2018 NASPA Annual Conference

Pre-conference Presenters share more about their topics: Saturday afternoon installment


As a follow up to our blog highlighting full-day pre-conferences, we've asked the half-day pre-conference presenters to tell us a little more about the topics they are bringing to #NASPA18. Thank you to the pre-conference presenters for contributing to these session highlights.

Saturday Afternoon Pre-conferences

The Saturday afternoon workshop Roundtable on Diversity and Equity: Envisioning Our Work Ahead During Challenging Times will include interactive, real and authentic dialogues focused on identifying and honing professional practices that are rooted in diversity, inclusion and equity within a student affairs and higher education context. Participants will collectively envision broad based strategies for advancing campus based social justice and equity initiatives and develop concrete action plans for their individual roles and institutional work. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet and vision with other individuals committed to advancing equity and social justice in higher education and in greater society. This will be a highly interactive session that will include time to breath, reflect, imagine, and strategize. Moreover, while we will engage around challenging topics, we will also carve out time to explore what brings joy in doing our work. The Roundtable has occurred at NYU for the past three years and at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity with overwhelming positive feedback. The roundtable faculty are seasoned student affairs professionals with national and international reputations in advancing institutional equity and inclusion in higher education.  

The need for civic learning and democratic engagement at higher education institutions is more important than ever. Participants should come to Navigating Student Activism, Leadership, and Civic Education Around the Country because it is important to understand the elements of developing a civic-minded institution and how they can be enhanced at various types of colleges and universities. Leave this pre-conference with increased knowledge of the theoretical framework for building civic minded institutions, a benchmark of the five elements at their own institutions and a plan of action and awareness of other institution practices through small group discussions. Additionally, a panel comprised of professionals from the area will share perspectives on how their institutions and offices are navigating these topics and responding to current events, making this workshop even more relevant. The main presenter for the first portion of our workshop is Dr. Laura Osteen, the director of leadership and social change at Florida State University where she has been for the past 14 years. She oversees 40 different programs related to civic engagement, leadership development, and social change. Dr. Osteen has a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in College Student Personnel with an emphasis in leadership development and organizational change.

We tend to learn about media scandals and litigation disputes the hard way, When Keeping It Real Goes Right: Lessons Learned from Political, Media, and Litigation Sagas will provide insider information about these difficult and stressful situations so attendees are better prepared if/when they occur. Political savvy, intuition, courage and clarity about bottom lines are key ingredients for navigating potentially ruinous situations.  This workshop will help attendees develop them. A Chief Diversity Officer whose office was defunded by the State Legislature and a former VPSA and current professor who confronted a sexual harassment cover-up will share their stories and lessons learned.

Participants who attend A Step-by-Step Guide to Co-Curricular Mapping will be provided specific activities and materials to construct their own learning maps. At the conclusion of the workshop, participants should have a completed map and should also be able to conduct similar exercises on their own campuses. Learning does not take place in discrete and isolated episodes. It takes place across time, interacts with other learning and is applied in various contexts across one’s time in college. That is not, however, how we often measure student learning. We write learning outcomes that suggest that learning and development in our programs is attributable to specific, even one-time learning activities – and we try to the extent possible to isolate learning to those encounters. Co-curricular mapping offers an alternative. It puts learning outcomes in motion.  This process is designed to help experiential educators consider how students participating in their programs can gain increasingly higher order thinking skills as they participate across time and also how we can measure that learning. For many years, a variety of experts have suggested that co-curricular mapping is a good idea. And, while the process of competency mapping is relatively straightforward, the abstract nature of such a concept can be a barrier to some who have not participated in such a process before. Borrego (2006) makes this point in Learning Reconsidered 2, writing, “Mapping…is not new to most practitioners, but it has typically not been clearly defined and documented (p. 15). This workshop will use a practical approach for co-curricular mapping that is articulated by Peck (2018) in “Mapping Job-Ready Skills in Student Leadership Programs” which appears in the forthcoming edition of New Directions for Student Leadership (Spring, 2018). There may be a tendency for some to assume that expertise in assessment would be necessary to benefit from this workshop. Those with a background in assessment will be exposed to new ideas that can benefit them in their work and those who are new to assessment will not find that it is over their heads. The workshop will focus on a new way of approaching assessment, so individuals will all begin on an even playing field.

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