Read and Respond to Madison

Secondary Post Instructions
In your response to your peers, consider how your peers could overcome these challenges? Using information from the textbook, identify the problem in the situation and discuss how your peer could address this barrier.

Week 6 Discussion 1
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It is clear that partnerships and collaboration are beginning to be seen more frequently in higher education institutions, but many institutions fail to truly partner student affairs and academic affairs together. The first reflection emphasizes the importance of remembering what higher education looked like before partnerships and collaboration began. While many divisions across institutions have historically coordinated on various projects, they have only recently begun to truly collaborate and work together to achieve common goals (Kezar & Gehrke, 2016). The second reflection focuses on using logic to overcome barriers to collaboration in the workplace. This will be vital in my career as a higher education administrator because I will be presented with opportunities to develop new ideas for collaboration and partnerships, and I may need to overcome some barriers presented by my coworkers who may not be as eager to form new partnerships. The third reflection emphasizes that the current governmental environment presents many challenges to accomplishing goals due to decreased federal and state funding. Thus, it is becoming increasingly important for various divisions throughout an institution, such as student affairs and academic affairs, to create partnerships and collaborate to accomplish goals.

The fourth and final reflection discusses how collaboration in higher education is deepening and increasing student engagement. Specifically, this reflection focuses on first-year seminars, service learning, and learning communities. In my undergraduate studies, I engaged in a first-year seminar and service-learning opportunities. My institution also offered learning communities, but I did not participate in them. My first-year seminar focused primarily on study skills and time management, so I believe that the seminar emerged from student affairs instead of academic affairs. However, this course was offered as an elective, and course credit was awarded upon completion. In my opinion, the course would have been more impactful if it was created in collaboration with academic affairs because it would have included content related to psychology, sociology, and anthropology (Kezar & Gehrke, 2016).

One of the biggest challenges that I noticed with partnerships and collaboration came from my service-learning experience. During the junior year of my undergraduate program, I took a course that explored diversity in education. Part of the course requirements was to engage in a service-learning opportunity throughout the semester for a total of 25 hours. In the specific course, the purpose of the service-learning experience was to engage with others from diverse backgrounds to understand the course content better. There was a strong level of collaboration between student affairs and academic affairs because the service-learning was embedded into the course curriculum. However, the service-learning opportunities that were made available were not equivalent in relevance to the course. For example, my service learning site was a seventh-grade English classroom at a local middle school, and one of my classmates’ service-learning sites was a farm. My service learning site was relevant to the course because I observed and understood the concepts taught in my course at my service learning site. In contrast, my classmate’s service-learning experience involved many hands-on experiences that were not relevant to the course, and they also did not engage with any other people at their site. It seems as though my service learning site was tied directly to the curriculum. In contrast, my classmate’s site took more of a volunteerism approach, resulting in opposite levels of connection between our service-learning experiences and our curricular experiences. Because of this experience, I believe one of the most salient challenges to partnerships and collaboration involves retaining each division’s main goals.

 

References

Kezar, A., & Gehrke, S. (2016). Supporting and enhancing student learning through partnerships with academic colleagues. In G. S. McClellan, & J. Stringer (Eds), The handbook of student affairs administration.Jossey-Bass.

 

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