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NUFP Learning Outcomes

NUFP activities and components are structured around a set of critical learning outcomes. These learning outcomes are reflected in the curriculum, training, and Institutes for the program, and also provide the basis for program assessment. To achieve the NUFP mission, NUFP Fellows will develop:

  • Writing, Research, and Presentation Skills

    Writing, research, and presentation skills are key elements necessary to succeed in all professions, including student affairs and higher education. Any applicant to a student affairs, higher education, or related field master's program must be at least proficient, and hopefully excel, in these areas. It is the hope of NUFP that Fellows receive ample opportunities to develop and hone these skills.

    Having the opportunity to work on writing, research, and presentation skills is, however, only the first step. Another integral component to successfully working on this learning outcome is feedback. It is essential that the mentor, as well as other resources on campus, such as the writing workshop, looks at what the Fellow is producing and gives ample encouragement and comment.

    Some actions that the Fellows can engage in that encourage writing, research, and presentation skills include:

    • Keep a journal or blog of your NUFP experience.
    • Write a reaction paper after reading one of NASPA's publications and share with your mentor.
    • Give a presentation about NUFP to your division of student life or student body.
  • Ethical Decision Making Skills

    Without a strong foundation, any building will fall. Similarly, a student affairs or higher education administrator without a clear set of guidelines will not succeed. There are many documents that serve as the foundation of our profession, starting with the 1937 Student Personnel Point of View. Through this learning outcome, NASPA hopes that the Fellows will synthesize information from various sources to produce their own point of view.

    Mentors should be willing to share their own personal ethical statement, as well as be a resource for Fellows to discuss problems faced in their college lives. Please remember that "any statement of principles of good practice for student affairs must be consistent with our profession's values and must help us meet our founding commitments," as shared in the Principles of Good Practice for Student Affairs document published jointly by ACPA and NASPA.

    Some actions that the Fellows can engage in that encourage ethical decision making skills include:

    • Write a personal ethics statement.
    • Discuss with mentor actual ethical situations that the mentor has experienced.
    • What is NASPA's statement on professional expectations? How well does it align with your values?
  • Cultural Competency Skills

    It is very important to understand that cultural competence is something that has to be practiced throughout one's life. There are acts which student affairs and higher education administrators can do to be considered culturally competent, but please remember, like with all the learning outcomes, that one can never fully "master" this outcome. Being a culturally competent student affairs or higher education professional means that one must "routinely engage in a process whereby they discover, observe, reflect, evaluate, act, and re-evaluate the campus environment, various situations, and their actions." (Winston, et al, 2001, p.54 – 55). It is also equally important to understand that many believe cultural competence to be interconnected to issues of social justice and progressive change for individuals and institutions (Ebbers & Henry, 1990).

    Overall, a culturally competent individual should be able to communicate effectively their own understanding of their culture and multiple identities. Moreover, Fellows should be able to work with others from diverse backgrounds and gain an appreciation for their shared similarities and differences. 

    Some actions that the Fellows can engage in that encourage culturally competency skills include:

    • Attend an ally training workshop on your campus.
    • Immersion experiences with a demographic you do not identify with.
    • Coordinate or attend programs that serve to create a positive campus climate with regards to issues of diversity. Examples include serving on the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium, receiving a certificate for the campus' LGBT Allies Program / Safe Zone Program.
    • Being a part of efforts that serve to recruit and / or retain traditionally under-served populations such as Latinos, Native Americans, and first generation students.

    Ebbers, L. H., & Henry, S. L. (1990). Cultural competence: A new challenge to student affairs professionals. NASPA Journal, 27 (4), 319–323.

    Winston, R., Creamer, D., Miller, T. and Associates (2001).  The Professional Student Affairs Administrator:  Educator, Leader, and Manager.  New York:  Routledge

  • Professional Networking Skills

    Networking opportunities surround us, and NASPA hopes that through NUFP, fellows will be able to hone the skills necessary to succeed in any public setting. Not only should the theory of networking be covered in this learning outcome (what does business casual really mean, what is the proper way to address an email to a supervisor, how to turn an informational interview into a job lead, etc.), but we also hope that the practice of networking will also be addressed.

    With the advent of new technologies, such as NASPA's social networking site, please remember that networking does not always have to be face-to-face. Make sure to address how technology is affecting how one shows professionalism in all "public" areas of a student's life.

