Categories
EDU588: Student Services

EDU588: Week 6 – Final Paper

Week 6 – Final Paper

Student Services as a Profession

[WLO: 2] [CLOs: 1, 2, 3]

Prior to beginning work on this assignment, review Parts Three and Four in the course textbook.

The purpose of the Final Paper is to gain perspective regarding a profession in student services by undertaking research and using your Week 4 interview with a student services practitioner in admissions, advising, tutoring, or other support services. You will then use the responses from the interview to synthesize and analyze your findings based on what you learned in this course.

Note the following list and summaries of activities due in Weeks 1, 2, and 4, which were preliminary to this Final Paper:

  • Week 1 Analytical Paper assignment: Select and analyze a topic or issue to be included in the interview and Final Paper.
  • Week 2 Schedule and Plan the Interview assignment: Schedule a one-hour (or longer) meeting to take place by or before Day 2 of Week 4.
  • Week 4 Conduct and Report on the Interview: Conduct the interview before the end of Day 2, Week 4, and submit a summary of, and reflections on, the interview by Day 7 of Week 4.

During the interview, you were required to ask, at minimum, the following six questions, plus the two or three questions you developed on your selected topic area and issue, plus any other questions that address areas important to you:

  • Why did you decide to pursue a career in student services?
  • What skills/competencies do you feel are necessary for a career in student services and why?
  • What do you think is the purpose of student services in higher education?
  • What are some strategies for being successful in the field of student services?
  • What are some challenges with a career in student services?
  • How do you collaborate with faculty to support student success?

In your paper, address the following:

In the introduction section,

  • Identify your interviewee, including his or her place of employment, position, roles, and responsibilities.
  • Describe the issue you selected in Week 1 and discussed with your interviewee.
  • Explain why you selected the issue and what you hoped to learn from the interviewee.

In the body of the paper,

  • Analyze the interview responses with reference to at least one of the theoretical bases of the student services profession (see Part Three of your textbook), addressing for the similarities and differences between theory and practice.
  • Explain how the skills/competencies that the student services practitioner mentioned in the interview relate to the 10 essential competencies listed in your textbook (Part Five).
  • Assess how well the student services practitioner engages in good practices for academic and student services partnerships.
  • Identify the challenges that were revealed during the interview.
  • Provide recommendations for overcoming these challenges.

In the conclusion,

  • Discuss what you have learned from the interview and from the course and how both will shape your development as a student services practitioner.

The Student Services as a Profession paper

For further assistance with the formatting and the title page, refer to APA Formatting for Word 2013 (Links to an external site.).

Review the Writing Center’s Grammarly (Links to an external site.) page before you submit your written assignment. Set up a Grammarly account (if you have not already done so), and use Grammarly to review a rough draft of your assignment. Then, carefully review all issues identified by Grammarly and revise your work as needed.

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EDU588: Student Services

EDU588: Week 6 – Discussion

Week 6 – Discussion

Your initial discussion thread is due on Day 3 (Thursday) and you have until Day 7 (Monday) to respond to your classmates. Your grade will reflect both the quality of your initial post and the depth of your responses. Refer to the Discussion Forum Grading Rubric under the Settings icon above for guidance on how your discussion will be evaluated.

Most Important Takeaways [WLO: 1] [CLOs: 1, 2, 3]

Prior to beginning work on this discussion, review the learning that occurred over the past five weeks by revisiting the readings, along with your work on the discussions and assignments.

This student-led and moderated discussion format provides the chance to interact with your classmates at a scholarly level regarding any of the Weeks 1 through 5 topics. The format is designed to allow for autonomy and deep exploration of the content that is meaningful to you and your peers. Your instructor will participate in the discussions to clarify details or to provide guidance, support, and/or resources.

In your initial post, your discussion may be generated from any topic, instructional material, resource, or assignment through all five weeks of course content. The topics must be aligned with the course learning outcomes:

  1. Analyze student services including admissions, advising, tutoring, and other support services
  2. Compare approaches for student engagement in online and campus-based programs.
  3. Critique issues of diversity, security, accommodations, and ethics.

