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Support Your Student Staff with Structured Student Leadership Development Plans
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Support Your Student Staff with Structured Student Leadership Development Plans



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  • Set the mood - Awake - Feel free to eat & drink - Feel free to tweet - Please, please ask questions and make comments or else we might fall asleepOverview:1. My experiences with this phenomenon2. Ask you for some reflections3. Explain my research and theoretical foundations for the SLDP4. Time-Line and structure5. Assessment and findings7. Challenges & Successes8. What does this mean for you?But first we are going to talk about student staff. But not all student staff, the shining stars.The ones that participated in lots of programs, work well in groups, help out, and just seem to win everything?These are the students I’m talking about. The Adeles.
  • Shining star These students are amazing and deserve their awards.So we promote them to become Student coordinators Peer Leaders Directors 3rd year RAsBut then…Life hits themGet a twitchAn egoLose sight of some of their developmental goalsAnd burnout on your programs
  • But then…Life hits themGet a twitchAn egoLose sight of some of their developmental goalsAnd burnout on your programs
  • I know because it happened to me.My senior year of college I served as aCoordinator for the an intensive leadership program. Like the coordinators before me, I had attended theprogam as a participant and was enthralled by how it enables students to transform their lives. I remember my intentions for being acoordintorwere to be closer to the magic of the program again, but serve in a supportive role maybe with the facilitators. Unfortunately I was mistaken about my involvement. While other facilitators and participants were discussing life, I was collecting paperclips and organizing ropes. I was not part of the magic. I was in a magical space, but I was alone. Student Coordinator positions such as this, are created so students can “give back” to a program or group they enjoy. But my argument is that often these positions are given to students without must emotional or developmental support. Looking back, I can see I was in a servant leadership position and I was able to give back, but at the time I felt abandoned.
  • *Have you ever experienced a time when you felt student staff was being ignored? But really, are student staff ever a priority in your office?In my experience, the needs of student staff (paid or volunteer) are often put on the backburner, even during student focused development programs.
  • Today I am on the opposite side of the table as a Graduate Assistant for Leadership Development at Florida State University’s Center for Leadership and Civic Education. In this position I supervise about 5 student coordinators for different leadership programs (including a few LeaderShapeOSCs). During my time at the Center I have developed a structured leadership development program that each student coordinator then personalizes to make meaning of their servant leadership position. To help them understand that they’ve surpassed the curriculum of my programs and now have to take agency for their own development. That I’m here to help them, but they have to set their own path.These Student Leadership Development Plans (SLDP) address many High-Impact Educational Practices with a specific focus on the necessarily coaching/interventions by the staff member and frequent reflections and check-ins.
  • Explain my research and theoretical foundations for the SLDP, specifically the learning outcomes. Illinois Leadership Center - 11 skills and attributesSelf development, Interpersonal development, organizational and group development, transitional development- Leadership Certificate goalsSelect 2 of the 11 skills and attributes that need to be further developed. Use curricular and co-curricular experiences to reflect on developmentMichigan State University, Career Services Network“12 Essentials for Success” Professional and personal skills that employers seek in new graduates. Hope to gain these skills from experiential learning projectsLID Model How they personally see their development as a leader. How has their understanding of themselves and others as leaders changed?FSU LEAD Plan
  • OVERVIEWIndividualized planning Feedback from the “Team” and from just me We discuss the goals they set for themselves as a group and one-on-oneTake on work responsibilities to get closer to our goalsSupport one another on goals
  • Time-Line and structure“personalized Leadership Learning Plan, and a time-line of projects that can be tailored to each student’s leadership challenge goals. “
  • Provide handouts and explain w questions
  • 1.Quantitative – Not enough results for a fair report at this time2.Qualitative
  • Challenges:Buy-in – “I’m not in the program, why do I have to do things?” --- my pitch that this is the next step for taking agency for their leadership development.Reading – It is wasn’t specific to what they were doing, they were much less likely to read it.Reflection – Tried to do a blog…but then they wanted to write in their blog during the heat of the program about the heat of the program.Overly individualized at times – Sometimes we got stuck on their development in meetings instead of actually doing the work. Had to find balance.Successes:Each student was able to choose a personal and a professional goal but…when there was an area I could see they could grow in, they eagerly accepted that challenge, too. -- Frankie: Resume & Being held responsible by his peers -- Justin: (my goal for him: working within a diverse group) and ????? -- Kitty: Professionalism & building a portfolio -- Chelsea: Working in a team/sharing responsibilities and living in the now/meditation -- Derrika: Time management/Organizing & prioritizing, and ?????StrengthsQuest made thinking about strengths & teambuilding much easier
  • *personalization strategiesEach participant will leave with a copy of the SLDP and a plan for how it can be applied to their campus.


