I have been in a professional full time position for four+ years now. My perspective and comprehensive understanding of things like student development theory, assessment, cultural pluralism and higher education has not only helped me do my job but helped me build a niche. I thank the IUP faculty and my mentors for preparing me to enter this field. This post is not about IUP or Rutgers or any other graduate program in particular. The problem I am identifying with graduate preparation programs is a result of a bigger issue related to innovation and change in general. So here it goes…
In the last 4+ years I have spent as a professional I have been expected to be a “micro-entrepreneur” each and every semester. My first job was part of a two person office, creating from scratch, a brand new summer orientation program. I have had to create new training programs, unified departmental initiatives, new recognition programs, a new professional development committee, and the list goes on and on and on. I am not alone, if your in higher ed and reading this, you too can list pages of new programs and initiatives you have had to build from scratch. We as Student Affairs educators are “micro-entrepreneurs” working in higher education.
If you’re not creating new things, you’re not doing it right.
Which brings me to my call to action….
We need entrepreneurship courses in Student Affairs graduate programs. Student Affairs educators cannot rely on just hoping that people entering this field are self starters. We need to teach core entrepreneurship principles like the art of the pitch, fundraising your ideas, marketing a concept and creativity. These skills are imperative to our success as educators.
As always, I love a good lively discussion so I look forward to hearing from readers about why this would or would not work.
President, The Jersey Alliance