Within Element 1: Presence and Attitude – Communicate a compelling presence and a steadfast belief in the power of the possible, the courses within my Educational Leadership Program which contributed the most to my development were EDPL 628: Organization & Administration of Student Affairs and EDPL 623: Understanding & Influencing Organizations. Evidence of my growth within this element is found within my professional imprint and flexibility, which may be directly attributed to the readings, class discussions and activities, and assignments from EDPL 628 and EDPL 623.
Discovering and developing my professional imprint was something we, as a class, spent a great deal of time on within EDPL 628. In fact, our culminating final project for the course was to create a Final Action Plan. This Plan was an attempt to exhibit our development in the understanding of the field and profession of student affairs and ultimately to lay out a guide for how we plan to move forward within our careers. This Plan included various components, including but not limited to, a resume, the crafting of a personal student affairs philosophy statement, researching and displaying positions of interest, as well as specific action plan goals. The outlining and development of these goals was an extremely useful exercise which allowed each student the opportunity to self-reflect on their current position and level of expertise and how to strategically and specifically develop as a professional. This course, as well as this assignment, provided an opportunity for reflection on my career choice, my position, and how I hope to continue to make an imprint in future years.
With respect to developing a level of professional flexibility, the readings and class discussions within EDPL 623 were extremely useful. Within this course, we learned the ‘frames’ of Bolman & Deal (2008). Learning the four frames has allowed me the opportunity to better understand and anticipate the actions and reactions of others. With this increased level of awareness, I am able to allow for flexibility in my actions, by simply understanding where another individual may be coming from.