The subject matter and approach of your initial post is open-ended and should draw on the interests and experience of the students in the course. Your post should contain an introduction to the topic (150 to 200 words) and one or more open-ended questions to promote continued dialogue.

Guided Response: Respond to at least two peers by Day 5. Address the open-ended questions they proposed in their initial response and add any related thoughts or reflections you may have. Compare and contrast what you and your peers found interesting, valuable, and perhaps not-so-valuable about topics presented in the course. Support your responses with citations to the course materials and/or outside scholarly sources.

Though two replies are the basic expectation, for deeper engagement and application of the material, you are encouraged to provide responses to any comments or questions others have given to you (including your instructor) before Day 7. This ongoing engagement in the discussion will deepen the conversation while providing opportunities to demonstrate your content expertise, critical thinking, and real-world experiences with this topic. In addition to offering comments, encourage further conversation by questioning your peers about their responses.

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EDU588: Student Services

EDU588: Week 4 – Assignment

Week 4 – Assignment

Conduct and Report on the Interview

[WLOs: 4, 5] [CLOs: 1, 2, 3]

Prior to beginning this assignment, read the resource A Short Guide for Conducting Research Interviews (Links to an external site.) and the article Bridging the Gaps: Connecting Student Services to Promote Student Success (Links to an external site.).

Now that you have selected a student services topic category, refined and identified a related issue, and scheduled an interview to take place during or before Day 2 of Week 4 (which is Wednesday of this week), it is time to conduct your interview (if you have not already done so), and write up a report on how it went and your thoughts going forward toward the Final Paper.

During the interview, you are required to ask, at minimum, the following six questions, plus the two or three questions you developed on your selected topic area and issue, plus any other questions that address areas important to you:

  • Why did you decide to pursue a career in student services?
  • What skills/competencies do you feel are necessary for a career in student services and why?
  • What do you think is the purpose of student services in higher education?
  • What are some strategies for being successful in the field of student services?
  • What are some challenges with a career in student services?
  • How do you collaborate with faculty to support student success?

As an optional exercise, address any other considerations, ideas, nuances, or resources that may help you consider a career in student services.

This assignment should include and address the following items:

  • Summarize briefly the interviewee’s responses to the main questions you asked, including the five required questions, and the two or three questions you wrote in Week 1 (and may have refined since then) on your selected topic area and issue. (This will require that you provide the questions as well as summarize the answers.)
  • Describe in more depth what you consider the main points of your interview, including citations of the most important and useful exchanges that took place.
  • Explain the major takeaways from the interview and how you intend to integrate the associated insights into your Final Paper.
  • Identify remaining questions or new questions that came up during the interview.
  • Describe research you might undertake regarding these questions before you write the Final Paper.

The Conduct and Report on the Interview paper

For further assistance with the formatting and the title page, refer to APA Formatting for Word 2013 (Links to an external site.).

Review the Writing Center’s Grammarly (Links to an external site.) page before you submit your written assignment. Set up a Grammarly account (if you have not already done so), and use Grammarly to review a rough draft of your assignment. Then, carefully review all issues identified by Grammarly and revise your work as needed.

Carefully review the Grading Rubric for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.

Categories
EDU588: Student Services

EDU588: Week 4 – Discussion 2

Week 4 – Discussion 2

Your initial discussion thread is due on Day 3 (Thursday) and you have until Day 7 (Monday) to respond to your classmates. Your grade will reflect both the quality of your initial post and the depth of your responses. Refer to the Discussion Forum Grading Rubric under the Settings icon above for guidance on how your discussion will be evaluated.

Self-Assessments: Recommendations [WLO: 2] [CLOs: 1, 2, 3]

Prior to beginning work on this discussion, quickly review Chapters 22 through 31 in the course textbook, which were required reading for Week 3.

Your initial post for this discussion is to upload your Competencies Self-Assessment presentation, which was your Week 3 assignment, to this discussion forum so you and your peers can exchange insights and recommendations. Note that this assignment will support your Week 4 discussion. You are not required to post any written content, other than the presentation, to your initial post.

