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Research Paper: Five Big Ten Centers for Experiential Learning Sally Blechschmidt Loyola University Chicago
RESEARCH PAPER As a Big Ten alumna and someone who is interested in working at a large, research
institution, the author was curious how these universities structure experiential learning. In order to understand this concept more fully, the author chose five institutions: Indiana University (IU, 2008), Michigan State University (MSU, 2010), the University of Iowa (UI, 2011), the University of Minnesota (UM, 2011a), and the University of Wisconsin at Madison (UW, 2010). Given the expansive nature of these universities, the author limited the scope of the centers. For example, some institutions’ centers are under larger umbrella offices (e.g., MSU’s Office of University Outreach and Engagement and UM’s Office of Public Engagement) which frequently address needs outside of student experiential learning. In addition to the review of each institution’s center, the author interviewed a coordinator of advising within UW’s Center for Leadership and Involvement (CfLI) (see Appendix for transcript). The coordinator provided insight which reinforces many of the research findings. Ultimately, this paper will weave together center information, components of the coordinators’ interview, and course content. Structure of the Center The centers vary in what they offer and how they are structured. UI’s (2011) Pomerantz Career Center for Leadership and Career Advancement is the most centralized center. Eight areas exist within this center: career education, experiential learning, Hireahawk.com, corporate and community relations, alumni services, student outcomes, academic courses, and Pomerantz research. As the name and many of the areas suggest, this center focuses on career development; however, the center also holds other opportunities for experiential learning. This center contrasts with MSU’s (2010) Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement (CSLCE) and UM’s (2011a) Community Service-Learning Center which focus primarily on service-learning and volunteering. In a wider scope, IU’s (2008) Office of Student Organizations and Leadership
RESEARCH PAPER Development works closely with students on service-learning, service events, leadership programs, academic programs, and student organizations. Finally, UW’s (2010) CfLI mainly implements leadership development and outdoor experiential education programs, as well as act as a resource to involve students during their undergraduate careers. Even from these short
descriptions, one can begin to recognize the similarities and the vast differences between current centers of experiential learning in higher education. Program Design In addition to each center having a different focus, they also engage students in experiential learning in a multitude of ways. UI’s (2011) Pomerantz Center provides career education and leadership studies’ academic courses which integrate seminars, activities, and other events into their curriculum. Yet, the community based learning program recommends service-learning, volunteering, and non-profit internships to engage their students. The corporate and community relations area builds relationships with agencies in order to place students into internships and to assist with career development throughout Iowa and the United States. Because this center has a distinct career vision, most programs revolve around developing one’s career. From a different viewpoint, MSU’s (2010) CSLCE implements their programs in order to work with the community. Students decide whether to devote a few or many hours to civic engagement over the course of the semester. They may partake in service-learning, national/international alternative breaks, Federal Work Study jobs which integrate tutoring, or strict volunteering. Additionally, the CSLCE offers a program which awards $1,000 to students who complete 300 hours of service per calendar year. Furthermore, directly related to implementation is how this center works with community partners. They intend to integrate best
RESEARCH PAPER practices, and communities clarify their needs and roles upon the start of the working relationship. This center most appropriately addresses reciprocity and working with the
community (Jacoby, 1996). Additionally, the concept of reciprocity was clear and intentional on the CSLCE website. In order for programs to be high-impact, their implementation must be intentional (Brownell & Swaner, 2010). Another center which appears intentional in their implementation is UM’s (2011a) Community Service-Learning Center. This center continually reiterates the use and importance of reflection during service-learning. UM students can volunteer, participate in only one servicelearning course/program, or they may decide to become a Community Engagement Scholar. These scholars complete 400 hours of community engagement, 6 reflections, 8 credit hours of academic service-learning, and a final project integrating their service-learning and academic major. Students may also decide to join the Higher Education Consortium for Urban Affairs (HECUA). This consortium coordinates summer and semester long programs which include coursework, an internship, and fieldwork. Students can engage with HECUA locally, nationally, or internationally. Additionally, this center works with the Philosophy Department to provide a 4 week summer course regarding self, vocation and community. For each field opportunity, the center provides training based on one’s previous experience with service-learning. Similar to MSU’s CSLCE, this center is intentional about how they implement their programs and the role which reflection plays in the process (Honnet & Poulsen, 1998; Jacoby, 1996). However, UW’s (2010) CfLI website presents less intentionality and direction in their implementation. For example, they will list the number of options students have to become involved (leadership certificates, outdoor experiential learning, and student organizations), but there is very little information about how the programs operate, except for Adventure Learning
