Supplemental Case Studies

Supplemental Case Studies

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0145-0.ch008
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As the name implies, these are additional case studies you can use with your learners or yourself to reflect on ways to better serve your post-traditional learner population. Consider each of the following through either an instructor or administrator's eyes. While there are some that are written specifically for administrators or instructors, the majority of the case studies allow you to view the scenario from either lens. At the end of each case are several questions to provoke reflection and thought on the case study.
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As the name implies, this chapter provides additional case studies you can use with your learners, or, for yourself, to reflect on ways to better serve the post-traditional learner population.

Case Study 1: Student Affairs as an Undergraduate Degree

As one of the leading institutions in the nation, administration decided there is a need for an undergraduate degree in Higher Education Student Affairs (HESA) program. [What? We can dream, can’t we?]. You are in charge of developing a comprehensive curriculum and policy for the program. Your institution believes this new program will be a huge success, in part, due to the learner demographics on campus. Currently, the average age of learners on campus is 28, with online learners’ average age at 31. The wealth of incoming knowledge from post-traditional learners will be a perfect mix for theory in the degree, or, so you believe.

Question Set One

  • 1.

    To build this program, what information or factors do you need to take into account regarding your current campus population?

  • 2.

    Considering the items you generated in the first question, in what ways can you support your learners’ unique needs in the curriculum?

  • 3.

    You are in charge of the curriculum but also policy. In what ways could you leverage policy to create an inclusive program for post-traditional learners?

As you start to develop your curriculum, you feel pretty good about the curriculum having practicality, intentionality, and a design that aligns with the standards set forth by the National Association for Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) in their Professional Competencies Areas for Student Affairs Professionals. After your initial work on the curriculum, you turn your attention to policies. Admittedly, this is the first time you’ve developed a full degree program, and you have no idea what to do regarding policies.

Question Set Two

  • 1.

    What resources should you research to inform your policies?

    • a.

      What institutional policies should be of focus?

    • b.

      What theory or theories should you rely on to inform policy?

  • 2.

    If the program is completely new, where can you find potential policies to help design an inclusive program that accommodates learners from all backgrounds?

You research and find several other HESA programs. You contact each program to gather the information you desire and use your knowledge of post-traditional learners to cater the policies to be as inclusive as possible to learners from different backgrounds. After the initial creation of the policies and procedures, you are set to meet with several senior administrators and veteran instructors to review and discuss the new curriculum and policies you’ve created. As Murphy’s Law would have it, one of the veteran instructors placed on the review committee is a faculty member, who is known to dislike the division of student affairs and makes his dislike clear. In fact, in the meeting he blurts out that administrative bloat created by student affairs is the sole cause for financial issues on campus.

Question Set Three

  • 1.

    In what ways could you work, one-on-one with this individual?

  • 2.

    Politically, as well as ethically, how would you approach this situation to have the best chance of mitigating risk from this individual?

  • 3.

    What evidence might you share with the veteran instructor to have him reconsider his view of student affairs and the new program?

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