This past week I had the privilege of attending the Association of Student Conduct Administrator’s (ASCA) Gehring Academy. Within this training academy there are various tracks which student conduct professionals can take part in. The tracks range from those designed for new professionals to ones for mid-level managers as well as tracks specifically designed for those interested in conflict resolution training. The choices are truly limitless.
As a new attendee to the academy and one who has only about 2.5 years of conduct experience under her belt I attended the Foundations of Professional Practice track which is designed for those with less than 5 years of conduct experience. To say that I learned a lot about my field is quite the understatement. I took part in workshops about FERPA, the Clery Act, Title IX, ethics & integrity, assessment in student conduct, forms of conflict resolution, law and governance, and so forth. I do not believe I have learned so much in 4 days. By the end of the week my mind was overflowing with ideas and information.
I was ready to hit the ground running and bring back all the information I had obtained to my institution. But it was within those moments of thinking “I have to this, this and this” that I tried to keep in mind what the faculty at the training academy had to said to us at the start and finish of our training. “Remember, change happens slowly and over time. Start with one idea and branch out from there. You cannot implement everything you have learned here in one sitting but can start with one element at a time”. With that sentiment in mind I came back to my institution with the hopes of implementing one or two things based off of what I had learned at the academy.
Ultimately, the experience of the training was life changing. Within those 4 days my love for conduct, higher education, and student affairs was solidified. Whether or not I am able to implement new practices here at Bergen does not change the fact that I have acquired a new set of colleagues and friends through this process. Additionally, the knowledge I soaked in during those 4 days is knowledge that I will take with me for the rest of my career as a conduct officer. I hope to return to the academy next year and take part in another track offered.
What training have you taken part in that has changed your life?