Cultivating Thriving Educators: Curriculum & Planning
Just as our work as co-curricular educators is directly aligned with our learning goals grounded in Thriving, so too is our integrated professional development series.
Our integrated approach to professional development contributes to on-going learning within the field of student affairs and complementary fields that help inform our work, and will provide Western student affairs educators with meaningful opportunities to gain knowledge and skills in competencies that will help them more effectively support students, contribute to the development of a thriving campus, and enhance their confidence as a scholar-practitioner.
Thriving Educators' Professional Learning Goals
We have aligned the curriculum for this series with the following learning goals.
Educators who are curious, energized and reflective. Thinking critically ensures investment in opportunities that broaden the attitudes, skills and knowledge required to work in student affairs, manage complex situations, and support changing needs of students.
Educators who are goal-oriented, motivated, and self-directed learners. Integrating theory and practice into professional and scholarly journeys will benefit individuals as well as the field of Student Affairs by using best practices in the field and contributing to a body of shared literature.
ADAPTABLE PROBLEM SOLVER
Educators who are hopeful, self-confident, resourceful and strengths-based leaders on our campus. Roles are ever-changing, and these educators will be able to make impactful, positive change for students, and see challenges as opportunities for reflection and development.
Educators who are authentic and empathetic. Student affairs work is complex and relational as we support diverse student experiences occurring on our campus. These educators recognize the importance of fostering a sense of community on campus and within professional organizations.
Educators who are committed to equitable, diverse, inclusive and decolonizing practices into their work, and engages in brave conversations. They emphasize collaboration and value equitable professional practices and social responsibility.
By acquiring knowledge, skills and values in each of the learning goals, educators will become innovative scholar-practitioners contributing to a thriving campus. These educators contribute to their own development and in turn, that of our students.
By acquiring knowledge, skills and values in each of the learning goals, educators will become innovative scholar-practitioners contributing to a thriving campus.
The virtual plenary session will bring educators together to deeply dive into the framework of the series, set the tone for the programme, and share important information that will inform how they think about their work as they move through the learning experiences. The plenary will also introduce educators to foundational theories, share contextual elements of our work at Western, and provide an overview of the learning journey ahead.
The majority of the learning experiences will be provided via virtual workshop. Each workshop will include specific learning outcomes, engaging activities, and opportunities for educators to reflect on their own professional practice with colleagues. Led by content leaders across Canada, the workshops share literature and best practices across the field of student affairs, while internal leaders contextualize it to fit our campus culture and student population.
Over the course of the academic year, student affairs educators will be able to participate in an optional virtual book club as a means to invest in self-directed learning. Participants will read the book on their own and then come together every four to six weeks to engage in a shared community learning experience by discussing their reflections and exploring how they will apply the knowledge in their work. The book club will conclude with a formal group reflection activity.
Coffee and conversation is an optional peer mentorship experience designed to bring the cohort of educators together in a one-on-one (virtual and/or in-person) setting to develop deeper professional relationships, support each other in our work, and meet educators in other units on campus. Each month, educators can opt-in to this one-hour learning experience and are randomly matched with a peer in the programme.
The fireside chat brings together a group of student affairs experts from across Canada and institution type to share their expertise and reflect on their diverse professional experiences. Grounded in fruitful and cohesive discussion, educators will learn about the various paths of student affairs professionals and where they see the field going in the next few years. There will also be opportunities for educators to ask questions of the expert speakers as well.
In a creative format of their choice, this capstone is used as a means to reflect on each educator's training and development throughout the learning experience. Using the prompting questions provided, educators will share how their experience has helped them acquire new knowledge and skills within student affairs, and has shaped their perspective as a thriving educator.
 Schreiner, L.A. (2010). “The ‘Thriving Quotient’: A new vision for student success.” About Campus (May-June), p.2-10