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Social Media and the SSAO

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Social Media and the Senior Student Affairs Officer (SSAO)
Educate, Engage, and Energize Students

With the rapid growth of social media and accompanying surge in online activity, particularly among university and college students, student affairs staff are using the latest technologies to engage students and forge stronger ties to programs, services, and events. Increasingly, senior student affairs officers (SSAOs) are building their own communities and initiating important conversations through a variety of social media sites. This article provides an overview of social media and how it can help student affairs make and keep vital connections. Read the rest of this entry »

Social Media Unsessions at #NASPA11

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NASPA 2011 social media unsessions

I’m excited to announce that I will be leading two “unsessions” at the 2011 NASPA Conference. I’ll be facilitating two separate conversations. The first unsession will focus primarily on Twitter best-practices for professional development as well as how to use Twitter to connect with students. The second unsession is for folks who are ready to have a conversation about advanced social media tactics, strategies, and implementations. See you in Philly!

Twitter 202: Beyond #hashtags, @lists, and RTweets

Tuesday, March 15
9:30 AM – 10:15 AM
115 – B – Convention Center

Although only recently picked up by the general population, Twitter is now commonplace for individuals wanting to get breaking news. But Twitter is more than finding out what people are eating or the latest gossip. Attendees of this unsession should come prepared to share how they utilize Twitter in their professional development, as well as best practices for connecting with students. Please note, attendees of this unsession will benefit most if they already have a basic understanding of Twitter.

Social Media: Advanced uses, tips, and strategies for SA Pros

Tuesday, March 15
2:00 PM – 2:45 PM
115 – B – Convention Center

Social Media sessions have been highlights of student affairs conferences for several years. It’s now time to talk about how we have been using the tools in strategic ways to communicate and create connections with our students. This unsession will be a facilitated conversation for members of the community to share their social media best practices and advanced techniques for using social media to enhance their professional “tech-deavors”. Be ready to chat, share, and learn about advanced uses of Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube…a.k.a. “The Big 3.”

In addition to the two social media unsessions that I’m leading, there are two other must-attend sessions:

Social Media, Enriched Professional Development and the Future of Student Affairs

Coordinating Presenter: Mamta Accapadi
Monday, March 14
9:30 AM – 10:15 AM
115 – B – Convention Center
Social Media is not just a way to reconnect with friends from your past or share what’s going on in your day in less than 140 characters. Social media, especially with regards to professional development, is also a fantastic way to connect with colleagues and delve deeper into conversations. Attend this session, facilitated by author of the Leadership Exchange article Integrating Technology into your Daily Routine, to discuss ways to enhance your professional development capacity here in Philadelphia and beyond.

Facebook, Flickr, Foursquare, Film (YouTube): Facilitating familiarity through social media

Coordinating Presenter: Nathan Victoria
Monday, March 14
3:45 PM – 4:30 PM
115 – B – Convention Center
A little more than five years ago, all of the social media channels listed above did not exist. Now, these channels are used constantly to form connections and market to our student bodies. Attend this unsession to share your best practices around these social media channels, as well as have conversations about challenges you are facing.

#NASPA11 + #SAchat Tweetup

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NASPA 2011 and SACHAT tweetup - Philadelphia

This year’s NASPA Annual Conference will be a social media student affairs extravaganza.

Have you signed up for the #NASPA11 #SAchat tweetup?

#NASPA11 Tweetup Sign Up Sheet
Monday, March 14 | 8:30 PM
Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Hotel Lobby
1201 Market Street

Meet, greet, and network with student affairs professionals from all over the world. The Philadelphia tweetup is going to be a major event. Don’t tweet? Never used Twitter? That’s okay, there will be plenty of folks to help get you into the Twittersphere. If you want to get a head start on learning how to use Twitter, I would highly recommend that you read this Twitter 101.

I’m guessing that a major topic of conversation will be the upcoming consolidation vote which begins on Tuesday, March 15th.

ACPA and NASPA Consolidation update

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ACPA and NASPA are the largest higher education associations for student affairs practitioners. With a total membership of almost 20,000 student affairs professionals, these two associations play a pivotal role in the future of the profession. The topic du jour for most association members has been the conversation taking place regarding the issue of consolidation. Taking two associations and turning them into one mega-student-affairs association is no small task. According to the latest consolidation proposal, unification has been an ongoing conversation topic for the past 30 years. However, this latest attempt at creating a single association has achieved a momentum that hasn’t occurred in prior years. It would appear that we are at the cusp of the creation of a brand new organization. With a tentative consolidation vote to take place in the spring of 2011, student affairs professionals are scrambling to find out information about the future of ACPA and NASPA.

