I'm veering away on reflecting on my summer internship at Midlands Technical College for this post. In addition to working my internship, I have also been the summer graduate assistant for the College of Education.
Before I transitioned into the Student Affairs side of the collegiate world, I worked for the Academic side--first in a writing center, then in the testing and proctoring center. Working for the College of Ed. has been a great way to reconnect to the other half of college operations.
I've worked on several projects specific to my Master's program, including to help redesign our Practicum I course, build a new program manual for incoming first-years that focuses more on academics, and work on finishing our new comprehensive exam, which will be a portfolio of student work. In addition to these large projects, I worked on the orientation manual for PhD students in our higher education program, and I oversaw a lot of day-to-day administrative operations for the whole of the College of Education.
I've learned so much about what it means to have a long-term vision for a program. I understand far more intimately how all of the individual pieces--decisions, faculty weigh-in, program alterations--fit not only with a department's vision, but also the institutional mission and demands.
Though some of my days may consist of answering phone calls and emails, at the College of Education, I have always felt like my opinion has been valued. I've been on the ground floor of massive changes that will not only impact my last year in graduate school, but will leave their impact for years to come.
Working for HESA (my cohort) and closely with our education faculty has been an incredibly rewarding and--honestly--fun way to spend my summer. A large part of me wishes that I could continue the work that I've started over my last year of graduate school. However, I know that when I turn the position over to the new GA, I'll have done all that I can to improve and care for the program and that I'll leave it in capable hands.
Everything I've done for the College of Ed. this summer has reminded me of my years as an AmeriCorps VISTA--lots of strategic planning, lots of goal planning, lots of project implementation, but little contact with students. On the other hand, everything that I've done at Midlands--high student touch, little connection to long-term planning, day-to-day impact rather than multi-year planning--has resembled my earlier years in the world of higher education.
This summer has been a good balance of two very different worlds and very different jobs. I'm thankful for the opportunity to have pursued both of these jobs.
Until next time!