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Archive for the ‘reflections’ tag

Eight Things I Find Amazing in Picture Form

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Kevin tagged me with my first meme: “Eight Things I Find Amazing in Picture Form.” I think I’ll start out by being a little narcissistic. This photo set of 4 Polaroids always make me feel good.

Eric with curly hair
I was 2 years old when this set of photographs was taken. My hair was curly and I apparently liked to walk about in my diaper. I think it’s amazing that my hair still looks like that when I wake up in the morning.

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Written by Eric Stoller

October 22nd, 2006 at 4:08 pm

Oregon Institute of Technology 10/10

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A couple of weeks ago I posted about the Oregon University System Application Fee Deferral Form. The deferral form allows students with high financial need to defer their admissions application fee ($50) at an Oregon University System School.

I decided to rank each of the state schools in Oregon on the basis of whether or not the fee deferral form was readily available on their websites. Initially, the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) received a ranking of 0 out of 10 since the fee deferral form was nowhere to be found on their website. 4 days after that post I received a comment from Palmer Muntz, the Director of Admissions at OIT, informing me that a link to the fee deferral form would be added to the OIT Admissions website.

Yesterday, I received an email from Palmer. The Oregon Institute of Technology is now a perfect 10/10. The fee deferral form can be found on the OIT Admissions Application Forms page.

From the OIT Admissions website:

If it is a financial hardship for you to pay the application fee, you may qualify to have the fee deferred until after you have enrolled at OIT.

I feel that Southern Oregon University and the Oregon Institute of Technology are doing the right thing by prominently providing this piece of information to students who have high financial need. The University of Oregon is not far behind. With a little web editing, the fee deferral form would be even easier to find…

Eastern Oregon University, Oregon State University, Portland State University, and Western Oregon University need to provide prominent links to the OUS fee deferral form. The amount of students who use the form would not cause significant monetary loss. The fee is deferred. Students would still pay the fee after they receive their financial aid packages.

Adding information about the OUS deferral form should be an easy decision for all OUS Schools.

Kudos to Palmer and the Admissions staff at OIT!

Pride Panel and Coming Out

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I co-facilitated my first pride panel today. It was very exciting. CM asked me to facilitate yesterday. I was very honored. There were over 50 people in the classrom. I think I had butterflys in all of my extremities. Thankfully the panelists knew what they were doing. I am grateful for the experience.

I briefly mentioned my own coming out story. I didn’t want to take time away from the panel but I did think it was important that the students (a class at OSU) heard an ally coming out story.

Eric Stoller at the Day of Speaking Out

I came out as an ally while I was at the University of Illinois at Chicago. It was during an event called the Day of Speaking Out. People were invited to share their stories at a podium in the campus quad. I stepped up to the podium and talked about my experience as an ally, my homophobic past, and what I was doing as an ally. It felt great.

From the Human Rights Campaign:

Coming Out as a Straight Ally
A straight ally is someone who is not gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender (GLBT) but personally advocates for GLBT equal rights and fair treatment. Straight allies are some of the most effective and powerful advocates for the GLBT movement. These allies have proven invaluable personally and politically, and are increasingly important in the fight for GLBT equality. Indeed, their voices often have been heard while those of GLBT people have been ignored.

Written by Eric Stoller

October 17th, 2006 at 3:57 pm

Free (United Airlines) ticket voucher

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United Airplane

How do I use a free ticket voucher?

I never really thought I would have to ask that question. Ordering airline tickets online is just like ordering food at my favorite restaraunt. It’s easy. I assumed that using a free ticket voucher would be as easy as any online purchase from Travelocity, Expedia, or Orbitz. I was wrong. Apparently money motivates the airlines to make online purchasing extremely easy. A free flight takes the cooperation of several agencies including the Post Office.

From United.com:

The first step in redeeming a free (United Airlines) ticket voucher is to call 1-800-UNITED1 to make a reservation.

There are two ways to have the ticket issued:

Mail the free ticket voucher to the address provided by the United representative over the phone. Please allow at least 14 business days for processing. Please note that the free ticket voucher must still be valid for United to issue the tickets.

OR

Bring the free ticket voucher to an Airport Ticket Counter to have the ticket issued. While making your reservation, remember to check with the United representative over the phone for your airport ticket counter’s hours of operation.

That’s right. I had to either mail the voucher or drive to the nearest airport with a United terminal. (Portland is almost 2 hours away and Eugene is 45 minutes.) I missed the convenience of an internet flight purchase. There’s something to be said about the simplicity of entering in my credit card and having an email confirmation sent to my e-mail. I decided to mail the voucher using Priority Mail from the Post Office.

