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Seeing the Connection: Linking Professional Competencies Experience, and Classroom Learning. Jeannine Kranzow, Ph.D. Azusa Pacific University Stacy A. Jacob, Ph.D. Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania Debra S. Gentry, Ph.D. University of Toledo. Framework.

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Seeing the connection linking professional competencies experience and classroom learning

Seeing the Connection: Linking Professional Competencies Experience, and Classroom Learning

Jeannine Kranzow, Ph.D.

Azusa Pacific University

Stacy A. Jacob, Ph.D.

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

Debra S. Gentry, Ph.D.

University of Toledo

Framework Experience, and Classroom Learning

“The profession as a whole might look to the intersect of curriculum and practice—the internships and assistantships of preparation programs—as a place to focus particular attention for the development of skills and knowledge related to a wide range of competencies”

(Cuyjet, Longwell-Grice, and Molina, 2009, p. 114).

Reynolds Experience, and Classroom Learning(2011) investigated specifically “the helping”

competency. Three of the top seven professional development opportunities aligned with linking professional competencies with graduate assistantships & internships.

  • Opportunities for practice

  • GAs, Internships, & Externships

  • Graduate coursework

Who is in Experience, and Classroom Learningattendance?

The issue
The Issue Experience, and Classroom Learning

Students in professional preparation programs in Student Affairs Higher Education often have disconnect between what they are learning in class and how it applies to their professional work.

  • Taught the ACPA/NASPA Professional Competency areas in class.

  • Students "learned about the document", but did not connect it to experiences to Graduate Assistantships, Practicums, Internships.

  • So there was no use of the document for professional development (how to develop new skills and competencies).

Our response
Our response Experience, and Classroom Learning

  • “It’s too late!” - Help students be proactive

  • Build a rubric to help them consider their exposure to each competency – a tool to help students link the competencies to their own experiences both inside and outside of the classroom.

  • Use the tool for a classroom activity to help students view their experiences through a lens of exposure

  • Reflect/journal as a classroom assignment/activity.

Activity try it
Activity: Try It! Experience, and Classroom Learning

  • Faculty: Use the rubric with a job description to see how a student might gain exposure to certain competencies

  • Supervisors: Consider how you could use it with newer professionals.

  • Grad Students and New Professionals: Reflect on how you could use it for your professional development

  • Find the Full Competency descriptions at:

  • First fill out the rubric. Experience, and Classroom Learning

    Now spend some time writing on the following reflective questions.

    Discuss how the rubric was helpful/not helpful in your evaluation of your graduate assistantship or other work experience (in terms of its ability to provide you with the necessary exposure to various competencies).

    After considering your exposure to all the competencies for SA practitioners, what professional development opportunities do you think are important for your growth as a professional?

    Do you see ways to discuss this rubric with your current and/or future supervisor so that you might gain more exposure to specific competencies?

    Did completing this rubric ultimately lead you to feel different about your degree of preparation for the field of student affairs?

    Other thoughts/reflections?

    Themes Experience, and Classroom Learning

    Overwhelmingly “Yes, it was Helpful” – 40 of 43 and 7 of 7 students Provides structure to evaluate GA;

    Useful vehicle for approaching supervisors & being intentional about work responsibilities -- 39 of 43 and 0 of 0 N/A

    Provides awareness of what you are learning & how much there is to learn-- 32 of 43 7 of 7 Became aware of importance and deficits

    Ways to maximize use of the rubric.

    1 structure for evaluating a ga position
    #1 – Structure for Evaluating a GA position Experience, and Classroom Learning

    “Thank you for this rubric; this has been the structure I haven’t had in my graduate assistantship.”

    “I think it is very helpful to evaluate my GA based on the competencies because it helps me see what areas I may need to be more intentional to cover. I think that my professional growth depends on the opportunities I have to see things more on the inside, such as planning, budgeting, & making all the necessary steps to execute an event or even a program vision.”

    Experience, and Classroom LearningOften I only knew what I was doing in my GA because it related back to something that was discussed in class. I think it would be important to base trainings off of these competency areas. Basing trainings and the GA off of these competency areas would allow for a more structured training with measurable outcomes.”

    2 a tool for approaching supervisors
    #2 – A Tool for Approaching Supervisors Experience, and Classroom Learning

    “With this rubric, I feel that I can discuss with my supervisor the exact areas that I need more experience in, and she would help me create a project to cover that area.”

    “By addressing some of the rubric I think my current & future supervisors would be open to shifting some of my job responsibilities so that I could find a way to develop in some aspects that I may be lacking.”

    Experience, and Classroom LearningMy supervisor doesn't have an education background in Student Affairs so I don’t know if he would even understand the competencies I would need to hit.”

    “I think this rubric should and could be discussed

    with supervisors. If it were a program

    requirements to have to score between a 2 to 3 in

    each competency, I am sure my supervisors would

    ensure these learning outcomes were met.”

    3 awareness of what you are learning
    #3 – Awareness of What You Are Learning Experience, and Classroom Learning

    “The rubric was helpful because it gave me insight into what I am and am not learning in my assistantship. I saw the ways that the competencies are indeed being met, but I also saw ways that I can personally try to attain competencies. I think I realized that I sometimes need to be assertive in my desire to seek these competencies out through the role I have in my office. I also saw that some of the competencies will not be met in my current assistantship, which means I will have to seek some alternatives”

    Experience, and Classroom LearningCompleting the rubric helped demonstrate how much knowledge & experience I am lacking as I go into the field & helps me realize there is always more learning to be done.”

    Complexity of capstone students
    Complexity of Capstone students Experience, and Classroom Learning

    This category of awareness made us realize that from a capstone perspective, the awareness is much deeper and more complex

    Still thinking about it.

    Other interesting comments
    Other Interesting Comments Experience, and Classroom Learning

    “This opened my eyes to looking elsewhere for experience during the summer & for next year. I have to create my own networks to get where I would like to be.”

    “My office suggested that I would gain most, if not all, of my competencies though my assistantship. Either I am not seeing the connection yet to the competencies or I should reexamine how my job relates with my boss.”

    Experience, and Classroom LearningI love the fact that I chose Student Affairs with College Counseling. Sometimes people give advice from a friendly standpoint, but I will be able to see both sides.”

    *Note: Intentionally expose yourself!

    How to maximize gains from the rubric
    How to Maximize Gains from the Rubric Experience, and Classroom Learning

    Revisit it

    Encourage students to dialog with others

    Encourage discussion with supervisors.

    Encourage students to claim their education.

    Talk to them about carefully selecting sessions at national conferences.

    Speak to students about how this can help them evaluate work offers.

    Discuss Experience, and Classroom Learning!

    Want m ore information
    Want Experience, and Classroom LearningMore Information?

    Stacy A. Jacob [email protected]

    Jeannine Kranzow [email protected]

    Debra S. Gentry [email protected]

    References Experience, and Classroom Learning

    American College Personnel Association & National

    Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

    (2010). ACPA/NASPA professional competency

    areas for student affairs practitioners. Washington,

    DC: Authors.

    Cuyjet, M. J., Longwell-Grice, R., & Molina, E. (2009).

    Perceptions of new student affairs professionals

    and their supervisors regarding the application of

    competencies learned in preparation programs.

    Journal of College Student Development, 50(1),


    Reynolds, A. (2011). Helping competencies of student affairs professionals: A Delphi study. Journal of College Student Development, 52(3), 362- 369.

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