Within Element 6: Change and Coherence – Engage all constituents in change efforts that respond collectively and coherently to the assets and challenges in campuses/schools and communities, 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 collaborative goals and actions and reframing perspective, which may be directly attributed to the readings, class discussions and activities, and assignments from EDPL 628 and EDPL 623.
Finding ways to develop collaborative goals and action was central to the readings, discussions, and course work within EDPL 628. The course focused on developing an in-depth understanding on student affairs as a field, as well as providing additional context into the evolution of higher education as an institution. From these readings and discussions, it became apparent how one is able to effectively enact change within their position, while working with others across the institution in a collaborative manner. These discussions stressed collaborations in an effort to be efficient and effective leaders. With a greater understanding of what other administrators and programs are doing across campus, student affairs professionals are better equip to make a difference within their position or program. With this understanding, I was able to complete an action plan, which outlines how I hope to contribute to the field of student affairs and higher education through the course of my career. These goals take into consideration the work of others and how we may collaborate to jointly make a difference in the lives of students.
While learning of the work of others within EDPL 628 was useful in shifting my perspective, the readings, role playing, discussions, and debates within EDPL 623 absolutely aided in a deeper understanding and appreciation for how to reframe perspectives for self and for others. The text for EDPL 623 focused on the four frames of Bolman & Deal (2008). Understanding these four frames: symbolic, political, human resources, and structural allow a leader to not only understand their own frame of thinking better, but also allows for improved management and leadership of those who may be grounded in a differing frame. Again, by understanding those around you better, one is able to more effectively make decisions and direct action.