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Cultivating Tradition-based Programming for a Changing Student Population Cord McLean & Gerald Harris Texas A&M University SACSA Annual Conference 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Cultivating Tradition-based Programming for a Changing Student Population Cord McLean & Gerald Harris Texas A&M University SACSA Annual Conference 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cultivating Tradition-based Programming for a Changing Student Population Cord McLean & Gerald Harris Texas A&M University SACSA Annual Conference 2012

2 One day a young girl watched her mother prepare a ham for baking. At one point the daughter asked, “Mom, why did you cut off both ends of the ham?” “Well, because my mother always did,” said the mother. “But, why?” “I don’t know—let’s go ask Grandma.”

3 So they went to Grandma’s and asked her, “Grandma, when you prepare the ham for baking, you always cut off both ends—why did you do that?” “My mother always did it,” said Grandma. “But, why?” “I don’t know—let’s go ask Great-grandma.” So off they went to Great-grandma’s.

4 “Great-grandma, when you prepare the ham for baking, you always cut off both ends—why did you do that?” “Well,” Great-grandma said, “the pan was too small.” Whether you are running for president, recruiting new members or simply conducting your weekly meeting, ask yourself, “Why do we do it this way?” And remember…

5 …just because it’s tradition, doesn’t make it right. - Anthony J. D’Angelo

6 Session Overview Texas A&M 101 Presenters’ Examples Discussion/Participants’ Examples Tradition vs. Innovation Things to Consider Concluding Thoughts

7 Texas A&M University Historical Background “The Spirit of Aggieland” –Built on numerous traditions Ongoing conversation

8 The Class Center The Class Center is the home to Class Councils and the Texas Aggie Yell Leaders. These student organizations promote the unique spirit of Texas A&M University by coordinating traditional events such as Maroon Out, First Yell, Elephant Walk, Jr. E-Walk, Midnight Yell Practice, Fish Fest, Pull Out Day and Ring Dance.

9 New Demands on the Class Center Legacies vs. First Generations Changing Demographics – –Old Army vs. New Army –53,337 (Fall 2012)

10 The Southwestern Black Student Leadership Conference Established in 1989 as a forum through which African American students from the Southwestern region of the United States could assemble to discuss issues affecting the Black community and develop innovative solutions

11 New Demands on SBSLC Changing demographics and diversity of participants Intersectionality and intragroup diversity Holistic development of student staff

12 What does this conversation sound like on your campus? Is it making a sound?

13 Why Tradition? Foolproof Convenience Easy Recognition Established Audience Strong Group Identity

14 Why Innovation? Relevance Individual and Collective Creativity Ownership –Create vs. Reproduce More Involvement Greater Campus/Community Impact

15 Things to Consider What is your mission/purpose? Who is your target audience? Who are your stakeholders? What are your resources? What does experience tell you? Does your advising style need to shift to meet the demands? How are you using data to bring about change?

16 Concluding Thoughts Take a critical look at the work you do. Examine your role and responsibility in creating positive change. As a professional and a leader, you set the tone. Embrace the challenge of sometimes standing alone. Strategize! And include others in the process. Innovate your traditions by creating a tradition of innovation.

17 Relevant Literature ACPA/NASPA. (1998). Principles of good practice for student affairs. Washington, DC: Authors. Cooper, D. L., & Saunders, S. A. (2000). Assessing programmatic needs. In D. L. Liddell & J. P. Lund (Eds). Powerful programming for student learning: Approaches that make a difference. New Directions for Student Services, No. 90 (pp. 5-20). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education. (2009). CAS professional standards for higher education (7th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. Cross, W. E., Jr. (1995). The psychology of Nigrescence: Revising the Cross model. In J. G. Pronterotto, J. M. Casas, L. A. Suzuki, & C. M. Alexander (Eds.), Handbook of multicultural counseling (pp ). Thousand Oaks: Sage. Kenney, D. R., Dumont, R., & Kenney, G. S. (2005). Mission and place: Strengthening learning and community through campus design. Westport: Praeger Publishers. Strange, C. C., & Banning, J. H. (2001). Educating by design: Creating campus learning environments that work. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Schlossberg, N. K. (1989). Marginality and mattering: Key issues in building community. New Directions for Students Services, 48, 5-15.

18 Questions?


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