Both associations have created centralized information portals for their members:

With so much information being presented on both association sites, it can be a bit overwhelming. I know that I have had a heck of a time keeping track of all of the various communication channels that have been used to disseminate information and to capture member feedback. As a friend and member of both associations, I am hesitant to critique the communication strategy of this process, but I think things need to be more streamlined. The conversation seems to be getting quite fragmented due to too many disparate channels. An upcoming webinar on consolidation (For ACPA members, Monday, December 13, 2010, 2pm–3:30pm EST, Registration is required) should hopefully clarify some of the recent proposals. I know that I will be “attending.”

Having said that, here are a few of the information pieces / feedback forums that I have found to be quite helpful as I formulate my own opinions regarding consolidation:

I think that consolidation will eventually happen. Both associations have served their members well and a newly formed association will continue the traditions and legacies of both organizations. I applaud all of the leaders involved in the process as most of them are employed at institutions throughout the country. Their service is inspiring as they help to transform the future of student affairs.

What do you think…is consolidation going to happen? Why? Why not?

Do you tweet? Let’s connect. Follow me on Twitter.

[Cross-posted from my Inside Higher Ed blog.]

Written by Eric Stoller

November 29th, 2010 at 12:44 pm

How I’m Powered by Orange

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Eric Stoller is Powered by Orange

My last day at Oregon State University (OSU) is September 30th. I think it’s fitting as my first day at OSU was also in September. Six years ago I moved out to Oregon from Chicago, IL. It was a tremendous life transition. I had been working at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and the decision to leave UIC/Chicago was a big one for a young professional from the Midwest.

When I first started looking at graduate programs in higher education/student affairs I had no idea that I would end up moving to Oregon. I remember checking up on about 5 or 6 programs. I kept coming back to OSU as my first choice. Eventually, I decided to apply for the College Student Services Administration (CSSA) program at OSU. It was the only grad program that I submitted an application to. In hindsight, I probably should have applied to more than one school just in case OSU didn’t accept me. However, sometimes you have to put all of your eggs in a single basket and hope for the best. Concentrating on a single application made my process extremely focused. I was going to get into grad school at Oregon State. There wasn’t a “plan B.”

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Student Affairs + Jobs + RSS + Email

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Using RSS to conduct a student affairs job search

Conducting a successful student affairs job search requires patience, networking, and technology. That’s right, technology. One particular tech tool that is extremely useful for conducting a search is RSS. Job postings delivered to your feed reader via RSS means that new job announcements are efficiently delivered to your virtual doorstep.

If you aren’t familiar with using RSS, please watch this video for more information:

If you need an RSS feed reader, I would highly recommend using Google Reader:

There are a few student affairs websites that offer job postings via RSS feeds, including:

Remember to look for the RSS symbol – RSS Symbol – or for a link to RSS data. Ideally, all student affairs job sites will offer RSS feeds in the near future as this makes conducting a search ultra-convenient.

An alternative to RSS feeds for job postings is the “Email Alert.” Several sites offer email alerts based on a variety of search queries. ACPA, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Placement Exchange, and the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium all offer student affairs job search updates via email alerts.

In addition to the RSS and Email solutions mentioned above, most student affairs associations / higher education news sites offer job listings on their websites. Here are direct links to the student affairs job listings for the following associations / resource sites.

Student Affairs jobs via professional associations:

Student Affairs jobs via higher education publications / job sites:

ACPA + Twitter on the BreakDrink podcast

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The main topic for today’s BreakDrink podcast was the potential unification of ACPA and NASPA. ACPA President, Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr. was on the podcast to talk about his thought’s regarding the unification process.

I had asked a question on the BreakDrink blog in preparation for today’s conversation. Jeff Jackson, host of the show, asked my question about how/if Dr. Jackson had plans for using Twitter at next month’s ACPA Annual Convention. I decided to call in to the show and was able to use the Skype link on Blog Talk Radio to call into the show.


[download]

I begin talking about the Social Media session that I’m co-presenting at ACPA 2010, Twitter, #ACPA10, the ACPA 2010 TweetUp, and #SAChat at about 28:25 in the podcast.

Please follow @ACPAPrez. Dr. Jackson readily agreed to use Twitter during the ACPA Annual Convention and I think that it would be great if he had a huge following of Student Affairs Twitterati.

