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Cultivating leadership through service. How and why it works!. Learning Outcomes. Understanding the differences between admin-driven and student-led programs Identifying the benefits of student-led initiatives Getting a grasp on how to transition. Who’s running the show?.

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learning outcomes
Learning Outcomes

Understanding the differences between admin-driven and student-led programs

Identifying the benefits of student-led initiatives

Getting a grasp on how to transition

who s running the show
Who’s running the show?

Administrator-driven programs

Student-driven programs

Students bring ideas forth

You bring them in and delegate tasks

Joint promotion

People come to you

Joint execution- you delegate tasks

You review it together, for a 2-dimensional perspective

Continuity is possible!

  • Your idea
  • You plan it
  • You promote it
  • You recruit (often beg) people to sign up
  • You execute it
  • You review it- 1-dimensional analysis
  • You move on to the next program, demanding your attention
challenges of each
Challenges of each

Administrator-driven programs

Student-driven programs

Can be hard to begin- ideas are not always realistic and/or actionable

More opinions can lead to disagreement

Reliability of team members for follow-thru

Self-doubt as students, working with peers

  • You are doing all the work! Your energy will wear thin.
  • Promotion is hard
    • We don’t always speak the same language (Twitter, etc.).
  • Fewer ideas
    • We get disconnected from the their experience as a young adult, at a certain point.
strengths of each
Strengths of each

Administrator-driven programs

Student-driven programs

We have rapport with students as peers

We think outside the box

We have enthusiasm every time!

We have cultural knowledge

What ideas might be of interest

How to communicate those ideas effectively

  • We have experience and insight; we know what is reasonable and what is not
  • We have resources and connections
  • We have institutional knowledge and history
  • We have status on campus- a platform on which to stand
t he ideal balance
The ideal balance
  • It is always best to have student input- it keeps our programs relevant
  • It is beneficial to the administration to share responsibilities
  • It is beneficial to students to have responsibilities and be accountable to the institution and partner agency- for duration of program AND in the long run
  • It is beneficial to student body to see peers modeling social responsibility- creates culture of service
  • The best results come from collaborative relationship with student leaders- benefit to program!

Getting there

  • Define responsibilities for students and admins
  • Give individual attention to student leaders to develop their skills and game plan
  • Once logistics of project are set, turn over control of group to student leaders, but stay close by for support
  • Allow all students to take a piece of the pie- everyone contributes
why service
Why service?

Leadership skills can be developed in a multitude of applications- academics, student activities, fine arts- it is just a matter of taking on responsibility. Service awakens that which makes us most human- compassion. When we reach students in the service of others, we are nurturing something that cannot be taught- rather, it is caught.

  • Community service is relevant to every major and every profession
  • Effective service comes from engaged volunteers
  • Effective leaders engage in meaningful service
what are we looking for
What are we looking for?
  • Ethical decision-making
  • Reliability and accountability
  • Availability
  • Communication skills
  • Internal motivation to succeed
  • Interest in cause
  • Passion for greater good
  • Commitment to the college/university
how can we develop these qualities in students
How can we develop these qualities in students?
  • By holding them to a higher standard- people “rise to the occasion” when you “raise the bar”
  • By paying attention to their skills and learning style- maximize their individual strengths to get the highest return
  • By design- do not allow people to be invisible!
    • Utilize a variety of activities to reveal what each person has to contribute to the group
  • Remember- some of these are inherent traits that aren’t easily taught or learned, but they can be inspired
    • Internal motivation to succeed
    • Interest in cause
    • Passion for greater good
critical components
Critical components
  • Team-building opportunities
  • New experiences
  • Background knowledge on partner agency
  • Background knowledge on location, demographics, politics, and culture
  • Challenges to overcome as a group
  • Community exposure
  • Sense of purpose and efficacy
  • Fun!
ongoing programs alternative spring break
Ongoing ProgramsAlternative Spring Break
  • Ongoing immersion program- 1 week (during Spring Break)
  • Partner with Habitat for Humanity in different locations
  • Student group is selected through application process
  • Weekly meetings from November- March
  • Teambuilding activities, icebreakers, fundraisers
  • Optional class
episodic programs midnight run
Episodic ProgramsMidnight Run
  • Episodic, series program
  • Partners with Midnight Run Organization
  • Organized through Rotaract Club
  • Club meets weekly, event takes place monthly
  • Clothing drives supply program
  • Students self-select into club and for each individual event

