Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Branches campuses - replicable or not?

The Chronicle of Higher Education carried a less than flattering article on branch campuses this last week. Fortunately, it was balanced by an article in UWire today. The question is whether the author is correct or not - could Hamad bin Khalifa University be replicated?

Friday, February 24, 2012

75th Anniversary - Student Personnel Point of View

The American Council on Education formed a study group in 1937 that was to draft a pamphlet entitled "The Student Personnel Point of View." The ACE was and is an academic association but it convened the writing group in 1937 to offer a "point of view" about the importance and focus of this work for the many "deans" who were emerging throughout U.S.A. colleges and universities at the time.

Because "The Student Personnel Point of View" (SPPV) is something I've studied and because I was privileged to personally know one of its authors, Dr. Esther Lloyd-Jones, the American College Personnel Association asked me to write an article to commemorate its 75th Anniversary. This article is available in the January/February, 2012, Journal of College Student Development and is entitled, "The Student Personnel Point of View as a Catalyst for dialogue: 75 years and beyond." The approach I chose to take was to focus on the early days immediately following the release of the 1937 SPPV, with particular attention given to the writings of student affairs' earliest and most prolific scholars - Dr. Esther Lloyd-Jones and Dr. E.G. Williamson.

Copies of the JCSD article can be obtained from the American College Personnel Association by joining the organization or by subscribing to the Journal of College Student Development, which is the leading research journal in the student affairs field. For purposes of this post, I have pasted a summary of the points that I included in the article reflecting the core beliefs of "The Student Personnel Point of View" as well as the similarities, differences, and tensions reflected in Lloyd-Jones and Williamson's writings.

Core Beliefs of The Student Personnel Point of View (1937, 1949):
• All students should be viewed holistically
• All students have dignity and worth and should be encouraged to develop to the full limits of their potentiality
• Learning should be recognized as the result of a variety of rich experiences that take place both in and outside the classroom

Additions in the 1949 Revision:
• Fuller realization of democracy
• International understanding and cooperation
• Education for the application of creative imagination and trained intelligence to the solution of social problems

Lloyd-Jones and Williamson Agreements:
• Advance student personnel/affairs by engaging with the faculty
• Utilize evidence to enhance practice

Lloyd-Jones (left) and Williamson (right) Differences:
Strategy - Lloyd Jones = Catalyst and Williamson = Administration and coordination
Expertise - Lloyd Jones = Infused generalists and Williamson = Specialists
Purpose - Lloyd Jones = Enhancing learning and Williamson = Providing services
Target - Lloyd Jones = Community and Williamson = Individual

As the idea of student affairs spreads in many other places around the world, it is important to look at the original 1937 SPPV in order to determine how the original beliefs espoused by the writing group should be contemporized and/or contextualized for the many places where student affairs is spreading as an emphasis around the world. The above summary points from the 1937 and 1949 SPPV statements offer a way for those in the international arena to look carefully at why their work is important, how it relates to the institutional context where they work, and how one can most effectively advocate for the idea of enhancing student learning through the philosophical framework and research/theory that emerged from these important documents.

2012 Qatar Study Tour and Young Professionals Institute

The Qatar Study Tour and Young Professionals Institute was originally conceived and planned during the 2009 year and then offered to the University of Maryland and University of San Diego masters and doctoral programs in student affairs, higher education, and leadership studies. The first experience was so positive that we forged ahead with the 2nd in 2012. Partners in 2012 were the University of Maryland and Colorado State University.

The QST and YPI was birthed partially out of frustration at the amount of time spent in hosting groups from abroad. The Qatar Foundation sometimes feels like a revolving door with visitors - which is good. However, the visitors almost always just observe, ask questions, offer accolades or express skepticism, and they rarely offer anything in return. Thus the QST and YPI was conceived as a very deliberate and different approach to tour or study groups. The QST and YPI is set up to require the visiting graduate student groups to prepare in advance, to deeply explore the local cultural environment, and then to engage with Qatar student affairs educators through Inquiry Teams. The Inquiry Teams are constructed as learning communities with all participants bring something to the table - either content expertise on student affairs and higher education or cultural authority in knowing how things work in Qatar and the Gulf. The inquiry topics are chosen by staff in Qatar who know what areas need further analysis. So, the end result is visiting graduate students engaging with Qatar staff to push the boundaries of knowledge, especially related to culture-centric practice, that can improve the experience of students attending universities throughout Education City and more broadly in Qatar (i.e. Qatar University, CNA-Q, Community College of Qatar, and Calgary).

The 2012 QST and YPI outcomes are available on googledocs. By posting links here, my hope is to make this information readily available to our Qatar colleagues as well as other colleagues around the world. Two folders are:

QST and YPI Inquiry Team Annotated Bibliographies

QST and YPI Inquiry Team Executive Summaries

Please use this information to help you enhance your practice, keeping in mind that the conclusions are focused in the particular context of the Arabian Gulf and with a student population that is almost entirely Muslim and from a number of countries throughout North Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

International Student Affairs - Please engage

I maintain two blogs - Pursuing Leadership and this one - Global Student Affairs. The Global Student Affairs blog has been slow to catch on but I hope the activity will increase. Four things have happened that revive my interest in posting and interacting here:

1. The 2012 Qatar Study Tour and Young Professionals Institute - First launched in 2010, the QST and YPI was a resounding success in 2012. This particular initiative brought two graduate programs in Student Affairs and Higher Education (University of Maryland and Colorado State University) together with student affairs educators in Qatar for two weeks of immersion and inquiry-based learning.
2. The NASPA/ACPA Arabian Gulf Conference - The Gulf Conference was the 6th in the region and the first to combine sponsorships from the two major U.S.A. student affairs organizations. 180 educators from 10 countries and 29 higher education institutions came together for an extraordinary time of listening to each others' progress in advocating for student affairs as an essential element of higher education in the Gulf.
3. The 75th anniversary of the "Student Personnel Point of View" - After much consideration over the last four years, travel and study of different institutional approaches to student affairs, I wrote a Journal of College Student Development (January/February, 2012) article entitled "The Student Personnel Point of View: Catalyst for 75 years of dialogue."
4. The three above conditions have stimulated interest in Qatar Foundation creating a Certificate in Student Affairs to help our colleagues in Qatar learn about student affairs work and to develop a knowledge community to help us do the best we can do.

So, the time is right to bring more attention to this blog in order to foster some conversation. I will offer comments in subsequent posts about the 2012 Qatar Study Tour and the 75th anniversary of the "Student Personnel Point of View." I invite you to join the conversation with the QF Certificate group who will be invited to read and post on a regular basis. All are welcome, wherever you are. Those of us working in the international arena are all trying to do our best work and we need to be able to converse with and learn from each other.