Coordination Across Departments

By Christine Pitts

I work with the Future Scholars program at my university. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this, it’s a pre-college bridge program that targets first-generation, low-income students in grades 6-12. Its goal is to increase graduation rates among these students, as well as increase the rates of them attending college. By working with these students from middle school through high school we have the chance to get them excited about college and educate them about all the programs and majors institutions have to offer. The Future Scholars program is only a few years off the ground at my university. If you have ever been apart of an organization at the beginning, then you know they are usually a lot of bumps along the road.

This year, our newest faculty member has taken over the role of directing our Future Scholars program. Having worked on this program last year, I am continuing my role. This year, I see things are already becoming more organized and I can really envision it coming off the ground to be something great for the students, as well as the university. Our first event is the annual Kick Off, which is for the 6th-8th graders. We really want to make this event exciting and fun. So, in order to do this we are (attempting) to coordinate with various departments across our university for different items. For example, Admissions is providing backpack for the 6th graders, we have hoping to get some athletes to come and talk about their experiences etc.  

As you might know, coordinating across departments can pose a challenge occasionally. With a new program I feel like this was inevitable. For example, when we send an e-mail to one department we get forwarded to another person, who forwards us to another person, etc. Sometimes it feels like I am chasing a chicken. It is not necessarily that people aren’t willing to help, but because the program is so new we don’t have our connections within the departments to know who exactly to go to. The departments are confused on what exactly we need and, I guess, we are all a little lost in translation.

Aside from this little bump, which isn’t too big of a bump at all, the Future Scholars program really feels like it is going somewhere. I think it is important to remain patient, as well as resilient, in these circumstances. A team is what can really make or break a new program. I am happy that my team is excited, despite the bumps, and is ready to push forward.

Have you ever tired coordinating across departments? What was your experience like?

Student Affairs - the First Years

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