With this being my 2nd year as a VISTA my focus this year is to be rooted on campus. Meaning having as many people and departments involved with C2C as possible. Since I’ll be transitioning out, the campus will be responsible for keeping up with C2C and its continuance and growth. So I’ve been working to keep as many things updated as possible; interview questions, training material, training speakers, etc. I’ve also been trying to keep different people involved in the process of creating and updating these documents. I feel like it’s important to have someone who knows what’s going on once I leave.
At the end of last spring my supervisor and I decided it would be beneficial to the program and to the campus if we were to have a senior peer advocate in the program. So from our spring to fall semester returning peer advocates we chose a senior peer advocate based on the spring semester. Not only could she be an advocate to the other advocates, but she could also be a resource to whoever takes over my role next year. The senior peer advocate worked with us over the summer. She helped me update the interview questions and the training material, schedule, and speakers. I felt that her insight was essential to the program because she had just completed her first semester as a peer advocate. I involve her in things to better the program but also so she gets some professional development.
As for increasing the capacity of C2C on campus, this year I’ve made it a point to be involved with our First Year Experience courses. All of our first year, traditional students have to take this course. So being involved with this course gives us access to so many first year, first generation, Pell-grant eligible students. So now we’re seeing a lot of those students who could benefit from our services but we maybe were missing by only being in those subject specific courses.
This semester we decided it was important to create a self-evaluation for the peer advocates. I have questions on there about about personal characteristics, job components, achievements, goals and professional development. My goal for the spring semester is to have more than 1 each semester. That way we’ll have time to address some of the concerns or build on the things that are working. I want to give everyone a chance to improve, the peer advocates and me as well. This position has been a learning experience for me. Before this job I had never been in a role where I had to do a lot of the things I have to do, so I would’ve had no way of knowing how to handle it. So hearing some of that feedback is essential for me as a person, a young professional, an employee and a colleague. I look forward to the rest of my year being a learning experience; filled with growth and development.
Written by Chantel Parker
Read Chantel's bio
#ohiocampuscompact #connect2complete #compactnation #endpoverty #highered