The Strategic Guide to Shaping Your Student Affairs Career

Paper: 978 1 57922 958 0 / $26.00
 
Published: March 2014  

Cloth: 978 1 57922 957 3 / $95.00
 
Published: March 2014  

Lib E-Book: 978 1 57922 959 7 / $95.00  
About Library E-Book

Published: April 2014  

E-Book: 978 1 57922 960 3 / $19.99
 
Published: April 2014  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
196 pp., 6" x 9"
This is a book for any student affairs professional who wants to strategically shape his or her career path—and will be particularly helpful for people in early or mid-career, or contemplating a career, in student affairs.

By engagingly offering us the fruits of the reflective and strategic approach she has used to shape her own career, and of the theoretical and practical approaches she has undertaken to map out the culture and dynamics of student affairs, and by gathering the voices of 25 professionals who offer the insights and advice derived from their own experiences, Sonja Ardoin has created a guide for everyone in student affairs who wants to be intentional in setting the course for their professional and personal development.

She begins by describing the changing and varied student populations who are the heart of this field, and outlines the typical organizational structures of student affairs, the range of functional areas, and how practice varies by size and type of institution. She highlights major trends, discusses the typical paths of entry to the profession, the expectations and realities of starting in a new position, the process of socialization, and the required skills and competencies.

She devotes the core of the book to the five key elements for developing a career strategy: Lifelong Learning, Extending Your Experiences, Planning for Professional Development, Networking/Connecting, and Self-Reflection, and provides advice on the job search, from application through interview. In doing so she ranges over choices to be made about formal qualifications, and describes activities – from volunteering and committee work to conference presentations, writing and teaching – that we can use to strategically develop the proficiencies to attain our goals.


Table of Contents:
FOREWORD

1. INTRODUCTION TO THE FIELD
Student Demographics on Today’s College Campuses
Student Affairs’ Role on Campuses
Student Affairs By Institutional Type
Student Affairs Structures
Functional Areas
Chapter Summary

2. NEW PROFESSIONALS THROUGH THE MAGNIFYING MIRROR
Who Are You and Your Peers?
What Are Your Ideal Expectations and What Is the Reality?
What Are the Career Themes You Might Want to Consider?
Which Skills Do You Have and Which Ones Are Useful?
In What Areas Should You Focus Your Professional Development?
In What Areas Should You Strive to Be Competent?
Chapter Summary

3. CREATING A STUDENT AFFAIRS CAREER STRATEGY
Intentional and Spontaneous
Reflecting on Your Current Strategy (or Lack Thereof)
Five Career Strategy Components
Chapter Summary

4. LIFELONG LEARNING
Formal Processes of Learning
Informal Processes of Learning
Personal Stories
Chapter Summary

5. THE JOB HUNT AND EXTENDING YOUR EXPERIENCES
The Job Search
Gaining Experience Outside of Your Job Description
Personal Stories
Chapter Summary

6. PLANNING FOR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
It Is Your Responsibility
Navigating Professional Development Options
Get Creative
Crafting Your Plan on “Paper”
Personal Stories
Chapter Summary

7. NETWORKING OR CONNECTING
Do You!
Politics
Personal Stories
Chapter Summary

8. SELF-REFLECTION
Do You!
Personal Stories
Chapter Summary

APPENDIX A: Initial Self-Reflection Questions

APPENDIX B: Job Interview Question Examples

APPENDIX C: Professional Development Plan

REFERENCES

READING SUGGESTIONS FOR NEW AND MID-LEVEL STUDENT AFFAIRS PROFESSIONALS FROM YOUR PEERS

AUTHOR AND CONTRIBUTORS

INDEX


Teachers - Request Exam Copy Sample Chapter 3

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Reviews & Endorsements:
“From the point of view of someone in his first year in Student Affairs, Sonja’s book provides honest guidance about what it means to be a new professional. Sonja presents theory and practical insight on how you can create and take advantages of opportunities that will enhance your career, and addresses many of the challenging experiences you will face when starting out. Reading this manuscript while I transitioned into a full-time position was extremely fortuitous.”
- Thomas Harwell, Resident Director at Boston College
"Ardoin and her coauthors invite readers into a learning partnership to navigate becoming a student affairs educator. [Her] emphasis on bringing one’s personal authority to career planning is a central theme of the book. Ardoin advocates professionals taking responsibility for their own growth and development and approaching their careers with intentionality. To assist readers in taking up the invitation, she provides a concrete career strategy that includes five components: lifelong learning, extending your experiences, planning for professional development, networking and connecting, and self-reflection. The book explicitly addresses balancing intentionality and flexibility in advocating these strategies as processes for continued growth. Ardoin emphasizes personal authority in her focus on developing one’s individual style for how to plan, strategize, network, and reflect. She recognizes that career planning is not a one-size-fits-all process and provides good questions, worksheets, and resources throughout to help focus self-reflection, assessment and personal stock-taking.

Ardoin and her colleagues offer good company for readers in various stages of student affairs careers to recompose meaningful work and adult lives."
- Marcia B. Baxter Magolda