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Since the office’s inception in October 2006, concentrated energy has been invested in a needs analysis and the development of a Professional Development Curriculum for the creation of a community of learners. Canvassing the Division, both formally and informally, a curriculum was created as a model for practice in concert and operating with the Divisional Strategic Goals:
- Student Development Theory and Guiding Practice
- Organizational Culture
- Personal Empowerment
- Division Enhancement
- Culturally Responsive Practice
Student Development Theory and Guiding Practice
“We can only know in hindsight how our history will shape the future of student development, but for the sake of our students, we must help the academy recognize the value of the whole person concept.” --Evans, Forney & Guido-DiBrioto, 1998
The Student Development Guiding Philosophy component of the Professional Development Curriculum provides the foundational and organic roots for which the tenets of college student development emerged. Theories and practices under this framework guide practice and serve as models for service delivery and programmatic operations.
“Student affairs, as a profession, has paid much more attention to the individual growth and development of students than to the larger organization in higher education, where the profession must function effectively in order to succeed.” --Sandeen & Barr, 2006
Organizational Culture, the second element of the Professional Development Curriculum speaks to the overarching and underlying values that permeate through the Division in our methods of communication, interaction, expectation and performance. This tenet plays a significant role in how work gets done and the environment to which work is accomplished.
“What’s worse than training your employees and losing them, is not training them and keeping them.” --Zig Ziglar
Performance Empowerment, the third component of the Professional Development Curriculum is designed to encourage employees to tap into their innate abilities, talents, strengths and skills to excel in the workplace and in their personal pursuits. In providing outlets for employees to become more competent and proficient, the individual benefits, as well as the organization.
“Stop thinking from a perspective of managing the work of people and begin managing for performance.” --Peter Drucker
Division Enhancement, the fourth component of the Professional Development Curriculum provides opportunities, dialogue, trainings and education that will accentuate the Division both internally and externally. These offerings strengthen the core by ensuring common practice, intentionality in services, programs and interaction with members of the university community and with colleagues in the field. Essentially, this is the “branding” of our hallmarks.
“All student affairs professionals need to be critically engaged with technology.” --Love & Estanek, 2004
Technology, the fifth component of the Professional Development Curriculum provides opportunities for individuals to conceptualize the incorporation of technology as an integral tool in the execution of their work. This component provides training to enhance skill development, proficiency, comfort and ease with the use and implementation of technology for an interdependent relationship.
Culturally Relevant Practice
“By changing ourselves, we are doing the only thing we can do to change the world. To say that is not enough is a lack of will, a lack of faith. It must be enough, for it is everything.” --Sara Bullard
The final component of the Professional Development Curriculum is Culturally Responsive Practice. The face of academia continues to change. Accordingly, we must continue to expand our knowledge, challenge our discomfort and ensure that we are developing skills, thoughts and beliefs to insulate a culture for all students and staff that is affirming, supportive and collaborative. We are positioned to do this by creating space, sensitivity and intentionality for dialogue that is authentic and used for the constant examination of the culture that we emit in words and actions.