Shepherd University is one of 31 institutions named a Promising Place to Work in Student Affairs (PPWSA) 2014 by the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) and Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine.
The PPWSA national study, a collaborative project between ACPA and Diverse magazine, was conducted by The Center for Inclusion, Diversity, and Academic Success (iDEAS) in the College of Education and Human Ecology at Ohio State University under the leadership of Dr. Terrell L. Strayhorn, associate professor and director.
"This is a wonderful national acknowledgement of the good work that happens within Student Affairs and the university as a whole," said Dr. Thomas C. Segar, vice president for student affairs. "It reinforces our focus on using best practices to support Shepherd students. In addition, Student Affairs works extensively with colleagues throughout the university. This recognition is made possible because of the collaborative spirit that is Shepherd."
Shepherd's Office of Student Affairs supports the university's mission and core values through promoting student learning, engagement, success, service, and satisfaction through services, programs, and functions. It has 27 departments, functions, and units.
"I think our commitment to service, diversity, social justice, student success, and student engagement is unique. We not only care deeply about our students, but we translate that care into action through programs, services, and support," Segar said.
Working in Student Affairs are 15 graduate assistants from Shepherd's college student development and administration (CSDA) master of arts program, which is designed to prepare students for careers in student affairs and enrollment management. Segar said he is thankful to those assistants and his CSDA colleagues who teach them.
"Our graduate assistants are integral to the good work that happens within Student Affairs and the university. They bring innovative ideas that challenge us professionals to continually link theory and practice in ways that benefit all Shepherd students," he said.
The PPWSA study was originally conceptualized in 2011. It was commissioned to examine the administrative structures, commitment to diversity, and workplace or staffing practices of various divisions/departments of student affairs at participating ACPA member institutions.
The study was developed by staff members in the Center for iDEAS, as well as a national advisory board of researchers, practitioners, and experts on student affairs worklife, and session attendees at the 2013 ACPA convention in Las Vegas. The initial survey was comprised of six categories including family friendliness, salary and benefits, and professional development and opportunities. More than 100 higher education institutions participated in the inaugural study. Chief student affairs officers at those institutions completed an online survey which was followed by further data and information collection via the telephone or email.