Chris Lewis, Dean of Student Affairs, Lansing Community College
February 28, 2018
It is almost time for the 2018 NASPA Annual Conference and, if you are attending, you may be wondering what sessions to attend. I know that for me, a person that has now been in a Senior Student Officer position for the last seven months, I find that part of my role requires that I keep a keen eye on public policy. For someone that has not spent a lot of time incorporating public policy into my day-to-day practices, this has been an adjustment, however, I do know that it impacts what I do and the educational experiences of the students that attend Lansing Community College.
Thus, I know that I will be attending many of the Public Policy Division sessions that are available during the NASPA conference. Why? For me, this is important as I am trying to jump in feet first; even though I know that it may be uncomfortable at times, being uncomfortable is not a reason to stay away from potential learning. I was really pleased to see that this year there is a session for any of us that might be newer to public policy entitled: Getting Engaged in Public Policy: A Starter Kit for Higher Education Professionals . This is a program I’m excited to attend on Tuesday, March 6, as I know that not all professional preparation programs prepare new practitioners to understand the impact and usability of public policy in professional practice.
The other issue I would mention is that anyone that has a true interest in public policy or on any issues that are currently being examined by the federal or state governments should do whatever you can at the conference to interact with others with a similar interest. Do not be afraid to ask questions, even if you are not comfortable doing so. Push yourself out of your comfort zone to get to grow your own network, as you never know when you will need to reach out to this network to better understand how new policies and laws will impact you, your campus and your students.
The Public Policy Division within NASPA is prolific in providing information for all NASPA members, keeping you up-to-date on proposed and existing laws and policies. Come to the NASPA Public Policy Division website to stay on top of everything for which you are working to stay informed. Also, if you know about proposed legislation on any of the topics then I would encourage you to share information with the NASPA Public Policy Division on their website.
There are so many great sessions coming up at the NASPA 2018 Annual Conference. If you want to see more of these great programs, check out this post on the NASPA Public Policy Division blog. Hope to see you all at the conference!
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