7. Fostering Student Learning

Graduates should possess an understanding of the primacy of the educational mission of higher education and the basic processes through which students are engaged in this mission. Specifically, students should be able to demonstrate

a. a broad knowledge of the academic requirements of the institutions they serve;
b. an appreciation of the academic rigor required of students who desire to successfully navigate their academic careers;
c. a commitment to developing strategies for uniting the curricular and co-curricular dimensions of higher education.

Evidence one
NVC Leadership Seminar Course

Each year, I am required to write unit goals for my student activities budget. For the last couple of years I have been setting a goal to reactive the Leadership Seminar course. In spring 2007, I made contact with the Lauren Coodley, Division Chair of Social Sciences. I requested that she reconsider offering POLI 350 Leadership Seminar in the fall semester. POLI 350 Leadership Seminar course is a 2 unit course requiring weekly lab hours. I explained to her that this course would be a co-curriculum course because students who are student government officers can count their weekly board meetings and officer hours for lab time. I told her I will work to make sure student government officers enroll. I originally hope to get the chance to teach the classes. However, she moved so quick that before I knew it she scheduled adjunct instructor Peter Allen to teach the course.

In the end, I got the chance to work with a faculty member. Peter Allen made an effort to contact me, asked for my opinion on developing the class and appreciated my help with recruiting students. He even allowed me to teach one of the classes. Student government officers enrolled, along with a handful of non-student leaders. The students found the class very beneficial and liked that they could use student government time toward lab hours. The Leadership Seminar provided the students a place to reflect on their leadership style, understand theory behind good leadership, and how to work better as a group. Example: Leadership Seminar Course Description

Evidence Two
ASB/Student Government Leadership Retreats

One of my favorite parts of my job is facilitating student government leadership retreats. I love the chance to step away from the office and get to know the students while planning the semester. Each year, I recruit two to three students to form a retreat planning group. We would than meet weekly to plan the retreat. During our planning meetings, we pick a theme, plan workshops, meals, and icebreakers. Past workshops have included time management, diversity, event planning and Roberts Rules of Order. During Student Government Leadership retreats students making meals together, participating in team building ice breakers and experiencing leadership training fosters student learning.

The fall 2007 Student Government Leadership Retreat theme was Reality Television. Workshop titles included “America’s Next Top Leader”, “The Surreal Life” and “Fear Factor on the Beach”. The retreat was planned by Susana Ponce, Lora Jeanne Benin and Greg Wong. Here are three photos from the retreat:
picture-1-of-asb-retreat.jpgpicture-2-asb-retreat.jpg picture-3-asb-retreat.jpg

Evidence Three
“America’s Next Top Leader” workshop

During the CSA 598: Special Topics: Strengths Implementation in Higher Education course, I learned how to deliver Strengths Finder assessment results. In the course, I was given an assignment to design a Strengths-based learning experience. After the course, I felt confident enough to implement Strengths-Based Advising with my student government officers. I had the student government leaders take the Strengths Finder 2.0 Assessment. Then I decided I would lead a Strengths based workshop at the fall leadership retreat called “America’s Next Top Leader” The workshop included a walk through all 35 strengths, handouts and a round of Strengths Finder Binge. Click here to read the main handout: How to Get Along with Your Board mate and their Strength.

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