ACPA + NASPA + Student Affairs Technology

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ACPA and NASPA and Student Affairs Technology

ACPA recently sent out an email announcement calling for applications for the ACPA Technology Advisory Committee:

The ACPA Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) is a member-driven advisory committee charged by the Executive Director of ACPA with developing the association’s long term Information Technology strategic plan and evaluating and recommending technology initiatives aimed at furthering the association’s strategic initiatives. In addition, the TAC is tasked with evaluating large-scale IT project requests to determine their applicability to long- and short-term association goals and, when necessary, to priority rank IT initiatives.

The TAC description made me feel quite hopeful about the state of student affairs technology…and then I read the following:

You don’t have to be a technology expert to apply. We are looking for committed ACPA members with an interest in technology who are not afraid to voice their thoughts.”

Why, oh why, does membership in the TAC, which will drive the long term information technology strategic plan for ACPA, not require that someone be a technology expert? How can you evaluate IT projects, further strategic initiatives, and recommend technologies if you are not an expert? Is ACPA saying that there are not student affairs practitioners who are technology experts?

Not to be outdone by the ACPA Technology Advisory Committee notice, NASPA Tech Tools recently posted a word-for-word copy of a 2 month-old article about Google Wave from the Chronicle of Higher Education without really attributing the article. The NASPA Tech Tools site was created to “bridge the gap between student affairs and technology.” Unfortunately, it seems like a chasm at the moment…

What is going on with the state of student affairs and technology? 3 years have passed since I last wrote about ACPA, NASPA, and technology and it’s hard to tell if anything substantial has happened.

Higher Education Administrator

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Apparently I have one of the best jobs in the United States. According to U.S. News and World Report, one of the best careers in 2009 is “higher education administrator“.

The article starts off innocently enough:

If you liked attending college, chances are you’ll like working there, too.

Check. I enjoyed attending college and I enjoy working in higher education.

Compared with most office environments, college surroundings are beautiful, the atmosphere intellectually stimulating, and the work hours more forgiving.

The environment at institutions of higher education is indeed a beautiful place, both aesthetically and intellectually. However, I’m not sure if Mr. Nemko has ever worked an all night event at a student union or staffed a summer orientation program. The work hours of higher education administrators are more like a rollercoaster. Sometimes we work a 9 to 5. Sometimes we’re upside down and moving at 60 miles an hour while trying to facilitate a program with over 200 students on an early Saturday morning.

And things really lighten up in the summer.

Once again, summer isn’t really “light”. A lot of higher education administrators are at their busiest during the summer sessions.

For better or worse, there are lots of management jobs on campus because university bureaucracies tend to be large, from student affairs to academic affairs, admission to alumni affairs, physical plant to student health service.

Umm. Large support structures exist because we have a lot of students at our institutions. It takes a lot of people to create a university community.

One downside: Office politics can be brutal. Political correctness also bothers some people, who feel that holding liberal views is a litmus test for getting hired or promoted.

I’ve often found it disappointing that people label justice, equity and dignity as “political correctness.” I’d rather work with people who are not racist, homophobic, sexist, ableist, etc. What’s so brutal about that?

Smart Specialties – Student Affairs/Student Life. The work is unusually pleasant

That’s an interesting combination: unusual and pleasant. Maybe Student Affairs work is just pleasant and because a lot of jobs are not, they define what is and is not pleasant. Maybe unpleasant jobs should be the ones that are unusual and not the norm…?

Learn more: NAPSA Student Affairs Careers Page

Apparently news editor is not one of the best careers of 2009. It’s N-A-S-P-A.

The article currently has 19 comments. They are actually more interesting to read than the actual article…

NASPA’s Walled Garden

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NASPAs new website does not work on Firefox 3 on a Mac

NASPA, the largest association for student affairs practitioners, released a re-designed website last week. The major feature of the new site is a custom, members-only, social networking site. The new, NASPA members-only site is a walled garden.

Only NASPA members can access the site’s features. It’s sort of like iStudentAffairs, except that it isn’t. iStudentAffairs runs off of Ning, an open-source social networking platform. iStudentAffairs is therefore a familiar interface to anyone who has ever used a Ning-based site.

NASPA’s WG is sort of like iStudentAffairs except that it uses tables, has an extremely clunky interface (everything feels like it’s slower than it should be), lacks alt attributes on images, and you have to be a member of NASPA. I’m not very excited about NASPA’s new site. I had really high hopes… iStudentAffairs might not be the busiest student affairs practitioner portal, but it’s definitely the easiest to use, the most current-thinking, and the only open model on the net.

Apparently, as the above screen grab shows, the newly re-designed NASPA template also does not like Firefox 3 on a Mac as the nav bar rollovers are breaking.

Written by Eric Stoller

September 21st, 2008 at 6:37 pm