Integrate a “Leadership” Framework for Intentional Student Development
What leadership competencies do students need to develop to best leverage their capacity for getting a job and being successful in the world of work? For impacting their communities? For engaging in global leadership? The Student Leadership Competencies have been mapped to a variety of career, service, retention, learning, and leadership frameworks. For example, if you use the Social Change Model in Residence Life, just use the SLC Social Change Model of Leadership Development framework and design your programs around the competencies linked to that model. Using these frameworks allows you to narrow your focus to the competencies that matter for your programs and offers a universal language across multiple frameworks so your approach is consistent regardless of the frameworks you use. Consider then integrating your competency framework into the campus-wide programming model and aligning your existing programs with the identified competencies so you know what students should be developing as a result of participation.
Easily Identify Curriculum You Need for Programming
There are many leadership curricular resources available, sometimes making it difficult to decide the best curriculum for achieving the outcomes you want. Using the Curriculum Index, you can find a comprehensive index of every leadership curriculum module in a variety of leadership books aligned to the Student Leadership Competencies. No need for sifting and sorting through an entire book to find what you need. Simply select a competency and find all related curriculum across a variety of resources.
Market the Leadership Development Value of Residence Life
Students want to know what they are getting with their time and energy when deciding whether to participate in a program. Identify competencies associated with each program and student leader role and include these competencies in the descriptions for marketing and outreach so students can determine if participating would be a fit for their needs and interests. Create a searchable database or master list of all competencies and associated programs so students can easily find competency-based opportunities. In addition, share these intended competencies in the marketing content for programs and activities by posting SLC Marketing Icons on any print or digital media.
Help Students Chart a Leadership Development Path
Sometimes students know they want to get involved and develop their leadership skills, but they don’t know where to start. What a better place than to help them with their leadership exploration than through a program. Have students take the Student Leadership Competencies Inventory so they are prepared to seek out specific leadership development opportunities that align with the competencies they want to develop. Help them develop an involvement plan and get them connected to student organizations, courses, and programs that will help them expand their leadership capacity.
Infuse Leadership Competencies into Living Learning Communities
Students participating in living learning communities benefit from the networking and connection that occurs when living with others who share their interests and passions. Living learning communities can also serve as laboratories for leadership learning and development. Consider identifying leadership competencies related to each living learning community and programming around those competencies. For interest-based communities, simply select competencies that relate to the topic area and for academic-based communities, use existing academic program competencies already mapped to the Student Leadership Competencies. After offering intentional programming around these competencies, use the existing SLC measurements to assess students’ learning.
Assess Leadership Development Through Participation in Residence Life Programming
Residence Life programming can range from social to educational to recreational to cultural. Yet, we often have a hard time assessing the impact of these programs other than through head counts and satisfaction surveys. What about the leadership learning and development that is occurring with the students who participate? Use the SLC Self-Evaluation Measurements to add into existing evaluations or to create a new evaluation to track learning for RA, hall, and campus-wide programs so you can see the impact of individual programs as well as resident competency growth across all Residence Life programs.
Help Students Identify Leadership Roles that Fit
We know that some students excel at the RA role whereas others find their fit with roles such as tutors or Desk Assistants. How can we help students determine roles that are a good fit for them? By defining leadership competencies associated with each leadership role, students can be made aware of the competencies they need to be proficient in those roles. This can help them determine which roles align with the competencies they have or would like to acquire, and ultimately select roles that best fit for them.
Intentionally Design, Deliver, and Assess Student Leader Training
Whether they are RAs, Desk Assistants, Hall Council Leaders, or RHA executives, how can we make sure that our student leader training is designed to help students be successful in their specific roles? Using pre-established curriculum, you can design and deliver intentional training grounded in the competencies students need for their roles and use standardized assessment measurements to assess learning and development.
Make the Student Leader Role an Intentional Learning Opportunity
We know that students learn and develop by participating in key student leader roles in the residence halls. But, how can we help make this learning intentional and then accurately measure it? Have student leaders take the Student Leadership Competencies Inventory to self-assess their competency proficiency and create a competency-based professional development plan related to their roles. In addition, using the Student Leadership Competencies assessment tools can provide insight to help advise and coach students on their leadership development.