RESEARCH PAPER Programs (ALPS). The website mentions briefly connecting action with reflection; but, in comparison to other websites which devote a significant portion to this component, UW lacks this connection to experiential learning. However, given the decentralized nature of UW (S. Keaton, personal communication, February 10, 2012), perhaps this office is only one piece in engaging students to experiential learning. A center which falls somewhere in between the intentionality of UM and MSU and the
perceived lack of direction of UW is IU’s (2008) Office of Student Organizations and Leadership Development. The office lists a plethora of options in which students can participate (e.g., alternative break immersions [ABIs], service events, first year service programs, servicelearning, academic minors and certificates, internships, capstone seminars, volunteering, international service-learning, student organizations, leadership programs) with many of these activities including high-impact practices to engage students. Although, the website does not include specific details for each of these programs, there is hope that because they have implemented a multitude of high-impact courses, they are programs of quality (Brownell & Swaner, 2010). Certainly, the author would need additional information from the office to fully evaluate program quality. The current state of experiential education in higher education depends on how centers implement their programs. Centers may use similar methods, but they may have different motives for utilizing those methods. Their intentionality must be assessed to identify the meaning behind implementation. Additionally, one must consider the role which the office plays within the university. Should critics judge institutions so harshly if they are still fulfilling their role of engaging students in experiential education? The variety within the implementation of programs reiterates the diverse nature of experiential education in higher education.
RESEARCH PAPER Staffing/Personnel Professional Positions UI (2011) and IU (2008) have significantly larger staffs than the other three university centers. UI’s center has 21 professional staff holding many roles: Assistant Provost for Enrollment Management; nine Directors representing Corporate and Community Relations, Career Services, Academic and Leadership Programs, Marketing and Public Relations, Professional Development, Employer Relations and Internships, Community-Based Learning
Program, Program Assessment and Research, and Career Education; two Associate Directors for Events and Alumni Services and Career Leadership Academy; one Assistant Director of the Career Leadership Academy; four Coordinators for Student and Employee Relations, Quality Service, Departmental Support, and Finances; five Career Advisors; and, the Washington Center Liaison, the Des Moines Center Liaison, the Governmental Liaison, and the International Services Liaison. Some staff members fill more than one role, and the staff titles reiterate the office’s focus on career development. In IU’s (2008) office, there are 12 professional staff members: Associate Director, Assistant Dean of Students, Director of Student Activities, Executive Director of the Center for the Study of the College Fraternity, Assistant Director for Greek Life, Assistant Director for Student Organizations and Civic Engagement, Assistant Director for Leadership, Senior Office Services Assistant, Greek Alumni Coordinator, two Greek Life Advisors, Assessment and Research Coordinator, three Leadership Advisors, two Student Organization Advisors, and one Student Organization Ethics Board Advisor. Similar to UI, these staff members may hold more than one role. The institutions with more intentionality about reciprocity and reflection, MSU (2010) and UM (2011a), actually have smaller professional staffs. MSU’s staff includes: the Director,
RESEARCH PAPER Assistant Director, Budget Manager, Office Manager, Receptionist, Advisor for Student-Led Initiatives, Program Advisor, and two graduate assistants. UM’s office consists of even fewer positions: Community Engagement Scholars Program Coordinator, Service-Learning and Community Involvement Director, Student Programs Coordinator, two Service-Learning Coordinators, and an administrative assistant. Perhaps, even in large institutions, offices can do great things with few resources. Finally, given the nature of UW’s (2010) CfLI, their office employs more coordinating staff. For example, their staff includes: Director/Assistant Dean, Coordinator of Leadership Development, Coordinator of Advising and Technology Services, Coordinator of Involvement, Organizational Advising and Technology Support, Greek Life and Involvement Specialist, Outdoor Experiential Learning Specialist, and two Greek Life graduate assistants. Their role of acting as a resource to students appears evident in how the university staffs this office. Faculty Positions Across all five institutions, faculty members have little involvement in these offices.
