How Student Affairs Can Work with Faculty!

by Cassidy Lawson

Hello! I hope everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend and enjoyed some good weather and time with family and friends!

Now that it’s September, I feel like I’m finally getting settled into my role as an academic advisor/career counselor. The first week of classes rush is pretty much over and everyone is getting settled into the semester. Our office is starting to see fewer drop-in appointments and now its time to get focused on getting into the classroom with presentations and workshops.

Since apart of my role in this position is working as a liaison to faculty members in our College of Health and Behavioral Studies, I’ve been talking with past liaisons about how they established good working relationships between our office and faculty members. There has always been a stigma between academic affairs vs. student affairs and how this relationship can be a bit strained. However, since we’re all here for student success, I don’t see any reason why we all can’t get along!

I’m listing here the top five ways on how to be a mover and shaker when working with faculty for this upcoming school year!

Start conversations by saying, “How can I make your life easier?” Who doesn’t love when someone external wants to help and make our loads lighter? This is how to get your foot in the door with faculty!
  1. Share information by communicating in a strategic way (emails, newsletters, etc.). Faculty get a lot of emails, so consistency is key when it comes to communication if you want to be remembered!
  2. Use the phrase, “I’m new around here…can you tell me about this?” Yes, this is a counseling technique trick but it works every time.
  3. Find your student organizations and use them as advocates. Some student orgs are really close with faculty. If you can find an org that will get behind what you’re doing, then that will look really good to a faculty advisor!
  4. Let faculty dream big and then translate for them. Faculty are usually pretty intellectual and love to think of big ideas. Let them talk and brainstorm and your job can be to bring it all back to one question, such as, “What’s the one thing you wish you had time for as far as career prep for your students?”

 These are some of the suggestions that a former CAP Advisor, Kristin Sowden, came up with and I tweaked for this blog post. How do you work with faculty in your role in SA? What are some things that have worked well in the past? 

Student Affairs - the First Years

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