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A look at strengths and weaknesses of organizational structures and how they address critical issues in higher education.

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Presentation on theme: "A look at strengths and weaknesses of organizational structures and how they address critical issues in higher education."— Presentation transcript:

1 A look at strengths and weaknesses of organizational structures and how they address critical issues in higher education.

2  Out-of Class Centered Model: “no one checks your GPA after you graduate. But everyone looks at your resume for leadership, involvement, and out-of-class experience” (Manning, Kinzie, and Schuh p. 37).  Administrative-Centered Models: founded on principles of organizational theory and management principles. Heavy value of student retention, fiscal responsibility, and strategic planning. ◦ Functional Silos Model ◦ Student Service Centered Model

3 What to look forPros and Cons ◦ Most learning happens outside of the classroom ◦ Leadership and involvement opportunities are plentiful, but NOT connected to academic life + Allows for staff specialization in one functional area + Creates a separate budget for student affairs programs + Frees faculty to teach + CAN increase student retention - Lack of faculty support creates roadblocks to expansion of programs - Students have to juggle or choose between academics and involvement - Creates two separate missions and hierarchies w/i an institution

4 What to look forPros and Cons  Offices that serve one functional incredibly well  No collaboration or centralized supervision  Competition between programs for resources  No collective mission, values or vision among departments + Once found, service is of extremely high quality and professional + Financial accountability + Clear division of labor for administration - Not student centered - Professional isolation can lead to burnout - Budget cuts lead to quick elimination of departments

5 What to look forPros and Cons  View of institution like a service oriented company (bank, internet, phone, food)  High value on fast, efficient, helpful services  Reputation of departments is highly valued (i.e. brand loyalty) over relationships with students + High customer service + Management tasks are separated and specialized + Integrates student workers into organized system and helps in developing new professionals - Lack of collaboration - Budget cuts for highly specialized programs

6  Student-Centered Models : Values and promotes development of the whole person and views students as the center of the university’s purpose. Creates elevated student governance and employment as paraprofessionals ◦ Ethic of Care Model ◦ Student-Driven Model ◦ Student-Agency Model  Academic Collaboration Models: Values and emphasize combined efforts between academic and student affairs to create student engagement and success ◦ Academic-Student Affairs Collaborative Model ◦ Academic-Centered Model

7 What to look forPros and Cons  Services are centered on care and relationships with students  Student needs are “preeminent”  First-year and transfer student programs receive constant attention/resources  Institutional obligation to assist those who are inadequately prepared to succeed academically or socially + High level of time and energy spent on individual student needs + Every member of community is valued - Huge time commitment by faculty and staff - Requires large staffs and resources - Treats students like children, does not promote self- advocacy

8 What to look forPros and Cons  Heavy student involvement in facilitating student (community service, rec. center, programming) and academic services (tutoring, research)  Puts a great deal of trust in students to run the show  Strong belief and value in student empowerment and engagement at the highest levels  Works best with traditional student populations + Creates strong student ownership in programming and services + Students work to get others involved + Stretches institutional resources + Provides faculty and SAPs with new lens -Requires extra training and supervision by staff - Requires heavily involvement which may be impossible for some students

9 What to look forPros and Cons  Students are completely responsible for student services and programming  Students are full and equal partners with faculty and staff  Clearly shared values, purpose and obligations for all community members + Clearly shared values, purpose and obligations facilitates high quality, consistent leadership + Increased personal responsibility leads to invested learning + Heavy emphasis on self- advocacy - Relying on students initiative can be problematic -Programs may be inefficient and messy -Too much re-invention every year - Low involvement from external stakeholders

10 What to look forPros and Cons  Vision of seamless learning in and out of the classroom  Academic and student affairs activities build on one another  Mutual mission concerning student success  Belief that all parties are vital to student learning + Significant interactions between students, faculty and staff + Students don’t need to choose academics over involvement + Shared administrative resources and burdens- less likely to cut specific programs quickly - Unfair, lopsided collaborations can exist - Lessening of each groups impact in order to partner up - Who reports to whom?

11 What to look forPros and Cons  Students and faculty are primarily responsible for coordinating student life activities  Student affairs activities are usually connected with academic issues  SAPs are involved in providing structural support to help students succeed in an academically rigorous environment  SAPs play a key role in helping student relax and recreate + Students value and enhance the academic rigor and educational mission of their institution + Students have a great deal of face time with faculty + Faulty members are highly involved on campus + Allows SAPs to showcase talents as educators + Student affairs paired with academic mission CAN lead to fewer budget cuts - Faculty don’t always understand or appreciate student affairs - Requires huge time commitment by faculty - Extremely limited role for student affairs professionals

12  Institutions must help students navigate a complex world, this includes understanding and celebrating differences  Keys to doing this include: ◦ Deliberate interactions between non-homogenous groups in residence halls, Greek life, recreational sports, student orgs ◦ Building trusting relationships with student who may feel alienated ◦ Treating students like adult citizens and individuals ◦ Creating cultural and ethnic facilities and services ◦ Recognition and commitment to diversity as an educational goal by both faculty and staff

13  Institutions must create values that include diversity and express their commitment through resource allocation, curriculum, physical settings, and recruiting diverse staff  Keys to doing this include: ◦ Having clear paths toward advancement and career planning ◦ Improving work conditions and compensation particularly for entry-level professions OR ◦ Creating unique rewards for continued employment-paying membership dues, telecommuting, academic year appointments ◦ Restructuring student affairs divisions in order to increase diversity and support for new professionals.