The free ticket voucher process at United needs to be upgraded. The customer service representative gave me instructions that were eerily low tech: “Write the departure flight number, name of passenger, and confirmation number on the voucher.” The back of the voucher contained advertisements for United. I wrote down my information in between paragraph breaks…

I kept thinking to myself, what the heck are all those numbers on the voucher for?

Written by Eric Stoller

October 16th, 2006 at 11:23 pm

Student Health Professionals: Selected Competencies

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Student Health Service Professionals: Selected Competencies

The Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) in Higher Education provides a framework and guidance for 28 functional areas in student affairs (Miller et al, 2003). Each functional area has a list of competencies which guide student affairs professionals in all aspects of student life. One area of student life is the college health program. Typically this program has included both clinical and preventative health services. According to Komives, Woodard, and Associates, “The primary purpose of student health services is to provide immediate medical assistance to students who are ill or injured; student health services also encourage individual good health and provide leadership in promoting the concept of a healthy campus” (2003, p. 349). The importance of health to college students has been cited in several publications (as cited in Benjamin and Robinson, 1998).

For the sake of brevity, I will focus this paper around three student health professional competencies: budgeting, assessment/evaluation, and teaching/learning. The clinical aspects of college health are too broad for a paper of this nature. In order to conserve space, health education and health educators will be the primary focus. A historical context will be provided to showcase similarities of yesterday’s professional with the modern practitioner.

History
Dr. Edward Hitchcock, director of physical education at Amerherst College, is credited as being the first person to establish a formal college health program (The American College Health Association: A Brief History, 2001). In 1861, Hitchcock “created a health and physical education program that attempted to fill what he saw as the college’s role in combating the failing health of nineteenth century students” (Sloane and Sloane, 1986, p. 271). According to Sloane and Sloane, Hitchcock was the creator of health education and the role of the health educator (1986). Hitchcock’s programs focused on educating students “of the need for a nutritious diet and against the dangers of drinking and smoking” and “offered information on reproductive health…” (Sloane and Sloane, 1986, p. 271) Hitchcock offered a new, holistic approach which focused on a student’s well being (Christmas and Dorman, 1996). 40 years after Hitchcock’s initiation of college health, the University of California developed the first “comprehensive student health program (as it might be defined today), providing both medical care and infirmary care…” (Turner and Hurley, 2002, p. 4).

Budgeting
In 1932, William Hughes wrote a guide for student health professionals, entitled, “The Administration of Health and Physical Education for Men in Colleges and Universities.” Hughes developed a model for a student health service and included information on the financial aspects of student health (1932). According to Hughes, student health services should be funded by general university funds and from student fees (1932). The budgetary needs of a student health program were simple in that the funding primarily provided for staff salaries and supply costs. However, early administrators had to be fiscally responsible with their budgets. According to Weaver and Frederick, if student fees monies were not able to cover the costs of student health programming, it was “usually advisable for the college to make suitable appropriations from general college funds to maintain the health service program” (1947, p. 38). Insurance provided some students with health care but historically, “well recognized values are associated with health serviced practice and teaching which are impossible to duplicate through the usual insurance programs” (Weaver and Frederick, 1947, p. 38).

Assessment and Evaluation
Assessment and evaluation have been part of health education since the inception of the field. According to Stewart and Tipple, “A student-centered…program of health education for every student is a vital part…” of the college level experience (1954, p. 106). It is further stated that health education “assists materially in the development of the potential capacities of each student” (Stewart and Tipple, 1954, p. 106). These statements require validation and thus assessment and evaluation. Stewart and Tipple speak of using scientific methods of evaluation to justify health education programming (1954). One of the main goals for assessing student health programs is to see if student knowledge of health has increased. There were a variety of ways which student health professionals could assess student success including: “questionnaires, health interest inventories, student health autobiographies, and summaries of student health records” (Stewart and Tipple, 1954, p. 110). In 1937, assessment evolved from a process which considered the “adequacy of personnel, facilities, equipment and administrative provisions…” to a process which gave “primary consideration to the effects of health teaching and health service programs in terms of their adequacy in meeting the needs of the student body” (National Conference on College Hygiene, 1937, p. 45).

Teaching and Learning
In the early 1900’s, student health education programs were focused on student learning (National Conference on College Hygiene, 1937). Health education sought to develop the mind and body of the student and this form of education was considered as “one of the most difficult teaching assignments in the college curriculum” (National Conference on College Hygiene, 1937, p. 36). Constantly changing information, a lack of interest from students, and resistance to change provided health educators with a challenging teaching assignment (National Conference on College Hygiene, 1937).

