Friday, October 11, 2013

The power of us!

We tried out our first group advising day this afternoon.  28 youth development majors (or soon-to-be majors!) came to HBS 205 for a few hours to meet each other, to find out some information about advising and courses, and most importantly, to talk with one another and with Lesley and I about courses, schedules and career goals.  The session started with an icebreaker so that newcomers would feel welcome in the group, and then students from FNED 352 presented one minute "elevator speeches"about youth development as a global field of study and profession, youth development @ RIC, and what qualities make a stellar youth development worker.  (See photo below of one of the groups presenting their elevator speech!).  Students worked on their plans of study individually and sometimes collectively, and there were some helpful shout outs in the room (e.g. Hey your taking xxx? Want to borrow my old textbook?).  From my perspective as an advisor, the energy and information traded around the room was so much more than what could ever come out of a one-on-one advising meeting in a faculty office.  I don't think this kind of collective group advising can replace one-on-one office hours for students who need extra help with tricky situations or who need some personalized counseling, but I think the group advising format provides something different from one-on-one advising -- capacity building?  a collective sense of community?  opportunities for friendship and mentorship across yd major cohorts?  other things?  

Today's group advising session also gave me really cool glimmers of your (students!) future as you graduate and continue to develop this kind of information and mentoring network with each other (and hopefully with RIC YDEV!) as youth workers and leaders in Rhode Island and beyond.

For those of you who were there at the advising session -- what do you think about your experience today?

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