Three institutions – UW (2010), UI (2011), and IU (2008) – report utilizing faculty members for leadership and career education courses. Whereas, MSU (2010) and UM (2011a) work directly with faculty on service-learning courses, but faculty members are not employees of their respective centers. Only one institution, IU, included a faculty member on their staff roster. Few aspects of this research on centers within higher education were consistent, yet these findings were starkly similar. Student Support/Student Leadership Positions The three institutions with the smallest number of professional staff – UW (2010), MSU (2010), and UM (2011a) – had the largest contingency of student workers. At UW, the CfLI
RESEARCH PAPER hire: three to six Greek (Fraternity & Sorority) Interns, one IT Assistant, three to six CfLI Summer Interns, one Involvement Intern, one Wisconsin Experience Grant Administrator, three to five CfLI Marketing Interns, four Student Leadership Program (SLP) Coordinators, ten Student Leadership Program (SLP) Committee Chairs, and 15 Organizational Development Consultants. MSU’s website fails to provide exact numbers of student workers, but the office provides information about student-led initiatives which guide alternative spring breaks, volunteer tax assistance, service days, and peer financial education. Additionally, UM encourages students to lead group reflection sessions, and their center employs 17 student staff or graduate interns. Their website does not delineate between undergraduate and graduate students. In contrast, IU (2008), one of the institutions with larger staff, includes student organizations in coordinating some service trips and events, but their website is unclear of the
extent to which students are involved in the implementation process. Finally, UI (2011) reported no student workers. The institutions which are more intentional in their programming may embody more experiential learning principles where both student and teacher work collaboratively to meet agreed upon goals (Dewey, 1938/1997). Student Development Based on the descriptions above, one can imagine most of the emphases, theories, and skills which emerge from each center and office. An outstanding example which weaves student development theory into their practice is MSU’s (2010) CSLCE. The author has already indicated the nature of reciprocity in their work (Jacoby, 1996). This center’s website also reports that their programs develop students personally (psychosocially, cognitively, and social identity), civically, and in their career focus. Given their close involvement and monitoring with
the community, MSU students may reap the developmental benefits from these programs as well as leadership and citizenship skills (Eyler & Giles, 1999). Similarly, UM (2011a) refers to Kolb’s (1984) experiential learning theory, and their grounding in theory is evident in their implementation. With the use of Kolb’s (1984) theory, students must act, reflect, conceptualize, and integrate learning into future experiences. Additionally, their reiteration of continual reflection is likely to promote students psychosocial, cognitive, and social identity development (Jacoby, 1996). Also, some of the programs may contribute to career development and the acquisition of skills, such as the application of knowledge, leadership skills, and critical thinking skills (Eyler & Giles, 1999). Although these two programs exhibit many aspects of student development, other institutions focus more closely on one or two components of student growth. For example, UW (2010) supports a socially responsible leadership perspective (Dugan & Komives, 2010). The website and the informational interview report holistic development, but the center seems to focus more closely on finding opportunities for holistic development (S. Keaton, personal communication, February 10, 2012). Nevertheless, the acquisition of leadership skills and sociocultural awareness were primary for students engaged through the CfLI. Additionally, UI (2011) almost entirely centers on career development. Even if a student engages in service-learning, the motivation to participate relates to exploring potential careers and developing clearer career goals. The extent of development – as gleaned from the website – may be indecipherable. However, students will likely develop specific skills (writing, communication, interpersonal, problem-solving skills, and leadership skills) (Eyler & Giles, 1999). Furthermore, UI’s programs represent what employers want and the demands of the market, rather than the needs of the students.
