By: Christine Meadows, Knowlton School
I don’t know about you, but I enjoy attending professional conferences—either in person or virtual (although my preference will always be in person). They help ground me and reaffirm why I do what I do. This spring’s Regional Conference (Region 3 & 5) did just that. Kuddos to the organizers for coordinating and executing a successful virtual experience!
When I began looking at session topics, I wanted to be intentional: find sessions that apply directly to the initiatives I oversee in my office and sessions on topics that I was genuinely interested in learning more about. When I selected my sessions, they all had a general theme of working with students in academic difficulty: students in the murky middle or helping students recover and everyone and everything in between. I attended the following sessions:
- Collaborative strategies for retention and academic remediation
- Please answer my email! What academic advisors can learn from marketing best practices
- Leveraging advising technologies to strengthen proactive advising
- Developing an advising retention & student success program for students on academic probation
- Coaching the murky middle: strategies for a successful advising intervention
- The never-ending onion: peeling back the layers of academic actions
I won’t bore everyone with the details, but there a few takeaways from each session that I hope to continue to apply in my day to day responsibilities:
- Collaboration is Key—break down the silos between our units and reach out to colleagues at other institutions. Due to the increase of our online presence, this has never been easier!
- Don’t reinvent the wheel, but you can always modify programs/initiatives to your specific student population.
- The word count in an email matters—who knew?!? The information I learned in the marketing best practices session was super helpful.
- Advising Retention and Student Success Programs—see note about collaboration and reinventing the wheel. I hope we can continue to share our ideas through the Academic Advising teams channel about what our units do to support our students in academic difficulty.
- Academic actions—phraseology matters.
Like many of you, I am gearing up from NFYS/K orientations. While I might be preoccupied supporting these specific student populations, I plan to assess my unit’s academic success module (what’s working/what’s not) along with hopefully creating a communication strategy with my colleagues on outreach to our students. I know I suffer from post-conference energy—I want to do all the things and implement new initiatives within my unit (not sure if that happens to you after a conference). I am easing into it and will refresh a few of our programs for the fall!
Thanks for humoring me on this post!