Friday, October 2, 2009

Finishing The Week in Grand Style

I have been inspired by one of my colleagues here at UConn, who finishes up with week in grand style. As a part of her job, she writes a weekly update for students in her program. The intro to her weekly updates have become one of the highlights of my Friday. Instead of simple run-down of events her program sponsors, she riffs on what students are going through at that moment--exhaustion, break-ups, annoying rommates--all the things that drive students crazy. It helps that she is hysterical, bringing levity to a very long Friday. The most important thing about her riffs is that she lets students know that they are not alone when they feel like they are losing their mind, and exhausted past the brink of tears.  New students, be it 1L's or freshman, feel like they are carrying these burdens alone. Many are afraid to admit it's not going well for them, or think they are the only one struggling. By providing a (very funny) weekly reminder that we are all in this together, and it's a struggle for all of us, she is providing some needed support to students who won't reach out on their own. You never know which message will reach a student in crisis.

I have no doubt that the necessary part of her weekly update gets more attention because she starts with light-hearted banter. The purpose of the updates is to remind students of major events; some of them they must attend. For Academic Support programs that are new, are comprehensive (1L through bar), or have an unfortunate location, a weekly update can be a powerful tool for getting the attention of students. Even for students who need not need ASP programming, a weekly newsletter or update reassures them someone is looking out for them, and providing them with a needed break from the heavy-duty studying.  The key is make them useful, make them brief, and keep it funny. (RCF)

October 2, 2009 in Teaching Tips | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Director of ASP Position at University of Baltimore School of Law

Director of Academic Success Program

The Director of the Academic Success Program (Director) performs a variety of functions in the University of Baltimore School of Law’s Office of Academic Affairs to support the teaching and learning goals of the school. The Director will have a 12 month administrative appointment. The Director will divide his/her time between the administrative duties in the academic support program and teaching 1-2 classes per year in the J.D. program at the School of Law.  Depending upon experience, the appointment may be at the Associate or Assistant Dean level.

Responsibilities include:

  • designing and implementing strategies to assist student learning, particularly high risk students;
  • participating in individual and group academic advising for J.D. students;

designing and implementing strategies to assist students with preparation for the bar examination including working with members of the administration and faculty to evaluate curriculum and academic standards to maximize bar passage;

  • along with other members of the administration, evaluating and creating reports on statistical data regarding students’ academic performance, course enrollment, entrance scores and bar passage results;
  • hiring, training and supervising  student mentors  who provide academic support;
  • support full time and adjunct faculty in developing as teachers;
  • assisting in designing and implementing the academic component of the orientation programs;
  • overseeing the institution’s policies for providing reasonable accommodation for students with disabilities to ensure compliance with the ADA and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

The Director may have other responsibilities as assigned from time to time by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

The Director reports to the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and works closely with other constituencies within the law school, particularly the Director of Academic Services, the Coordinator of Academic Operations, the Directors of the Legal Writing Program, student mentors, members of the faculty, and student organizations.

Applicants must have a J.D. degree and strong academic credentials. The successful candidate must be able to work both collaboratively and independently and must have a creative approach to problem solving, with strong written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills, and demonstrated success in collaborating within all levels of an institution. Preference will be given for experience in academic support, law school administration, law school teaching, and scholarship in the area of learning theory and academic support.

Positions will remain open until filled but applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible to receive full consideration.  In keeping with its commitment to a diverse faculty, the law school welcomes applications from all qualified candidates and encourages women and minorities to apply.   Contact Elizabeth J. Samuels, Chair, Faculty Appointments Committee, The University of Baltimore School of Law, 1420 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-5779, esamuels@ubalt.edu.

September 28, 2009 in Jobs - Descriptions & Announcements | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)