by Olivia Miller
At Kansas State this summer our campus has been under construction – the Monday after finals week the students were gone and construction crews took their place. In addition to the new buildings, K-State has begun construction on an underground chilled water project and renovations for our Student Union. The chilled water project has been interesting to watch as I walk to campus every morning – each week a new section of campus road is shut down and having work done on it. While it has been less of a pain and more of a nuisance, each bit of the construction currently taking place is for our students.
In my little piece of campus in my office, I too have put on my hard hat and have been hard at work tearing down and reconstructing our career planning course. This has been my big project for the summer – completely reorganizing and restructuring the course content, homework assignments, point values, class presentations and anything else related to it. Every week as the construction crews move on to a different part of campus, I have been moving to a different section of the course. This process, like tearing up a road, has been tedious, time consuming and headache inducing (but at least I am in with the AC).
Before I began this project I thought it would be a simple task, but I was wrong. I first looked at which assignments were most valuable to the students and which could be taken out of the curriculum. Then my supervisor and I began looking at the course schedule and seeing how we could change the foundation and reshape it to an eight-week course. We have gone week by week in reorganizing the content and order of the class to make this class more meaningful and have a more lasting impact on our students. While this process has been long, and sometime seemed like no progress was being made like campus construction, it has made me excited to see how the students, and our staff instructors, will respond to these changes.
Construction projects, whether roadwork or a career planning course, is a slow but rewarding thing that has to be done. As someone who has grown up strongly disliking change, I have, since entering the student affairs world, slowly began to see its value. While the old version of our career planning course (and old buildings on campus) had value, the changes we have implemented only have made it stronger and of better use for our students. Yes, the construction piece has been stressful and time-consuming, but this summer construction work will be worth it in the end. As the summer comes to a close, may your summer construction projects be completed and well received by your students in the new school year.
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