Guided Response: Review at least two of your peers’ Competencies Self-Assessment presentations and offer constructive feedback and recommendations regarding how they can achieve their specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals, and facilitate continuing development in those areas they have identified as in need of such development.

Categories
EDU588: Student Services

EDU588: Week 4 – Discussion 1

Week 4 – Discussion 1

Your initial discussion thread is due on Day 3 (Thursday) and you have until Day 7 (Monday) to respond to your classmates. Your grade will reflect both the quality of your initial post and the depth of your responses. Refer to the Discussion Forum Grading Rubric under the Settings icon above for guidance on how your discussion will be evaluated.

Debate: Using Social Media in Student Services [WLO: 1] [CLO: 2]

Prior to beginning work on this discussion, read Chapter 20 in the course textbook and the article Serious Social Media: On the Use of Social Media for Improving Students’ Adjustment to College (Links to an external site.).

The use of social media can be a controversial topic in the realm of education and in student services specifically. It would seem reasonable that the authors of Chapter 20 in your textbook assume a benign position with regard to the pros versus cons on the use of various communication technologies. They describe a broad debate between technology critics (who “bombard” us with frightful images of the Internet) and technology optimists (who refute most concerns regarding the hazards of the Internet with scientific evidence), and come down strongly on the latter pro-technology side.

Although it may be tempting to enter into a technology up-or-down debate, such a stark opposition is arguably not compatible with the complexity of the issue. Moreover, a technology yes-or-no argument is arguably meaningless in a world in which networked technologies of information and communication are ubiquitous. To the question of whether we should discuss social media in the context of student services, the authors reply, “This question is nearing uselessness with the uptake of technology among the population, especially among the younger population” (Schuh, Jones, & Torres, 2017, p. 346).

For this discussion, then, you move forward to a debate on how the virtues and vices associated with social media and other networked communication technologies can best be navigated to inform your decisions on how such media can best be put to use and what practices should be avoided or subjected to specific controls. To begin, select one social media-based practice cited by the authors of your textbook in Chapter 10.

As a mechanism to facilitate debate, begin your initial post by identifying yourself as falling into one of the following four categories with respect to the pros-versus-cons sides on the use of social media in student services:

  • Technology Advocate

The example demonstrates the strong, positive usefulness of social media technologies; you tend to favor the rapid and widespread adoption in student services.

  • Centrist

The example demonstrates the complexity of evaluating social media technologies, which may have significant benefits yet do significant harm; you tend to favor evaluating each application of social media in student services on its individual merits.

  • Technology Critic

The hazards associated with social media often or mostly outweigh the possible benefits. The use of these technologies by student services should be restrained and subjected to strict controls, and some technologies should be avoided altogether.

  • Not Sure

I am strongly conflicted about these technological questions or just cannot decide what my position is on the broader questions.

If none, or more than one, fits your position on the issues, select the category that comes closest. As you will read in the Guided Response, this categorization will be used to facilitate debate and serve as a learning exercise and opportunity to critically examine opinions and positions. It is not intended to label or constrain your thinking or define your identity.

In the main body of your initial post, address each of the following items with respect to the practice you selected:

  • Identify the practice, citing its mention in Chapter 10 and summarizing that content.
  • Summarize the most compelling technology-critical argument you are able to articulate or find in the literature as to why this practice might be harmful and/or best avoided. Keep in mind that this may or may not be your position, and that you will have the opportunity to evaluate it critically.
  • Evaluate your chosen technology-critical argument versus a pro-technology position that finds the practice is beneficial and should be adopted. Are desirable outcomes certain or likely? Are harmful outcomes certain or likely?
  • Describe your position on whether the practice should be adopted and, if so, how.

Guided Response: Respond to at least two of your peers who have categorized their broad position on the social -media-in–student services question differently than you have. Present an argument to convince them to adopt a position more like yours and/or acknowledge if their argument has already changed your position.