RESEARCH PAPER Finally, IU’s (2008) discussion of student development connects directly to student
retention and engagement (Kuh, 2008). This finding is not surprising from an institution where George Kuh developed the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). The website also details developing leadership skills, but the focus remains on keeping students in college so that they persist until graduation. Given the breadth of options provided through their office and their use of high-impact practices, students still likely develop personally, interpersonally, and cognitively. Institutional Emphasis Unsurprisingly, centers with a clearer connection to experiential learning, MSU and UM, have stronger support from their respective institutions. The Board of Trustees at MSU endorsed the development of the CSLCE (MSU, 2010). The university’s mission and core values also clearly state a dedication to outreach, addressing society’s needs, and the importance of “quality, inclusiveness, and connectivity” (MSU, 2008b, ¶ 3). Similarly, UM’s (2011b) mission highlights public engagement, developing students civically, as well as collaborating and building relationships with the community. Certainly, the mission and values of the university can drive the center’s purpose. University mission statements with less emphasis on working with the community, yet still include some aspects of experiential learning are UW’s and IU’s. UW’s (2011) mission statement provides broader terms of encouraging leadership, quality outreach programs, sociocultural awareness, and holistic development. However, in contrast to MSU and UM, the UW’s mission statement discusses more about what the community can get from the faculty and staff, rather than how the community, university, and students can influence each other. IU’s (2010) mission statement also provides a broader overview of goals for civic engagement, integration of
learning and service, leadership development, and supporting diversity. Perhaps, a lack of detail in the university mission statement trickles down and affects how these institutions shape their centers of experiential learning. UI’s (2010) mission and vision directly relate to the Pomerantz purpose, but they are starkly different than the other four institutions. The mission focuses on student success and students fulfilling their potential (UI, 2010). It also highlights the excellence of the institution and its students. These university documents minimally mention diversity and community, but they do reinforce the goals of the Pomerantz center. Technically, all centers are connected to the division of student affairs. However, MSU’s (2010) center is jointly held between academic and student affairs, and UM’s (2011a) office of student affairs falls under academic affairs. Once again, the centers with the distinct connection to the principles of service and learning collaborate under both academic and student affairs (Honnet & Poulsen, 1989). If the organizational culture ingrains itself and accepts the principles it hopes to eschew, then more consistently will likely occur between its values and behavior. Conclusion The research and the informational interview provided two necessary perspectives to view the current state of experiential learning. From the research, the author obtained greater insight into how experiential learning centers function within large institutions. Many centers are decentralized, and this structure can create confusion for students and staff (S. Keaton, February 10, 2012). Additionally, the mission of the institution can play a significant role in how universities structure centers of experiential learning and how these centers offer programs. The missions also influence how the university interacts with the community and how they frame
RESEARCH PAPER these interactions. Some institutions identify students as a resource, whereas other universities fail to include them in their workforce. Furthermore, the theoretical emphasis which the office subscribes to varies from institution to institution. Some offices are transparent about the theory which guides their
programs, yet other centers are less clear about their connection to theory. Then, this connection or lack of connection motivates the implementation of programs. For centers which lack a clear connection to theory, this lapse in intentionality will likely influence program quality. The integration of theory in practice, the institutional size, the mission of the university, and the structure of an office are all critical components to consider during a job search. The informational interview also provided additional concepts to consider as the author moves forward as a higher education professional. S. Keaton (personal communication, February 10, 2012) reported that professionals may need to change their environment in order to gain a new perspective as an educator (Eyler & Giles, 1999). This statement reminded the author of a statement by Dewey (1938/1997) when he asked whether “this form of growth create conditions for further growth, or does it set up conditions that shut off the person who has grown in this particular direction from the occasion, stimuli, and opportunities for continuing growth in new directions” (p. 36)? As an imminent professional, the author must remain aware of her own experiences and how they shape her future learning opportunities. If professionals can maintain transformational perspectives, then hopefully their students will also be directed to quality experiential learning experiences (Eyler & Giles, 1999).
RESEARCH PAPER References Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. (2010). Center for leadership and involvement. Retrieved from http://cfli.wisc.edu/ Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System. (2011). UW-Madison mission statement. Retrieved from https://kb.wisc.edu/vip/page.php?id=10290 Brownell, J.E. & Swaner, L.E. (2010). Five high-impact practices: Research on learning outcomes, completion and quality. Association of American Colleges and Universities. Dewey, J. (1938/1997). Experience and education. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster. Dugan, J. P., & Komives, S. R. (2010). Influences on college students’ capacities for socially responsible leadership. Journal of College Student Development, 51(5), 525-549.
