Teaching is probably the area in which you can make the biggest contribution. You should serve as a resource, suggesting new and varied ideas for programs and activities. You can help to create that vital link between the principles and skills learned in the classroom and the real world applications of those principles and skills.You can also assist in diagnosing group problems and suggesting possible solutions. Teaching leadership skills is of great importance.
Finally, you should insist upon the highest standard of programming and personal performance worthy of the college.
You should expect to be regularly consulted on the organization's activities. You should offer ideas and suggestions freely, but be careful not to dominate the planning process. If you are not being consulted, insist on it, but not to the extent that you have to okay little details.
The turnover of officers and members is constant, particularly at a community college, so you play a critical role in providing continuity. See to it that officers and committee chairs keep written records of projects, activities and meetings. These may be stored in a space provided in the Student Government office so that they are accessible to future leaders.
Additionally, you should be actively involved in recruiting new members each term and encourage qualified members to seek an officer position.
By interacting with students in an informal setting, you have a unique opportunity to identify students who are having difficulties, either academically or personally. By approaching the a student privately, you can determine whether you can help him/her or provide an appropriate referral (i.e. Academic Advising, ADA Support Services, Tutoring, etc.).
As a college representative, you are often required to interpret the college's policies and regulations. You may also be asked to interpret SGO policies and procedures. Use the Student handbook as a resource or seek the SGO Board's advice.
Clubs and organizations are required to have faculty/staff supervision at all of their events and activities. As the adviser, you will often fulfill the supervisory role. In this role, you must keep the best interests of both the college and the club/organization in mind.
Inappropriate or embarrassing activities should be headed off in the planning process, but if such incidents occur despite appropriate planning, you should move quickly to deal with them.
If you are unable to attend, the members are responsible for finding another faculty or staff member.
Adviser Expectations of Officers
Advisors should be informed about all organizational activities, meeting times, locations and agendas. Officers should ...
- Meet regularly with the adviser and discuss all plans and problems.
- Develop and use good records and sound financial procedures.
- Provide meeting minutes as well as any other materials that are sent to members.
- Make no commitments for the adviser without his/her consent.
- Not assume an adviser will continue to serve for the succeeding year unless he/she has agreed.
- Forward all adviser correspondence to him/her.
Organization Expectations of Advisers
- Attend meetings regularly. While an adviser may not be able to attend every meeting, he/she should make an effort to learn about the items discussed.
- Attend the duration of the club/organization's events.
- Believe in the club/organization and manifest the enthusiasm necessary to help the organization work toward its potential.
- Understand the club/organization, be aware of its purposes and assist in formulating goals.
- Assist the members with developing procedures and methods for maintaining an effective club/organization.
- Assist the members with understanding college procedures.
- Assist the members with improving their leadership skills.
- Represent the club/organization in staff or faculty meetings, when necessary, and to serve as liaison with the college.
- Guide the club/organization in planning activities and programs.
- Encourage and support the club/organization during trial periods.
- Help evaluate group projects, performances and progress as well as individual weaknesses and strengths.
- Serve as a mediator or unbiased observer, when necessary.
- Discuss the club/organization's financial status including identifying problems, potential solutions, and financial strengths and the means for maintaining those strengths.
- Serve as a resource, provide ideas as needed and be available to meet with officers and/or members when they request help.
- Participate in the club/organization's meetings/programs to the greatest extent possible, be familiar with its constitution and bylaws, and be prepared to render assistance with their interpretation.
- Interpret college procedures and policies.
College Expectations of Advisers
- Must be a current faculty/staff member to serve as an adviser.
- Accepts an invitation to serve as an adviser, or to continues to serve, only if she/he is prepared to fulfill the expectations.
- Voluntarily assumes an adviser role and upholds the best interest of the college and club/organization.
- Will do all that is possible to assure that policies and bylaws are not violated nor the welfare of members endangered.
- Participates in the club/organization to the fullest extent without actually making decisions or setting club/organization policies.
- Should maintain and periodically review the organization's financial records.
- Assists with organizing officer elections and assures that members are representing the club/organization fairly.
- Follow up on club/organization sponsored activities and assuring that all borrowed and loaned equipment is returned.
- Be visible at the club/organization's activities and provide advice when necessary.
- Work with the Office of Student Life to enforce all policies and procedures.
Advisers play an important role in advising the total club/organization. However, this is often influenced by the adviser's personality and the organization she/he advises. Some advisers prefer to work with the officers and maintain a low profile during the organization's meetings.
It is usually undesirable for an advisor to dominate meeting discussions; however, there are times when it is desirable for the adviser to question, recommend or present opposing views.
It is advantageous for an adviser to be a participating and active member. More often than not, the club/organization will communicate the level of involvement it hopes its adviser will retain.
Sometimes the organization may be planning a questionable activity. Advisers should practice these techniques when dealing with these situations.
- Encourage other less questionable ideas.
- Point out the plan's difficulties.
- Request that the group obtain opinions of individuals or groups affected by the action.
- Speak with the Director of Student Life.
There is a tendency for an club/organization to plan the same programs year after year. In some cases this is desirable, but if the adviser feels there is a need to change the program, she/he should advise the group to consider other alternatives.
Brainstorming can be helpful in exploring programming alternatives. It encourages member participation and the generation of ideas, which are often inhibited by a fear of criticism or rejection. The adviser may also recommend other resourceful people be contacted for ideas, including the Director of Student Life.
While it is desirable for the adviser to make recommendations, she/he should help the officers become aware of resources. The officers should also be urged to evaluate the program and become aware of the need for change.
In many instances, the adviser is given an opportunity to provide closing remarks at meetings. Theses may include evaluative statements, commendations, inspirational statements or general comments.
Some advisers may not want to provide closing statements, but they do help provide recognition. It is desirable that the adviser be accepted as a co-worker and as a person whose opinions are respected.
It is important for the adviser to periodically become involved in the evaluation of his/her effectiveness. The evaluation is helpful when the adviser completes a self-evaluation and the members complete an adviser evaluation. These evaluations should be written and then discussed with the group. Open, two-way communication is critical.
The following are some areas to consider in the evaluation process. The adviser and the members may add additional items.
- Is the adviser following the agreed upon role? Is there a need to renegotiate the role?
- Is the adviser appropriately involved in meetings?
- Is the adviser available to members?
- Is the adviser helpful to individual officers and members?
- How many members can the adviser name?
- Does the adviser see or talk with members outside of meeting times?
- Does the adviser offer constructive criticism and appropriate suggestions?
- Does the adviser have, and share with the group, information concerning institutional policies and procedures?
- Does the adviser assist leaders in learning and using group development tools (i.e. sub-grouping, role-playing, Force Field Analysis, group building, goal planning, etc.)?
- Does the adviser have information concerning your advisement area readily available?
- Meeting Atmosphere:
- Was the room arranged in a conducive manner?
- Did the members make newcomers feel welcome?
- In what areas and/or how do the members participate in the meeting?
- What techniques does the student chair use most effectively?