  • 1. Support Your Student Staff With Structured StudentLeadership Development Plans Virginia Byrne, ACPA National Convention, March 26, 2012
  • 2. How are student staff being developed?Where is their development on your list ofpriorities?
  • 3. Theoretical Foundations Illinois Leadership Center  11 Skills & Attributes  Individual goal setting Michigan State University, Career Services Network  “12 Essentials for Success” Leadership Identity Development Model  Komives, Longerbeam, Owen, Mainella, & Osteen (2006) FSU LEAD Plans (retired)  Knowledge, skills, & values of leadership development
  • 4. Student Leadership Development Plan(SLDP)Overview: Individualized planning 360 Feedback “Captain” work tasks that align with goals Support one another’s development Provides reflection space
  • 5. Learning ObjectivesAs a result of creating a Student Leadership Development Plan through the Student Coordinator position, students will be able to: 1. Articulate the importance of and comfortably negotiate working in a diverse environment and respecting multiple perspectives 2. Effectively manage his/her time and priorities 3. Identify the importance of being a lifelong learner and how learning is essential to being an effective leader 4. Develop successful communication skills including professional emailing, meeting, and telephone communication, public speaking, and listening. 5. Demonstrate strong critical thinking and problem solving skills 6. Recognize his/her core values and post-graduation visions 7. Build collaborative relationships with the co-coordinator, staff, and program participants 8. Put knowledge of citizenship and service into action 9. Summarize and apply the essential practices of effective leadership and responsible citizenship 10. Demonstrate compassion for others 11. Reflect upon his/her commitment to lifelong service and social responsibility
  • 6. Time-Line1. Pre-Assessment2. Group Retreat3. Self-Assessment & Leadership Learning Plan4. One-on-One meeting5. Establish Goals6. Implement7. Reflect8. Summarize9. Post-Assessment
  • 7. Leadership Learning PlanHow will you build upon your strengths?Page 1 & 2What Challenges You?Page 3 & 4
  • 8. ExamplesStrength Examples: “Be confident in my strengths….I will grow to be comfortable with them and learn from them” Use organizational and financial academic skills in new waysChallenge Examples: Make a resume and visit the Career Center Trust my Co-Coordinator (don’t secretly do all of her work) Live in the NOW, de-stress Use a calendar and prioritize my time better Interact with new groups of people
  • 9. Assessment Methods
  • 10. Assessment Foundation Astin’s Input – Environment – Output Model* Environment Input Output* (Astin, 1996)
  • 11. Measurements Astin’s Input – Environment – Output Model Environment Measurement A : Measurement B: Pre-Test & Reflections & My Meeting Notes Input Output Measurement C: Post-Test & Meeting
  • 12. Assessment Results Enjoyed individual goal setting  Held themselves and each other accountable  Took ownership for improving the group  “Provided a sense of accomplishment when goals were completed (and sense of "pick it up" attitude when they were not)” Reluctantly enjoyed me following up on them  “At the time I hated them because I didnt enjoy being pushed by V. (Mostly because Im stubborn) Without them I wouldnt continue to work and learn.”
  • 13. Challenges & SuccessesChallenges: Successes: Buy-In  Freedom to choose Reading their own goals Reflection medium  Balance personal and Overly individualized at professional times development  StrengthsQuest primer
  • 14. So, Now What?Alone or with an ACPA friend,Fill out the Leadership Learning Plan with some ideas of how you will better work with your student staffThen, let’s share & improve this idea as a group
  • 15. Questions? Suggestions?How can we support student staff better?
  • 16. Thank you!Virginia Byrne Florida State University The Center for Leadership & Civic Education 2nd Year Master’s Student in Student Affairs Portfolio: