Following the SLT Journey

Given the interest and positive feedback we have received on the very first post (for me and this site), I thought that I would follow it up with a brief open letter of sorts to explain a few things about what our casual and consistent followers (and contributors) can expect from us over the coming weeks and in future.

1. Capstone Reflections
The next set of entries will come to you from SLT team members who are leaving their roles. Regardless of their position, each of the team members greatly contributed to our collective success in this last academic year which saw us reach more unique students than ever before through our programs, initiatives, and services. They will be sharing their reflections on what their role taught them about themselves, their own philosophies of education, and how the students impacted them as Student Affairs practitioners.

2. A Journey in to Student Affairs
Sarah Clermont will be blogging as she learns about the foundations of Student Affairs practice. She joins our team from the Research and Graduate Studies office as a part of our University’s restructuring process and is eager to learn about how what we do and why. She is going to be exploring our foundational documents, exploring theories, and learning more about the future directions of our profession and reflecting on how she can contribute to our department, division, and institution’s growth as a result.

3. Success Stories from the Last Year
As I mentioned, this last academic year was record setting for our department in many ways. Further to this, we set learning and development outcomes that align with the University’s new strategic plan. While we have areas for continued growth, we are looking forward to sharing videos of the team’s five-minute stories. These videos will serve as an overview of departmental sub-groups’ annual data demonstrating how they impacted students, alumni, and the greater Laker community. We will also be sharing some of our achievements through our Twitter account which can be accessed through Larry (above) – yes the name of the Twitter bird is Larry.

4. Monthly Reflections from SLT Team Members (including Peer Educators)
Beginning in June, all of our team members (whether professional, para-professional, or student) will contribute to our ongoing dialogue and journey into storytelling as a part of our monthly reporting framework. Our team will reflect on successes or challenges of the prior month, professional development opportunities they have experienced, or engage in larger dialogue in the field of higher education. We are encouraging our Peer Educators to also participate in this as a part of their own meaning-making of their experiences while working with us.

5. Student Reflections
Students engaged with our programs such as the Academic Success Program/Athlete Academic Success Program, Gen 1: First in the Family, Record of Student Development, and others, will have the opportunity to make meaning of their experiences, skill development, and learning on this site. We are excited for these students to engage with us and to have the community engage with them as they journey to discover their voices and purpose in higher education.

6. Staff & Program, Initiative, and Service Spotlights
Spotlights will come up throughout the year to tell our followers more about some of our innovations and high impact learning and development opportunities that support student success.

We hope that you will join us on our journey into embracing our fears and vulnerability as we learn more about what we have to say and why it is so important for us to say it. We are excited to share our story with you all and have you engage with us – supporting, challenging, and encouraging us all to continue to grow and explore our contributions and impact on our institution, community, and profession.