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Decisions Matter: Using a Decision-Making Framework with Contemporary Student Affairs Case Studies

Supporting the Profession Assessment, Evaluation, and Research
August 20, 2013 Delight Champagne Dr. Brian T. McCoy Michael Siegel Annemarie Vaccaro

Decisions Matter is an innovative guide designed to help novice student affairs professionals develop effective decision-making skills. Written by seasoned student affairs educators and practitioners, this book contains a systematic method for solving a wide range of complex problems.

In this exceptional instructional tool, the authors present a decision-making framework developed specifically to address challenges in contemporary higher education, including alcohol issues, natural disasters, social media, group dynamics, mental health concerns, veterans affairs, and much more. Decisions Matter features 30 diverse case studies that reflect real-life scenarios faced by student affairs professionals on college and university campuses. The cases involve a variety of functional areas and institutional contexts to prepare readers to make decisions in different educational settings.

A significant feature of Decisions Matter is its connection to and use of the professional competencies outlined in Professional Competency Areas for Student Affairs Practitioners (ACPA & NASPA, 2010). Decisions Matter provides a practical set of strategies to help graduate students and new professionals cultivate proficiency in the professional competency areas while making decisions about multifaceted higher education problems.

Effective decision making is an essential skill for successful student affairs practice. By learning and applying the decision-making framework and professional competencies to case studies and real-world problems, emerging student affairs professionals can begin their journey toward developing a consistent, comprehensive, and thoughtful process for decision making.

Praise for Decisions Matter

Decisions Matter speaks volumes to the critical moments that shape the work of student affairs educators. The authors present a decision-making framework that is theoretically grounded, easy to understand, and applicable across contexts. The cases provide readers with ample opportunities to apply the framework and to think more deeply about translating it into daily practice. This book is a wonderful resource for graduate programs and professional development!” —Lori Patton Davis, associate professor, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis

“The authors provide an analytical and practical decision-making framework that can help all of us, particularly graduate students and new professionals, learn how to make the most effective and best decisions possible in our work with students. This book is an excellent tool for classroom discussions, staff meetings, and professional development programs.” —Lori M. Reesor, vice president for student affairs, University of North Dakota

“In our campus roles, we are constantly called on to make a variety of choices. By demonstrating the strong link between the professional competencies for student affairs and decision making skills, this book provides a framework for discernment and a method for teaching it.” —Dennis R. Black, vice president for university life and services, University at Buffalo

Decisions Matter is an invaluable resource when applying theory to practice around decision making in student affairs. The step-by-step framework is a useful tool for graduate students and newer professionals who want to improve this important skill set.” —Richard A. Stevens Jr., assistant professor and program coordinator, College Student Development and Administration, Shepherd University

Decisions Matter will become a staple for higher education and student affairs graduate courses and staff professional development programs. The cases reflect the complex situations that today's student affairs professionals must address, and the alternative questions at the end of each case help readers consider the issues from additional angles.” —Barbara M. Fienman, interim management consultant; adjunct faculty member, Suffolk University

“The authors provide real-life scenarios that are relevant and challenge readers to make informed, critical decisions. This book is a must use for professional preparation programs!” —Sarah M. Marshall, associate professor, Central Michigan University

Hardcover | 2013 | 312 pages

ISBN 978-0-931654-85-5

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