Strategic Planning and Assessment and Professional Development Committees
Accomplishing the mission and vision, while living out the values of Student Affairs, depends on an engaged and empowered team of professionals. UT invests in staff professional development, and their strategic planning and assessment, in proactive and intentional ways through department-specific initiatives, and division-wide training and development. Student Affairs has commissioned two committees: Strategic Planning and Assessment and Professional Development.
We follow a philosophy known as whole system change. At the core of this approach is a belief that all members of the division have something important and valuable to contribute (Bunker & Alban, 2006). By incorporating the diverse ideas and perspectives that exist across the Student Affairs staff at UT, we create a collaborative environment of shared learning that challenges us to see the whole system at work. The outcome is a stronger understanding of where we are and where we would like to go, which empowers each office within the division to align its goals and initiatives with the Student Affairs mission, vision, values and focus areas.
Both committees plan and implement the Student Affairs annual cycle of learning experiences, including Advances and Exchanges:
- Biannual Student Affairs Advances:
- A high-level, half or full-day professional development event that advances the work of the student affairs division. The Advance often features guest speakers or facilitators and is coordinated in conjunction with the Student Affairs leadership team. Advance content informs department directors and staff about implementing the Advance topic at the department level. Each Advance serves as the kick-off of the fall and spring monthly Exchange Series.
- Monthly Student Affairs Exchanges:
- Hour-long, division-wide professional development sessions that allow Student Affairs staff members to consider new ideas and dialogue with one another, typically around strategic focus area topics. These sessions also foster connections between departments and throughout the division.
Bunker, B.B. & Alban, B.T. (2006). Handbook of large group methods: Creating systematic change in organizations and communities. Jossey-Bass.
Student Affairs committees are comprised of representatives from all offices within Student Affairs, and one ex-officio member representing Academic Affairs. Committee members meet regularly throughout the year. Most committee members serve a two-year term and rotate off on alternate years. Members may reapply to serve a second two-year term.
Mission: The Student Affairs Strategic Planning and Assessment Committee (SPA) is charged with creating a culture of assessment across the division. Toward achieving this mission, SPA:
- Plans and implements one Advance (July or January) and series of Exchanges (fall or spring) per academic year in collaboration with the Student Affairs Leadership team and Professional Development Committee (PDC)
- Hosts learning outcomes training sessions for all new student affairs employees in September and February
- Hosts assessment training sessions throughout the year on topics of interest and/or need (examples: data collection, survey design, conducting focus groups and mapping programs to Spartan Ready)
- Leads the CAS Program Review process along with the Student Affairs Leadership Team
- Leads the synthesis and graphic design of the Student Affairs Annual Report Part 2
- Provides updates about committee work and training opportunities at Student Affairs Advances and Exchanges
- SPA and PDC Chairs collaborate on strategic and collaborative initiatives, especially in planning and implementing Exchanges and Advances
- Creates committee goals and reports back on progress for Student Affairs Annual Reports
Strategic Planning and Assessment Committee Members 2022-2023
Tiffany Nelson, Wellness
Amber Rivera, Residence Life
Marissa Russo, Career Services
Parker Shephard, Campus Recreation
Gina Firth, Wellness
Stephanie Russell Krebs, Student Affairs
Ana Maia, Leadership and Competency Development
History and Timeline
The Student Affairs Strategic Planning and Assessment Committee was formed in Fall 2011 with the charge of creating core values as well as the mission, and vision statements for Student Affairs. Through this participatory process that engaged the whole division, the mission statement, vision statement and core values were finalized. In January 2013, the strategic priorities for the division were adopted.
During the Spring 2013 semester, the committee led the effort to identify common learning domains for the division of Student Affairs. These learning domains and the descriptors associated with each domain are based on the Council for Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) Learning and Development Outcomes' CAS Contextual Statement. During the summer of 2013, each department within Student Affairs referenced the strategic priorities and the common learning domains in their annual reports.
In Spring 2016, the division transitioned to using the Spartan Ready® Competencies as the learning domains for the division. The division also updated the vision statement to incorporate Spartan Ready, while adding inclusion to the diversity strategic priority and continuous improvement as a strategic priority. In Summer 2019, the Strategic Planning and Assessment Committee identified five strategic focus areas for the development of departmental multi-year strategic plans.
In Fall 2020, the Strategic Planning and Assessment Committee introduced a departmental self-assessment and program review process based on the CAS standards. During the 2022-2023 academic year, the entire division completed an extensive 10-year review of the foundational documents by incorporating feedback from across the division to update and realign the Student Affairs mission, vision, core values and strategic priorities.
Mission: The Professional Development Committee (PDC) is charged with providing a variety of professional development opportunities to meet differing developmental and educational needs for the Student Affairs division, supporting staff retention and professional growth. Often these opportunities are open to colleagues in the Academic Success Center. Toward achieving this mission, the PDC:
- Plans and implements one Advance (July or January) and series of Exchanges (fall or spring) per academic year in collaboration with the Student Affairs leadership team, and Strategic Planning and Assessment Committee (SPA)
- Selects topics and speakers to facilitate a year-long series for new professionals called the New Professionals Institute (NPI)
- Matches new professionals with more experienced University mentors for the duration of NPI
- Recruits presenters and hosts the divisional summer professional development series, which is open to colleagues across the institution
- Implements sequenced and intentional ongoing learning for all staff professional development, including additional professional development opportunities as needed, and providing resources and support for departments/teams/individuals for ongoing development
- Provides updates about committee work and professional development opportunities at Student Affairs Advances and Exchanges
- SPA and PDC chairs collaborate on strategic and collaborative initiatives, especially in planning and implementing Exchanges and Advances
- Creates committee goals and reports back on progress for Student Affairs annual reports
Professional Development Committee Members 2022- 2023
Justin Rinaldi, Student Conduct
Cristina Muyshondt, Residence Life
Josh Pullens, Campus Recreation
Addie Carothers, Wellness Center
Amy Apicerno, Academic Affairs
Tim Harding, Career Development and Engagement
Jennifer Scaia, Student Affairs
Professional Development Committee: History and Timeline
The Professional Development Committee emerged from a need to support the growing summer professional development offerings conducted by Student Affairs staff members and a desire to increase professional development opportunities for the division of Student Affairs.
Subsequently, members were appointed, the committee was formed and meetings began in Spring 2015. The new committee planned and organized the summer professional development series and implemented the inaugural New Professional Institute (NPI).
Since 2015, both programs have expanded, and the scope of the committee has broadened. The PDC contributes to the overall vision of professional development in Student Affairs by planning and implementing monthly Student Affairs Exchanges and Advances.
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