SEAHO Report - Summer 2021 - 25

FEATURE ARTICLES
Assessment
The Deeper Dive into Assessment was very engaging. When the word 'assessment' gets brought up, many people
think of math and they want nothing to do with it. Perhaps we are afraid of what assessment might show, or
afraid of change, but that should not keep us from reflecting and thinking critically about what it is that we do.
Why? That one-word question can spark emotions and " because I said so " won't always be sufficient. Housing
and residence life departments everywhere are often asked to explain the value of what we do, and while
numbers are great, it's all about how we tell our story of assessment efforts and what it all means.
As a whole group (both RELI cohorts) we did a case study about how we would justify the department when
budget cuts are happening at the university level. It was interesting to see what everyone brought up in our
small group discussions, as there are so many factors to consider. Then it was time for the Deep Dive. We were
presented with an example data set (names changed, slight alterations) of professional staff feedback about their
role, satisfaction, preparedness, support, on-call, and more. Given this data we split into small groups, chose
some of the data, and made up a story.
Once upon a time....kidding, not that kind of story. We didn't have all of the information to explain the varying
data so we thought critically and came up with ideas. It was interesting trying to figure out and come up with
reasons as to why some of the staff had such extreme differences in opinion and how prepared they felt for some
of the questions. Was the training effective? Were they using their resources? One small group focused on some
of the data where the majority of the staff agreed on what they needed/improvements. The group talked about if
those changes were realistic and if they would help better support staff, students, and ultimately the university.
For example, every staff member stated that having a badge as well as a parking placard would be helpful for
when they are on-call. Is it slowing down response time if staff can't find somewhere to park and can't prove
that they do in fact need to be present at the incident? Would these changes improve student care? How could the
data be used to tell the story this way to justify the need rather than viewing it as just a want?
Assessment doesn't have to be scary, it is for the creative minds too!
Professional Development
When it comes to professional development, you are the driver of your bus. Are you going to a conference? Are
you meeting with a mentor? Are you driving to a committee meeting? As the driver of your bus, you get to decide
what professional development should be. No matter where you decide to stop, these are only the pit stops. The
end goal is what's next in your journey (a new position, a new school, a new career).
During the session, we were able to explore how we can become better drivers through our participation in
experiences. As the driver, you determine the path that is best for your career and personal welfare. Within your
path, there are many ways professional development can help you be successful in higher education. One of the
major highlights for professional development is finding your mentor/sponsor as well as a board of directors.
These individuals are there to support you and provide you guidance into your next steps in your higher
education career. Remember that your professional development is a road.
However, this road has forks, and as the driver, you must decide to go left, right, straight, or sometimes turn
around to go back down a different road. This Deep Dive was about starting that plan. It's about knowing that
vision to start creating goals for how to challenge yourself to succeed. Examples of professional development
include work on a committee (university or association), spending time in another functional area outside of
your current position (e.g. facilities, assignments, business operations or outside of housing and residence life),
presenting at a conference, or writing an article (the SEAHO Report is a great place to start).
Conclusion
We were very appreciative of these Deep Dive sessions and the opportunity to have conversations on our own
personal and professional development. Our RELI faculty were phenomenal and were able to give us sound
guidance into our next steps as residence life professionals. We thank our leaders: Dr. Brandon Brown, Kala
Bullett, Bree Gates, Liz Ingrao, Curtis " CJ " Jackson, Dr. RC Stabile, D'Najah Thomas, and Dr. Jennifer Wilder.
Their experiences and dedication provided us with the support of advancing ourselves as professionals and
individuals. It is amazing to be a part of an organization that invests time in supporting its entry-level
professionals to one day become the leaders of housing and residence life.
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SEAHO Report - Summer 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of SEAHO Report - Summer 2021

Contents
SEAHO Report - Summer 2021 - 1
SEAHO Report - Summer 2021 - Contents
SEAHO Report - Summer 2021 - 3
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/seaho/50thanniversary
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