Sli Workshop 2009

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A presentation I gave at Summer Leadership Institute 2009 on the importance of student leadership and how our Bonner program has thrived using students as a resource.

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Sli Workshop 2009

  1. 2. What brought you to this workshop? <ul><li>Besides the fact that Derek and I are attractive individuals? </li></ul>
  2. 3. Our Program
  3. 4. Carson-Newman College Bonner Scholars Program <ul><li>Started in 1991 </li></ul><ul><li>60 Students </li></ul><ul><li>Academic Affairs Division </li></ul><ul><li>Carson-Newman Bonner Center for Service Learning & Civic Engagement </li></ul>
  4. 5. Trouble at Mossy Creek <ul><li>2006-07 School Year </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Fall) Much-Loved Administrative Assistant Dies of Cancer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Spring) Much-Loved Bonner Director Unexpectedly Resigns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Late Spring) We learn our program is in danger of losing funding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(Late Spring) New Director is appointed and sees a need to make changes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2007-08 School Year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Fall) Major program changes are implemented </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Several Students resign </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Overall low moral among students </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>We still may lose funding without program improvement </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Students feel like their voices are not being heard </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 6. How we did Student Leadership
  6. 7. Some Transition Challenges <ul><li>Lack of consensus among student leadership on changes </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of communication between Staff & Students </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of understanding from Staff about student situation. </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to explain desperate situation of program without a “Crisis” mentality. </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of clear vision for the program among leadership & students. </li></ul><ul><li>Difficulty approaching students for input… </li></ul>
  7. 8. Why might it be so hard to gather student input? <ul><li>“ Is my idea not good enough?” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Why can’t we just do it the way we have always done it?” </li></ul><ul><li>“ When we, as administrators, are constantly learning ourselves how to do this work, how can we discern good ideas from unwise ones?” </li></ul><ul><li>Other reasons? Eh? </li></ul>
  8. 9. Desired Outcomes of Student Input <ul><li>Students feel more invested in the program </li></ul><ul><li>Better decisions are made with input from other individuals. </li></ul><ul><li>Administrators get ideas we may not have thought of otherwise (trust me on this one). </li></ul><ul><li>Happy students….. </li></ul><ul><li>Others? </li></ul>
  9. 10. The Carson-Newman Bonner BLT Model <ul><li>BLT= Bonner Leadership Team </li></ul><ul><li>Meets bi-weekly at predetermined time </li></ul><ul><li>Chaired by Coordinator </li></ul><ul><li>Discusses a number of different topics chosen by Coordinator </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Anything from handbook revisions to disciplinary plans to All-Bonner meeting agendas…. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 11. Who is on the BLT? <ul><li>Bonner Center Staff (Director, Associate Director, Scholars Coordinator, Administrative Assistant) </li></ul><ul><li>Senior Intern(s) </li></ul><ul><li>Congress Reps </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2 total </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1 rising sophomore, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1 rising Junior </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Class Reps </li></ul><ul><ul><li>2 per class </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1 appointed </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1 voted by students </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Coordinator never reveals which is which to avoid drama </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 12. Terms <ul><li>The BLT makes recommendations to the Coordinator understanding that Staff ultimately make the final decision. </li></ul><ul><li>Congress Reps roll-off after 2 SLIs and 2 Fall Congress Meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Class Reps term limits are currently being discussed…. </li></ul>
  12. 13. Some BLT Projects 08-09 <ul><li>Read Applications and helped select new Bonners </li></ul><ul><li>Organized and Facilitated bi-weekly Class-Based meetings with their peers. </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitated Fall Retreat Program Visioning Exercise </li></ul><ul><li>Revamped Program policy on Training & Enrichment </li></ul><ul><li>Instituted the “Bonner Buddy” program where older Bonners Mentor incoming Bonners. </li></ul><ul><li>Planned and helped facilitate Bonner Visitation Day for possible recruits </li></ul><ul><li>Organized events for visit from Wayne Meisel in April </li></ul><ul><li>Helped program transition from monthly to weekly meetings </li></ul>
  13. 14. Some Strong Outcomes of our first BLT Year <ul><li>Augmented Overall Student Involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Students now have a way to be represented in major program decisions. </li></ul><ul><li>Students feel a better sense of unity across all four classes </li></ul><ul><li>Built program “morale” in general in the midst of a tough transition </li></ul><ul><li>Program changes have been driven by the students while Administrators still have freedom to make final call </li></ul><ul><li>We still like each other… </li></ul>
  14. 15. Questions? Comments? Discussion? <ul><ul><li>Matt Bryant Cheney </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bonner Scholars Coordinator </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Carson-Newman College </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>mcheney@cn.edu , (865) 471-4315 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Derek Voiles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Carson-Newman Bonner Summer Intern </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>[email_address] , (865) 471-3594 </li></ul></ul>

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