In my ongoing journey of professional development to increase my knowledge and skills as an academic advisor I am currently in the process of working on the Foundations of Student Services Certificate Program. As part of the program I was required to take EDU 250 – Teaching and Learning in the Community College. As an academic advisor I was tenaciously focused on delving into my craft and learning all I could about ADVISING students, so this class really wasn’t at the top of my list. As is goes, it has been the class which I was disinclined to take that has been the most useful! Little did I know that EDU 250 would provide me with some of the most essential skills I needed to serve students and help my team as we built the Gaucho 101 Program.
With the EDU 250 course under my belt I acquired a critical understanding of the many characteristics a community college student might have and the challenges some those characteristics bring. I have a new respect for our students and what it has taken for many of them to simply walk onto the campus. From the 1st Generation Student to the young parent who is balancing home, work, and school it is vital that each get advisement that suits their individual needs.
Then after examining the different learning styles of a student that awareness impressed upon me how important it is to build programs which incorporate different learning styles. I now deeply understand that just talking at a student might not serve their needs and how vital it is to include visual and tactile moments of learning when possible. Admittedly it takes time to add such elements to an advisement session but it gives the student more opportunity to truly learn.
What really rocked my advisor world was learning about course planning and design, as it gave me a good action plan for both advising students and building programs. I have endeavored to make these four elements of course design part of my every interaction with students and to do my best to bring them into any program our team designs.
- Knowing the aim, goals and objectives for the student
- Finding clear ways to present the subject matter
- Include learning activities
Beyond giving our instructors a solid foundation the EDU 250 course offers valuable knowledge at the heart of Student Services. I highly encourage anyone who advises students or works on student programming to enroll!!