Kuwait (AUK) there are male and female classes. There are mixed classes for more advanced classes that have less professors and students available to teach or take the class.

On Thursday I am supposed to observe a male class, which I have been repeatedly told will be very different, due to student motivation and engagement. I will let you know how that goes next time. Until then. Enjoy the summer!

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