Eyler, J. & Giles, Jr., D.E. (1999). Where’s the learning in service-learning? San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Honnet, E.P. & Poulsen, S.J. (1989). Principles of Good Practice for Combining Service and Learning. Racine, WI: Johnson Foundation. Jacoby, B. & Associates. (1996). Service-learning in higher education: Concepts and practices. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Kolb, D.A. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Kuh, G.D. (2008). High-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Association of American Colleges and Universities. Michigan State University Board of Trustees. (2008a). MSU mission statement. Retrieved from http://president.msu.edu/mission/
RESEARCH PAPER Michigan State University Board of Trustees. (2008b). President’s statement on core values. Retrieved from http://president.msu.edu/statements/core-values/ Michigan State University Board of Trustees. (2010). Center for service-learning and civic engagement. Retrieved from http://www.servicelearning.msu.edu/
Regents of the University of Minnesota. (2011a). Community service-learning center. Retrieved from http://www.servicelearning.umn.edu/ Regents of the University of Minnesota. (2011b). History and mission. Retrieved from http://www1.umn.edu/twincities/history-mission/index.html Trustees of Indiana University, The. (2008). Office of student organizations and leadership development. Retrieved from http://sao.indiana.edu/ Trustees of Indiana University, The. (2010). Mission. Retrieved from http://www.indiana.edu/about/mission.shtml University of Iowa, The. (2010). Renewing the Iowa promise: Great opportunities – bold expectations. The strategic plan for the University of Iowa, 2010-2016. Retrieved from http://provost.uiowa.edu/docs/plan/RenewingTheIowaPromise.pdf University of Iowa, The. (2011). Pomerantz career center for leadership and career advancement. Retrieved from http://www.careers.uiowa.edu/
RESEARCH PAPER Appendix: Informational Interview Transcript
Interviewer = Sally Blechschmidt Interviewee = Sheila Keaton, Coordinator of Advising and Technology Services, The Center for Leadership and Involvement (CfLI), Division of Student Life, University of Wisconsin-Madison Sheila Keaton = SK Sally Blechschmidt = SB SB: Thanks so much for taking the time out of your day to speak with me. SK: You’re welcome. It’s nice to have an opportunity to talk about your work. SB: So, I reviewed you biography on the website, but could you tell me in more detail how you arrived at this work of experiential learning. SK: Prior to working as the coordinator of advising, I was a career counselor on the same campus. I was continually thinking about aspects of job which I enjoyed and identifying those which took energy from me. I had been doing this job for a while, and there were two parts to the position: providing career counseling and advising the peer advisors. The second component was just added on to the work week, including coordinating on-call spreadsheets and developing workshops. It was all of the extra work that I realized I was really digging. I loved meeting with students and I still do, but I recognized I was enjoying spreadsheets more than counseling, and that was problem, so I tried to find a more administrative position. I wanted the office to have a good reputation, and I have a thin skin, so I wanted to make sure I could fit in there. I knew someone who worked in there (The Center for Leadership and Involvement [CfLI]), and they said it was a good environment. I really like to geek out on administrative procedure, and I had a position in a similar office in grad school, and I really liked working with student organizations and student organization leaders. I like this position more because when I was career advisor, I could only interact with students a month or two before they graduated; but, in this position, I can find students before it is too late. Students can get more involved before they graduate, and there’s more time to get students involved. SB: So it sounds like you’ve hit on a lot of the rewarding aspects, but do you mind detailing more of what is rewarding about your position? SK: I really enjoy the administrative aspects of my job and the environment of the office. I have access to students years before they graduate. I was ready for a new challenge, and I didn’t want to become the old curmudgeon afraid of change in my last position. I wanted the opportunity to look from a new perspective. I’m constantly required to look at issues from a new perspective. SB: You’ve detailed many of the rewarding aspects, but what would say are the most challenging aspects of your work? SK: The grass is always greener on the other side. I don’t have enough student contact. Before, I was seeing six to seven students per day, but now, I have contact with student workers, but I have fewer interactions with students. I’d say I meet with a student once every other week, when I would like it to be once a day.
