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Professional Staff as Change Agents

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  1. Professional Staff as Change Agents Developing an Attitude of Advocacy when working with Students Theresa Hitchcock, Academic Advisor Office of Mentoring Services and Leadership Development Chris Enstrom, Director, 21st Century Scholars Program Office of Mentoring Services and Leadership Development

  2. GROUND RULES • We are not telling you what to do or how to do your job • We are practitioners, not experts • You are the expert in your field, you know what will work in your field • This is our professional philosophy but may not be accepted in every department • Trust your gut! • What is said in the State Room, stays in the State Room

  3. Advocacy in higher education • In loco parentis • Increase in access • The Servicemen's Readjustment Act 1944 • National Defense Education Act (NDEA) 1958 • Economic Opportunity Act 1964 • Higher Education Act 1965 • Americans with Disability Act 1990 • Elimination of programs to support students • Cut in TRIO funding • Potential changes in Federal Pell Grants • Increase in mental health issues • Change in state federal guidelines regarding financial aid Source:

  4. Definitions of advocate • One that supports or promotes the interests of another (Source: Webster online dictionary ) • nurses should help individuals to clarify their values when making decisions and to reach decisions that uphold their reaffirmed values (Gadow 1980) • informing and supporting a patient in decision-making (Kohnke 1982) • Advocacy can be conceptualized as directing one’s emotional and intellectual efforts toward a cause (Howe, L.L.S, Jerry J. Sweet, J.J.& Bauer,R.M. 2010) • …advocacy involves increasing awareness of particular issues and educating a target audience about those issues, with the goal of bringing about a particular result. (Howe, L.L.S, Jerry J. Sweet, J.J.& Bauer,R.M. 2010) • Can be individual or systematic

  5. How to be a successful advocate • Be Genuine • Be true to your own personal style. • Set clear boundaries with the student. • May require you to go beyond your job description • Know the University systems • Make sure you know the deadlines. (RPS, OSFA, Registrar, advising, etc.) • Be familiar with office/facilities that focus on student support • Be familiar with campus website and publications/marketing materials • Help the student find the best fit for him or her • Don’t take the easy route • Be willing to ask student tough questions • Don’t do the work for the student • Develop relationships with campus resources • Attend campus events • Develop your own Network

  6. Advantages of advocacy • Helping students toward graduation • Teaching students to develop self-responsibility • Fostering equity • Creating a system of word of mouth for your office • Making a difference • Affecting change in the system

  7. Challenges of advocacy • It is not my background/job • Advocacy take time • Advocacy is emotional • Advocacy can be seen as “bending the rules” • Sometimes students have to “fail” to learn • We cannot save everyone

  8. Advocacy vs. enabling

  9. Help students develop self-efficacy • Meet the student where he/she is • Serve as guide through the language/culture of higher education • Consider all the factors affecting the student’s concerns • Provide self-disclosure as example of self-efficacy • Failure is not an option, or is it? • Know your personal boundaries • Know when to refer

  10. Practical advice for advocacy • Don’t do all the work yourself (refer to campus offices) • Remember what’s at stake. • Watch out for squeaky wheels • Remember who you are dealing with (Meet the student where they are) • Understand your client • Know what you are talking about • Follow-up the first time • Don’t forget FERPA • Give the student the benefit of the doubt • Demand honesty • Silence is better than bad advice • Do work on the front end • Follow up

  11. Examples of advocacy Advocacy yielding positive results Bill struggled in his first year of college. He Advocacy examples that did not turn out so well

  12. questions

  13. References • Gadow S. (1980) Existential Advocacy: Philosophical Foundation of Nursing. Springer Publishing Company, New York. • Kohnke M. (1982) Advocacy, Risk, and Reality. Mosby, St Louis. • Howe, L.L.S, Jerry J. Sweet, J.J.& Bauer,R.M. 2010. Advocacy 101: A Step beyond complaining. How the individual practioner can become involved and make a difference. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 24: 373–390, 2010 • Source: