In the time since your LB coaching training experience, how has coaching influenced you and your work as an educator?
Teaching and advising is a passion of mine. LB training influenced my work by:
• Introducing me to a specific (yet fluid) structure for advising,
• Providing the opportunity to engage with educators/advisors from all over the globe, and to discuss & exchange advising techniques & strategies,
• Solidifying and confirming my previous knowledge (advising strategies & techniques), but also broadened my horizon concerning issues and challenges that might face students, and about the many approaches to combat these challenges. There was a beautiful exchange of knowledge between trainees...We built a community of learners/advisees.
How has LB coaching knitted a common fabric in your department?
I think receiving the same training and having an advising model/structure to go back to helped keeping everyone on the same page. Yet, recognizing our differences and specialized knowledge assisted in building diverse comprehensive advising strategies. Our advising model/program is not completely developed, but it is progressing in that direction...LB training/program assisted in providing a common ground from which each advisor can expand his/her efforts to grow and develop more specialized techniques to better assist his/her population/cohort students.
How have you set up a campus-wide culture of coaching, and what effects is it having on students and faculty?
Applying the knowledge built during training, I was able to build confidence, communicate my knowledge to students as well as faculty and professionals, and act as a bridge between the academic division and the student services division. During training, I was given the chance to analyze my strength and weaknesses which helped me in creating goals and objectives for implementing the gained knowledge- after training. This helped me in analyzing the strength and weaknesses of our coaching program (at Mercer), and my approach to advising as a member of the advising team. The outcomes were great...I was able to build better relationships with colleagues and other support service employees so that we can better assist our students. I became more knowledgeable about policy, procedures, and products that can help our students. I was also able to educate others about my role as an advisor and collaborate with others to better assist our students. There is still a lot of work to be done, but we are progressing in the right direction.
In this time of revealed systemic racism, how can LB coaching be a tool to build equity, unite citizens, and restore democracy?
I think what is unique about the LB training is that it provided us as advisors with a structured program, yet it allowed for our differences, personalities, and professional experiences to shine through our approaches to advising. During our LB training, all advisors relied on backgrounds and experiences to study scenarios and solve problems. Our personalities were a part of the solutions and a part of the problem...We learned to maintain consciousness of our biases. We learned to accept differences and strive to better understand them- in order to better assist our students. The goal was to build equity and equality in granting our students/colleagues the opportunities of either be supported or support others in achieving their goals.