    Some actions that the Fellows can engage in that encourage professional networking skills include:

    • Attend an Annual or Regional Conference.
    • Do informational interviews with administrators on your campus.
    • Look for opportunities to get involved within the association.
  • Their Ability to Identify and Develop Personal, Academic, and Career Goals

    The goal of NUFP is to not only get Fellows into the fields of higher education, but also to retain them throughout their careers. Recognizing that personal and professional balance is an issue that many new professionals face as they enter the field, identifying and developing strong personal, academic, and career goals early on can lead to less burn out.

    If possible, the mentor should serve as a sounding board for all three goal areas, recognizing that all students, including those of traditionally underrepresented identities, do better when support structures are in place. It is not the job of the mentor to become a career counselor (unless the mentor is in that area of higher education, =D), but rather to serve as another resource that the Fellow can talk to.

    Some actions that the Fellows can engage in that encourage their ability to identify and develop personal, academic, and career goals include:

    • Develop personal goals and create a plan of action for the semester
    • Attend workshops and events sponsored by your career center
  • An Awareness and Understanding of Engaged Citizenship and Service

    According to the Principles of Good Practice for Student Affairs, a document published jointly by ACPA and NASPA, "…. [Our fields' scholarly literature] demonstrate our long-standing belief that higher education has a responsibility to develop citizens capable of contributing to the betterment of society. These documents affirm our conviction that higher education has a duty to help students reach their full potential."

    Mentors, as student affairs and higher education practitioners, should take an integral role in helping Fellows reach full potential status. But NASPA does not expect mentors to work towards this learning outcome in a silo. We hope that through this learning outcome, Fellows (perhaps in conjunction with their mentors) will engage in activities within their local and global communities.

    Some actions that the Fellows can engage in that encourage an awareness and understanding of engaged citizenship and service include:

    • Participate in your campus's alternative spring break or other similar program.
    • Partner with a local organization and help out, whether it is a shelter, assisted living facility, government campaign, etc…
  • An Understanding about Multiple Relationships to Power and Privilege

    Caribbean American writer, poet, and activist Audre Lorde discusses how multiple identities interact with one another and when she felt most whole when stating:

    My fullest concentration of energy is available to me only when integrate all the parts of who I am, openly, allowing power from particular sources of my living to flow back and forth freely through all of my different selves, without the restrictions of externally imposed definition. (Lorde, 2004, p. 69)

    It is the hope of NUFP that the mentors help facilitate the discussions about what multiple identities Fellows hold, and how these different identities play out within different campus cultures.

    For example, at an all-woman's college, someone who identifies as transgender would have a very different experience than someone who identifies as a woman. Similarly, gay students at religiously-affiliated institutions and White students at pre-dominantly White institutions will have very different experiences. This learning outcome should continue conversations that Fellows most likely have (and will continue to have) during their lives.

    Some actions that the Fellows can engage in that encourage an understanding about multiple relationships to power and privilege include:

    • Read articles about the different definitions of diversity, multiculturalism, social justice, and pluralism.
    • Engage in activities that allows for one to have greater awareness and sensitivities about multiple identities that can include but is not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and so on.
    • Take part in training workshops that allows one to understand their biases and how this influences their decision making processes.

    Lorde, A. (2004). Age, race, class, and sex: Women redefining difference. In M. L. Andersen & P. H. Collins (Eds.), Race, class, and gender: An anthology (p. 69). Belmont, California: Thomson and Wardsworth.

  • An Understanding of the History, Mission, and Purpose of Student Affairs and the Various Institutional Types and Structures within Higher Education;
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  • An Understanding of NASPA's Organization and Structure

    For the tenure of Fellows in NUFP, NASPA provides a complimentary membership for being selected as part of the program. Fellows and mentors have access to the numerous NASPA membership benefits, from discounted rates at conferences and workshops to great publications such as Where I am From: Student Affairs Practice from the Whole of Students' Lives. This learning outcome should help the Fellows see the inner workings of NASPA, an integral resource in administrators in the fields of higher education and student affairs.

    The NASPA website is filled with copious amounts of information about NASPA. We hope that Fellows and Mentors not only learn about the various programs that NASPA offers, such as our institutes and workshops, but that they actively participate in and contribute to NASPA, perhaps by joining one of our 22 Knowledge Communities. If you have any questions about NASPA, please do not hesitate to contact any of the board members or the program contact, all available on the NUFP Website.

    Some actions that the Fellows can engage in that encourage an understanding of NASPA's organization and structure include:

    • Visit the NASPA Office in Washington D.C. if you are local or visiting.
    • Discuss the criteria for being a NASPA president with your mentor. First, find the document on the website.
    • Join a knowledge community and interact with the leadership team.