In spite of selecting different categories, you and your peers may agree on any number of points. In all cases, maintain professionalism regardless of your position and consider this an exercise in disagreeing—and agreeing—respectfully.

Though two replies are the basic expectation, for deeper engagement and application of the material, you are encouraged to provide responses to any comments or questions others have given to you (including your instructor) before Day 7. This ongoing engagement in the discussion will deepen the conversation while providing opportunities to demonstrate your content expertise, critical thinking, and real-world experiences with this topic. In addition to offering comments, encourage further conversation by questioning your peers about their responses.

Categories
EDU588: Student Services

EDU588: Week 3 – Assignment

Week 3 – Assignment

Competencies Self-Assessment

[WLO: 2] [CLOs: 1, 3]

Prior to beginning work on this assignment, review Chapters 22 through 31 of the course textbook.

The purpose of this assignment is to examine the competencies that are essential for a career in student services and to reflect on your strengths and areas of growth within these competencies. This exercise will be concluded in the Week 4 Self-Assessments Recommendations discussion, where you and your peers will comment on each other’s Self-Assessments.

This week’s textbook chapters from Part 5 focus on essential competencies (Chapters 22 through 31), which include

  • Professionalism
  • Multiculturalism
  • Leadership
  • Staffing and supervision
  • Teaching and Facilitation
  • Counseling and helping skills
  • Advising student organizations
  • Crisis management
  • Designing programs for engaging differences
  • Applying theories and research to practice

For this assignment, develop and submit a professional presentation meeting the following content expectations:

  • Describe each of the 10 competency categories named above (at least one slide for each competency will give you at least 10 slides). In each description, be sure to include the name of the competency, what it includes, and why it is important to a career in student services.
  • Identify, for each competency, those in which you show particular strength as well as those in which you require further growth and development.
  • Justify your choice for one of the competencies for which you identified a need for further growth and development (one slide).
  • Create an action plan using a specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goal that will help you work toward progressing in your identified area of growth within the chosen competency that you identified as a need for the further growth and development (on the same slide as the previous bullet).
  • Describe how professional organizations might play a role in helping you grow professionally (on a final slide). For guidelines on using proper SMART formatting, view the video Learn to Write SMART Goals in 2 Minutes (Links to an external site.)

The Competencies Self-Assessment presentation

  • Must provide the text of your narration for each slide. If you are using Microsoft PowerPoint for your presentation, use the presenter notes under each slide found in Microsoft PowerPoint to write the transcript that you will then narrate. You may also utilize the Microsoft PowerPoint recording feature (view this video for support) or use the presenter tool of your choice, such as

If you do not choose PowerPoint for your presentation, consider using Prezi (Links to an external site.) to create your slides. Write your transcript in a Word document, upload as a separate attachment, and then use one of the presenter tools above to narrate your Prezi. You may appear on camera with your content or just have your voice recorded. You must provide text and bullet points and graphics on your slides. (Most of your content will be included in the notes section of your PowerPoint or on your Word document.)

For further assistance with the formatting and the title page, refer to APA Formatting for Word 2013 (Links to an external site.).

Categories
EDU588: Student Services

EDU588: Week 1 – Assignment

Week 1 – Assignment

History and Philosophy of Student Services

[WLO: 3] [CLOs: 1, 2, 3]

Prior to beginning work on this assignment, read the article The Role of Student Services in the Improving of Student Experience in Higher Education (Links to an external site.) and explore the NASPA Focus Areas (Links to an external site.) web page, which identifies focus areas that are critical to the student services profession. This web page will help you choose the topic area and issue for this assignment, and also help you with the interview and Final Paper.

As you read in the introduction to Week 1, the activities for this course include a Final Paper that is based on an interview with a student services professional along with synthesis of the materials in the course and individual research. For this assignment, you are required to select a topic or issue relevant to the student services profession to discuss with your interviewee, and then to write a paper to analyze the issue and to develop two or three additional questions on that topic/issue to ask during the interview.

