Within Element 4: Student Development – Curriculum, Co-curriculum, Professional Development and Instruction, the courses within my Educational Leadership Program which contributed the most to my development were EDPL 624: Human Resource Management in Higher Education Settings and EDPL 628: Organization & Administration of Student Affairs. Evidence in my growth within this element is found within my professional growth, which may be directly attributed to the readings, class discussions and activities, and assignments from EDPL 624 and EDPL 628.
As a result of EDPL 624 and EDPL 628, my professional growth has undoubtedly developed. The classroom discussions in both courses were extremely beneficial in granting me the opportunity to think ‘outside the box,’ or how I would normally think in my current professional roles. These discussions challenged me to think as ‘my future self,’ grappling with issues that will surely present themselves in the future, which I may begin laying the foundation to address now. Within EDPL 624, the class entertained several role-play activities where we were forced to come out of our shell, escape hypotheticals, and actually act as though we were in management positions and faced with solving and leading others through issues. These activities forced me to think not on paper, but through action. While uncomfortable at times, I think the majority of class was able to work through the discomfort and find ways to enhance their confidence to be able to effectively address such issues in the future.
Part of professional growth is also self-reflection. Within EDPL 624, the class was tasked with seeking input from colleges, participate in an assessment, of their current professional performance. From this assessment, I have been able to learn how others view me professionally. The feedback received not only aids my current work performance, but also allowed me to garner information which will prove useful as I take steps towards advancing within my career. Knowing my areas for improvement will only serve to help me better address them now, so that I may become the best professional possible. Additionally, the final action plan assignment within EDPL 628 truly helped to map out my future. While I may not stick to the plan exactly, the exercise of having to put things on paper has truly shown me a path which is possible. Often times students and/or young professionals are unsure of how to take the next step professionally; however, this exercise forced the question and we were all tasked with designing a growth plan we were each comfortable with. From this plan, I feel more confident in the next steps that I need to take to become successful within the field of higher education and student affairs.