Last month, ACUI announced a restructuring of the Association’s student program volunteers. Under the new structure, a position of “student programs team leader” was created to enhance the collaborative efforts of the volunteers who manage ACUI’s academic challenge, recreation and leisure activities, poetry slam, and Institute for Leadership Education and Development (I-LEAD®) programs. Applications were accepted for the new role, and interviews are currently being conducted with finalists.
“This change mirrors what is happening on college campuses; the new position is a positive move in our accountability to ensure ACUI’s student programs are both social and educational,” said ACUI President Don Luse. “From a logistical standpoint, I also think it will make program directors’ lives easier as they try to be consistent and identify best practices.”
This position will not be responsible for the logistics of the individual programs but will help those leaders consider all elements of student development in their programs. For example, a requirement of the volunteer selected for the position is that he or she has “demonstrated experience in creating learning-based student programs, writing and assessing learning outcomes, and understanding of student development theory.”
Consistency also has been problematic across the range of student programs ACUI offers. This person will shepherd the process of identifying academic standards for competitive events and will document behavior expectations consistent among all student programs (e.g., a code of conduct or student contracts). The leader will help develop scholarship opportunities for programs that do not already have them, and this individual will assist the student program directors and volunteers in uncovering the best practices in developmental approaches across all ACUI student programs.
Instead of each individual program director serving on the international ACUI Leadership Team, the student programs team leader will be responsible for representing those program directors’ interests at the international level. That change aligns with the structure of professional seminar program teams and makes it easier for ACUI to increase the number and diversity of its student programs. For example, ACUI is introducing a new partnership with the IMPACT National Student Conference—a service-learning program. However, it would dramatically increase the liaison’s volunteer commitment if that person was also expected to serve on the international Leadership Team.
The student programs team leader also can increase the visibility and cooperative efforts of niche programs. For instance, students competing in ACUI’s clay targets championship might be interested in attending I-LEAD®. The new student programs team leader will be responsible for ensuring cross-promotion at various events. He or she will guide the student programs learning outcome development in conjunction with program and tournament directors in an effort to educate students and expose them to other ACUI programs. And, the individual will assist program directors in the recruitment of regional and international volunteers, informing members about the programs and acting as an ambassador for ACUI student programs.