Present Day
College health programs have evolved considerably since 1861. Accreditation plays an important part in this area. Health educators are increasingly becoming Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES). 80% of all colleges and universities in the United States have “some organized arrangement for advancing [student] health” (Miller et al, 2003, p. 83). The principal associations for college health are the American College Health Association and the American Public Health Association. Budgeting, assessment/evaluation, and teaching/learning continue to be areas in which college health practitioners need to have proficiency.

Budgeting
The economic climate in which college health programs exist is one that is filled with uncertainty and opportunity. Funding sources are no longer limited to university general funds and student fee revenues. Grant funded programs can now supplement or increase overall service offerings (Turner and Hurley, 2002). College health programs can have multi-million dollar budgets especially when health education services are incorporated into “multi-specialty clinics” which offer services to “students, faculty, staff, spouses, dependents, and in some cases, the general public” (Turner and Hurley, 2002, p. 43).

Assessment and Evaluation
Assessment and evaluation are extremely important to a practitioner in a college health program. Turner and Hurley state that the evaluation of student health services should include the following questions: “How many students are utilizing the services? Are students satisfied with the services received? Are the program objectives being accomplished? Are the objectives being accomplished in the most cost-efficient manner?” (2002, p. 65). According to Hayden, college health programs should “plan on assessment”, “carry out evaluation of plans”, “interpret results of program evaluation”, and “infer implications from findings for future program planning” (2000, p. 7).

Teaching and Learning
College health educators are by default, teachers. They teach a specialized topic which can have a major impact on student success (Damush, Hays, and DiMatteo, 1997). According to Miller et al, a college health program “must provide evidence of its impact on the achievement of student learning and development outcomes” (2003, p. 86). Furthermore, a college health program and its practitioners “must be based on theories and knowledge of learning and human development” (Miller et al, 2003, p. 87). According to the International Association of Student Affairs and Services Professionals (IASAS), college health programs should provide “information on health issues specifically involving the college age student, e.g., sexually transmitted diseases, stress, diet, depression” (2001, p.41).

Future directions
In 1998 the college health education Competency Update Project (CUP) was started by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing. The project will have an impact on the “professional preparation, certification, and professional development” of college health practitioners (NCHEC – About NCHEC – CUP, 2002). The competencies for the college health program practitioner are constantly evolving and changing with the needs and requirements of the students that they serve.

References

American College Health Association, (2001). The american college health association: a brief history. retrieved Nov. 21, 2004, from ACHA: History Web site: http://www.acha.org/about_acha/history_extended.cfm.

Benjamin, M., & Robinson, J. (1998). Service quality, encounter satisfaction, and the delivery of student health services. Journal of College Student Development, 39(5), 427-437.

Christmas, W. A., & Dorman, J. M. (1996). The “storey” of college health hygiene. Journal of American College Health, 45(1), 27-35.

Damush, T. M., Hays, R. D., & DiMatteo M. R. (1997). Stressful life events and health-related quality of life in college students. Journal of College Student Development, 38(2), 181-190.

Hayden, J. (2000). The health education specialist: a study guide for professional competence. 4th ed. Allentown, PA: NCHEC.

Hughes, W. (1932). The administration of health and physical education for men in colleges and universities. New York City, NY: Bureau of Publications: Teachers College, Columbia University.

International Association of Student Affairs and Services Professionals. (2001). The role of student affairs and services in higher education: a practical manual for developing, implementing, and assessing student affairs programmes and services. R. Ludeman (Ed.).

Komives, S., Woodard, Jr., D., & associates. (2003). Student services: a handbook for the profession. 4th ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Miller, T. (Ed.). (2003). The book of professional standards for higher education. 3rd ed. Washington, DC: Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education.

National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, (2002). Nchec – about nchec — cup. retrieved Nov. 21, 2004, from http://www.nchec.org/aboutnchec/cup/cuphistory.htm.

National Conference on College Hygiene. (1937). Health in colleges. Proceedings of the second national conference on college hygiene. New York, NY: National Tuberculosis Association.

Sloane, D. C., & Sloane, B. C. (1986). Changing opportunities: an overview of the history of college health education. Journal of American College Health, 34, 271-273.

Stewart, E., & Tipple, D. (1954). How student health can be influenced through health education. Proceedings from the fourth national conference on health in colleges (pp. 106-116). American College Health Association.

Turner, H., & Hurley, J. (2002). The history and practice of college health. Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky.

Weaver, M., & Marty F. (1947). Objectives, finances, housing, and equipment, staff, services, and records. A health program for colleges (pp. 27-39). National Tuberculosis Association.

Written by Eric Stoller

November 21st, 2004 at 9:50 pm