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Student Affairs

Action Plans

  • Development of a professional development plan that includes a curricular pathway for leadership development. This curriculum would outline benchmarks to be attained in preparation for Leadership Academy and Campus Connect, as well as develop leadership skills for those employees interested in advancement to leadership positions.
  • Development of a professional development plan that includes an onboarding period for new employees. During this period employees will be oriented to the Division of Student Affairs, institutional business processes, the role of Student Affairs in student development, and other key concepts that will help prepare new employees to be high functioning members of the division.
  • Implement and evaluate a peer recognition program, to be dubbed "CougarBucks" that will occur during one week each fall and spring semester. This initiative will allow staff the opportunity to recognize peers who have offered exemplary service.

February 2017 Update:

Student Affairs continues to hold an annual Day of Development to offer a variety of professional development opportunities to staff and managers in the division. The 2017 conference theme was We are Diversity: Doing Our Own Work First and the keynote speaker, and 16 breakout sessions offered throughout the day, focused on issues of diversity and inclusivity. Several sessions focused specifically on understanding and providing appropriate support for students from often marginalized populations.

In addition, this year saw the launch of the Student Affairs professional competencies development program. Staff and managers are given tools to assess their competencies across a range or areas identified by NASPA and ACPA (the two national organizations for Student Affairs practitioners) as being important for all Student Affairs professionals to have proficiency in. Using these tools staff and managers can identify areas of need for additional development, and the results of aggregated assessments aids the Division in identifying and developing training opportunities.

To coordinate the Division’s professional development efforts, the Office of Planning, Assessment, and Professional Development for Student Affairs was created and a Director was appointed. Future plans include the addition of an Assessment Coordinator to increase capacity for professional development programming.

The CougarBucks program was suspended after two years due to lagging enthusiasm for the initiative. The Division continues to award an annual Divisional Employee of the Year award (Sandra Kuckler Award) and a Divisional Team of the Year Award (STARS Award). Additional opportunities for peer to peer employee recognition are being considered for the future.

November 2015 Update:

As a first step in the implementation of a professional development plan, Student Affairs held its first annual Professional Development Day on January 12, 2015. This was a full day conference for CSUSM’s Student Affairs professional staff held on campus. The conference in this first year focused on presenting student development theories to all attendees to establish a solid foundational understanding of student developmental stages across the division. In addition, 12 breakout sessions during the day provided employees developmental options addressing onboarding for new employees, leadership skills development, enhancing current skills, and work-life balance.

The Cougar Bucks peer recognition program has been implemented with great success in 2014-15. Participation levels have been high, and employee feedback has been very positive. The program will continue in 2015-16, with the frequency of occurrence being evaluated in an ongoing fashion to maximize employee satisfaction with the initiative.