Thursday, October 21, 2010

Student Representation on the Board

How are students involved in the leadership and vision of the campus ministry? I don't mean the leadership board elected each year which organizes programs and activities. I mean the governing board / trustees of the organization. How is the student voice heard?

How many board members have current insight into the student culture on campus? Not the alums, who remember how it used to be. Not the faculty member (as much as they think they might know the student culture on their campus). The campus minister can help, usually, but hers is often the only voice of folks engaged in the ministry. A student board member helps correct this deficiency.

But if the expectation is that one student can provide all that input, that asks a lot of the student. The student can help facilitate getting board members engaged with a range of students. Arranging for a board member to take two or three students out to dinner, or arranging for a student host when the board member comes to a programs or a residence hall bible study, provides board contact with students. (These types of encounters should be in addition to a yearly State of the Ministry report to the board by the student leadership.)

One way of helping the student rep is by intentionally overlapping the position. One student, who has some experience with the board, can help the new member feel more comfortable speaking up in meetings, and initiating conversations with board members outside the regular board meetings.

A student presence on the board helps ground the board's discussions, helps to provide a reality check, and provides a leadership experience for the student- which hopefully will pay off in the future when they move away and begin a career and become involved in a campus ministry governing board.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Early Assessment

Used to be that mid-term grades helped students see how they were really doing in college. Then in the recent past, retention studies indicated that First Year Students needed earlier feedback on how they were doing. Thus Early Assessment grades. Before Fall Break students would get an evaluation of how they were doing, so that they could make corrections before it was too late.

So now is the time for an early assessment of how our ministries are doing this year.

It's one of the aphorisms of collegiate ministry that you will never have more students at a regular college ministry function than you will at the beginning of the semester. But there are some students who came and have stopped coming. Why? Who has checked up on them?

Which programs worked and why? Which ones didn't and why?

Which student leaders have risen to the challenge of their ministry? Now is the time to affirm them.

Which student leaders haven't yet stepped up? Now is the time to check in with them and do a little mentoring.

Which governing board / oversight committee members don't yet have the big picture of what they are supposed to be doing?