SB: I guess I do not understand everything you do. Could you tell me how a normal day of work in the office looks like for you? SK: It’s very busy. Lots of meetings and emails. There’s another person in the office, and we make a two person team. We’re making a lot of decisions about student involvement. There are impromptu meetings, live meetings, or just working through email. We just got a new brand of software for student organizations. Students can use it to register their organizations. So, we’re writing how to manuals and tutorials. We’re doing training workshops, and we’re making decisions about policy. For example, we have 800 organizations on campus, how can we advertise a new feature to all of them? How can we understand the numbers of students who are involved? SB: You segue into a question I wanted to ask: what are the difficulties of advising at a large, research institution? SK: We have 40,000 students, so we need to look from a bigger picture. We are constantly updating our handbook for student organizations online. There is a need to communicate policy to all student organizations, and if there is no policy, we may need to write one. Sometimes, there is more than one policy for the same issue in two separate departments. For example, we have a chalking policy, but the university police also have a chalking policy. We need to find policies which are in contradiction. We need to have a consistent policy and coordinate with other departments to ensure we are sending the same message. SB: So what are some of the skills which are essential to work in your position? SK: In my last job, I was not using a fresh perspective, but now I am using a fresh perspective. I need to think about students who are trying to do the right thing, but they might not know we have a chalking policy. You really need to look at issues holistically. You need to make sure your policies are clear and not difficult to navigate. You need to let them know what resources are available and help them know what cool things they can do. Try to figure out where a student would look. You need to pay attention to detail. If we refer a student to one place in the handbook, the policy should be similar in another place in the handbook. Also, you need to keep things simplified and efficient. Learn to streamline what isn’t needed, so that policies aren’t redundant. You need to be a clear, succinct writer. You can certainly use your writing skills gained from grad school in this position. SB: So, what recommendations do you have for a recent graduate student with a degree in higher education looking to work in your field? SK: I think it comes down to people, regardless of the field. It’s who you know and how you have developed those relationships. You’re always building a reputation, and when you’re finding jobs, it can be a crap shoot. There is a lot of luck involved, and it may have nothing to do with your resume. You should do informational interviews, get your name out there, learn about the university, ask intelligent questions, and follow up well. So, when your resume does come across the desk of an employer, they will think about someone who is passionate and have a positive connotation of you. It’s best done before a job comes up, and it’s something you can do all the time…there’s no need to turn it off. SB: Something which our class has discussed is how student affairs practitioners interact with faculty? If so, are there difficulties working with them to support experiential education?
SK: It’s challenging working with faculty, especially on this campus which has a separate office for everything; so, if you don’t have an established relationship with them, it can be difficult to build one. There are many free standing programs at the university, and many want interactions with faculty, so it can be difficult. We do offer leadership certificates, which students must apply for, and there is an academic component which involves faculty members. Another coworker is attempting to organize a university-wide definition of leadership, but he’s running into barriers. It’s very difficult for our office to work with faculty. UW-Madison is uncommonly decentralized with many separate offices; we are trying to identify how we can work together more with other offices. SB: Thanks again for taking time of your day to talk with me. You’ve given me a lot to think about and process. SK: Feel free to contact me with any additional questions. I hope I was helpful. SB: You were, and I will let you know if any questions linger. Have a good weekend. SK: Take care. Summary I chose to speak with Sheila because I thought she had an interesting role within the Center for Leadership and Involvement (CfLI) at UW-Madison. I hope to become an academic advisor, and I wanted to hear her perspective about advising students in the CfLI. However, she actually does very little advising, which I found initially surprising. Nevertheless, she provided me with insight about how a center operates at a large, research institution. She recognized the need to look at students from a holistic perspective, which I think is critical for all higher education professionals. For someone who may attempt to work at a Big Ten university, it was refreshing to hear this statement come from Sheila. I think this concept would be easily used at a Jesuit or faith-based institution, but I was surprised to hear it from Sheila. Perhaps, I need more interactions with administrators in public institutions, so that I do not assume incorrectly. Additionally, as a future professional, I related with her need to find a better environment in which to work. As someone who has changed careers, this resonated with me significantly as I believe that finding the best fit of environment is a major component of my job search. I believe that in order to be satisfied and productive, there needs to be a person-environment fit. Then, with this better fit, she was able to see a new perspective. I think this statement relates directly with Eyler and Giles (1999) discussion about perspective transformation. Sheila recognized that she was stuck in her current work, and that she needed a change in order to make change. Furthermore, even though she does not provide direct service to students, she is still very much connected to student involvement. Her description provided the bigger picture about the policy and structure which needs to be in place to get students engaged. The student organizations may not directly qualify as high-impact activities, but students engaged in the university may be more likely to persist and graduate. I found this informational interview helpful in understanding that many layers go into the development of student involvement activities and potential leadership opportunities on a college campus.
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