14  Institutions must address the changing face of higher education. Many students are engaging in distance learning, internships, study abroad, and other activities that keep them off campus for long periods of time.  Keys to doing this include: ◦ Identify what services students need regardless of location of students ◦ Identify the pitfalls and limitations when serving distance learners ◦ Collaboration between faculty and staff when creating these experiences to ensure that proper support and resources are available ◦ Thorough evaluation by students who participate ◦ Creative and willingness to rework organizational structures in order to get the right people on the bus

15  Institutions must address the concept that “you can’t be all things to all people”  Keys to doing this include: ◦ Setting priorities for services and identifying realistic limitations (ex. psychological services for disturbed students) ◦ Creating joint responsibility between staff and students for issue related to accommodations and appropriate behavior ◦ Expand institutional missions to provide positive differences in larger aspects of student’s lives ◦ Valuing self-advocacy in all members of the college community

16 What models address critical issues best? Where do they each struggle?

17 Critical Issue StrengthsIssues left to address ◦ Multitudes of involvement opportunities for students from different races, ethnicities, backgrounds to work and play together (1) ◦ Creation of facilities, programming and services for those who may feel alienated (1) ◦ Ability to realign student affairs departments to create greater diversity/ get the right people on the bus (2, 3) ◦ Involvement provides a positive difference in larger aspects of student’s lives (4)  Lack of collaboration/shared values with faculty (1, 2, 3, 4) ◦ No recognition of diversity as shared value ◦ No ability to work with faculty on developing better distance programs ◦ No ability to create standards of responsibility  SAP burnout due to huge time commitment to support so many activities and programs (2, 4)  (1)=Students learning about diversity  (2)= Retaining a diverse staff  (3) = Enhancing non-traditional education  (4)= Defining SAP responsibilities

18 Critical Issue StrengthsIssues left to address  Specialists in the area of diversity development and outreach (1)  Clear career paths within silos (2)  Opportunity for unique rewards based on independence of silos (2)  Potential for high quality non-traditional education services (3)  Lack of collaboration/ shared values (1-4)  No ability or experience with realignments to create new programs, get the right people on the bus (2, 3)  Creates services that are hard for students to recognize (1, 3)  No expanded missions to address larger aspects of student’s lives (4)

19 Critical Issue StrengthsIssues left to address  Paraprofessional work could help students learn to work within diverse groups (1)  IF “business” is good then working conditions, rewards, and compensation may improve (2)  Non-Traditional Education services MAY BE of high quality and specialized (i.e. fast, cost efficient and come with a high reputation) (3)  Business approach is not culturally inclusive (1, 2)  Does not treat students as individuals but as customers (1)  Model may approve or reject services based strictly on whether it is fast and efficient (1, 3, 4)  Miscommunication/ lack of collaboration between faculty, staff and students (1-4)  Professional burnout due to isolation (2)

20 Critical Issues StrengthsIssues left to address  Builds trusting relationships with students from the start (1)  Focus is on taking care of those who feel alienated (1)  Addresses the needs associated with non- traditional settings (3)  Encourages lots of student evaluation (3)  Mission is to provide positive difference in large aspects of student life (4)  Does not promote self- advocacy (1, 4)  MAY prevent interactions with diverse groups to reduce student distress (1)  Poor work conditions b/c model is time intensive (2)  May try to address ALL the needs of non-traditional learning-not set priorities and limitations (3, 4)  Lack of creative rewards b/c of time requirements (2)

21 Critical Issue StrengthsIssues left to address  Treats students as equal partners in learning (1)  Provides many opportunities for students to be leaders/work in diverse settings (1)- which may lead to increased diversity in S.A. (2)  Student insight COULD help create popular and necessary programming with regards to diversity and “big picture” concepts (1, 4)  Lack of resources or support for non-traditional educational settings (3)  Burden placed on students to deal with “not being all things to all people” (4)  Creates grey line between what staff and student responsibilities are=inefficient, messy, unrealistic programs (1-4)  Can create competing missions between groups (1, 4)

22 Critical Issue StrengthsIssues left to address  Mutual mission/budgets between A.A. and S.A. leads to more holistic programming (1,3,4)  Shared responsibility for student success and resource allocation (2, 3, 4)  Partnerships between A.A. and S.A. COULD allow for more diversity within dept. and more support for all community members (2)  Burden may fall on S.A. to partner with A.A. and lead to S.A. professionals being overwhelmed or not challenged enough (2)  Lack of student autonomy and feedback (1, 4)  Unequal collaboration can lead to unclear career paths and misunderstandings of who reports to who

23 Critical Issue StrengthsIssues left to address  Issues of diversity can be brought up in intellectually challenging ways and highly supported by faculty (1)  Highly involved faculty may bring students in frequent contact with diverse people (1)  No separate mission because S.A. is a sub- division of academics (1,4)  Strong support for making non-traditional learning just as rigorous (3)  Requires faculty to engage in diversity education without additional support (1)  Provides no clear career path or challenging roles for SA professionals (2)  No motivation to collaborate with SA and get the right people on the bus (1, 2, 3)  Puts the burden of being “all things to all people” in the hands of faculty (4)

24  All organizational structures address particular critical issues well  Organizational structures need to be flexible enough to respond to up and coming critical issues  Different departments within an institution face different issues and therefore may thrive with different organizational structures  Organizations that promote universal, institutional goals were able to handle the majority of critical issues best  Organizational structures need to recognize the “human element” in student affairs work


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