Following are some topic areas you might consider for your interview or research (you may derive your issue from one on this list or develop a topic of your own):

  • Increasing enrollment in higher education by distance learners, online learners, and older adult learners
  • Increasing diversity of student body (race, ethnicity, immigration status, sexuality, gender)
  • Economic disparities among college students
  • Social media and its impact for student code of conduct policies and enforcement
  • Increased business applications of competition

Once you have selected a topic area, begin to refine your topic to address a problem, issue, or question relevant to the student services profession. Through the remainder of the course, this refined topic will be called your issue. To help you with your topic, search in the Ashford University Library and/or other sources of credible literature to find two articles, at least one of which is scholarly, that address or inform the issue or question you are thinking about.

Once you have selected a topic area and a related issue or question, this assignment has two parts.

For the first part, identify, summarize, and analyze your topic area and issue. In this part of the assignment, address the following items:

In the introduction,

  • Describe the topic area and issue.
  • Explain why the topic and issue are important and of interest to you.

For help writing the introduction and conclusion of the paper, review the Ashford University Writing Center’s Introductions & Conclusions (Links to an external site.) resource.

In the body of your paper,

  • Describe your thinking on this issue and your position, insofar as you have one at this point.
  • Assess how the thinking and ideas provided in researched articles are relevant to your topic and issue.
  • Explain how addressing your topic and issue might shift the direction, focus, or concern for student services professionals.

For the second part of this assignment,

  • Draft two or three interview questions on the selected topic and issue that you would like to ask the person you will be interviewing in Week 4. These questions will be addressed to the interviewee along with five Required Questions for the Interview  download.
  • Provide your rationale for asking these questions, stating clearly what you hope to find out and why.
  • Reflect on how the issue or problem you have in mind has implications for student service professionals and your present and/or future career.

The Analytical Paper paper

For further assistance with the formatting and the title page, refer to APA Formatting for Word 2013 (Links to an external site.).

Categories
EDU588: Student Services

EDU588: Week 1 – Discussion

Week 1 – Discussion

Your initial discussion thread is due on Day 3 (Thursday) and you have until Day 7 (Monday) to respond to your classmates. Your grade will reflect both the quality of your initial post and the depth of your responses. Refer to the Discussion Forum Grading Rubric under the Settings icon above for guidance on how your discussion will be evaluated.

A Professional Philosophy for Student Services [WLO: 2] [CLO: 1]

Prior to beginning work on this discussion, read the course textbook Chapter 3, Philosophies and Values. Much or most of the discussion provided in this chapter is an attempt to address the question ‘“Is the student affairs profession in need of a professional philosophy?”’ (Schuh, Jones, & Torres, 2017, p. 39), which is cited on the first page of Chapter 3 and attributed to Louis Stamatakos and Russell Rogers, two ground-breaking scholars of education and the student affairs profession (a term roughly interchangeable with “student affairs”). The chapter goes on to examine a long tradition of philosophical statements, principles, and perspectives that scholars in our field have identified as foundational to such a philosophy.

For this discussion, select one of the philosophical statements, principles, or frameworks cited and discussed in Chapter 3 of the textbook. This should be one that you believe offers a compelling philosophical rationale for student services and guidance to practitioners.

In your initial post,

  • Identify and briefly summarize the philosophical statement, principle, or framework you selected.
  • Explain why you find it to be compelling or of interest.
  • Cite a scenario or case that might come up in student services and explain how your selected theory could be applied to inform practice in a constructive way and lead to desired outcomes. This scenario may be fictional—one you make up—or it may be drawn from sources or from your experience.

Guided Response: In responding to at least two of your peers, respond if possible to at least one who selected the same philosophical statement, principle, theory, or framework that you did. In your responses, critically assess your classmates’ selections of philosophies and justifications, and offer suggestions that extend their assessment and application.

Though two replies are the basic expectation, for deeper engagement and application of the material, you are encouraged to provide responses to any comments or questions others have given to you (including your instructor) before Day 7. This ongoing engagement in the discussion will deepen the conversation while providing opportunities to demonstrate your content expertise, critical thinking, and real-world experiences with this topic. In addition to offering comments, encourage further conversation by questioning your peers about their responses.