Ongoing- ASB

Episodic- Midnight Run

Weekly meetings for Rotaract

Ice breakers (Happy Quarters)


Collecting supplies

Meal prep

Group activities

  • Weekly meetings with group
  • Ice breakers at every meeting
  • Journal buddies
  • Fundraising
  • Meal prep
  • Reflections
  • Group activities

Opportunity for student leadership- put student leaders in charge of icebreakers and group activities; teambuilding brings everyone to the table!

new experiences
New Experiences

Ongoing- ASB

Episodic- Midnight Run

New participants every time

Different stops every time

Different consumers every time

Focus on different supplies every time

  • Visiting new places
  • Changing up the sites
  • Taking advantage of time spent away from campus
  • Site-seeing

Opportunity for student leadership- use student input when selecting service sites; when it is new for the admin, too, there is a greater sense of partnership versus leadership

background knowledge of partner agency
Background knowledge of partner agency

Ongoing- ASB

Episodic- Midnight Run

Rotaract Club advocates

Club fairs

Consumer representatives to Midnight Run Organization are present on Runs

  • Information sessions for program
  • HFH Campus Chapter
  • ASB review program
  • Print materials
  • Group discussion

Opportunity for student leadership- have student leaders help design and present materials

background knowledge of location demographics culture politics
Background knowledge of location, demographics, culture, politics

Ongoing- ASB

Episodic- Midnight Run

Students responsible for group discussion during club meetings

Discussion with consumers on Runs

*local culture

  • Students responsible for group discussion during team meetings
    • Conducting research prior to meetings
    • Coursework (where applicable)
  • Visiting sites of historical, cultural, or political significance
  • Discussion with locals and consumers on trip

Opportunity for student leadership- have students do independent research, and student leaders facilitate discussion

challenges to overcome as a group
Challenges to overcome as a group

Ongoing- ASB

Episodic- Midnight Run


Collecting supplies

Meals preparation

Student participation

  • Fundraising
  • Travel
  • Meal preparation
  • Restricted technology
  • $5 dinner
  • Reflection activities
  • Construction

Opportunity for student leadership- make students responsible for their own fundraising; divide up various preparatory tasks into teams; make students responsible for designing reflections!

community exposure
Community exposure

Ongoing- ASB

Episodic- Midnight Run

Interaction with homeless population on Run

  • Interaction with HFH affiliate
  • Interaction with homeowners
  • Interaction with host church and congregation

Opportunity for student leadership- students are in direct service, so they must interact with others; discuss questions beforehand, so students are prepared to talk to different people

sense of purpose and efficacy
Sense of purpose and efficacy

Ongoing- ASB

Episodic- Midnight Run

Discussion during club meetings, pre and post Run

Direct service

Instant gratification

Opportunities for continuity

  • Discussion during group meetings
    • Of community needs
    • Of HFH mission
    • Of Dominican mission
    • Of their own power
  • Reflection activities
  • Direct service
  • Opportunities for continuity

Opportunity for student leadership- students are responsible for contributing to prep meetings, reflections, and actual service!


Ongoing- ASB

Episodic- Midnight Run


Seeing new things

Meeting new people

  • Teambuilding
  • Seeing new things
  • Meeting new people
  • Learning new skills
  • Restricting technology

Opportunity for student leadership- they bring the fun! It is easy to have fun when you feel good about what you are doing and who you are with. Having fun with others builds self-esteem, which begins the process over!

final thoughts
Final thoughts
  • Young adults are often looking for a sense of belonging. Volunteering with a group builds a sense of community, which everyone belongs to.
  • Doing good, fulfilling work makes people feel better about themselves and what they can contribute to our world. These are the people that we look up to!
  • We are nurturing compassion which can be applied to any discipline for the improvement of society; we are just getting them warmed up!
  • Quote from 2014 graduate:

“…I knew from then on I had to always volunteer, because it was nourishment to my soul. Outreach means lending a hand to lift up. When we volunteer, we are a symbol of God’s love, and that should not be taken lightly…I believe I became a more compassionate person due to volunteering, and I have a strong sense of self due to being an RA…” ~ Vaughna Jarvis