By Clarissa Casper, University of Illinois Springfield
I was thrilled to be able to attend the annual Illinois Association for College Admission Counseling Conference this year. Empowering Student Admissions Representatives presented by Katie Pollard and Nicole Harvath of the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, and Amanda Stewart of Lincoln College was a very informative session. They presented about Chickering’s Seven Vectors of Student Development Theory and how those vectors could be applied to training and empowering student workers in admissions. The seven vectors are competency, trust/autonomy, team building, identity, purpose, pride, and positive affirmations. The vector that stood out to me was that of pride. By having students take pride in the work they are doing they are more likely to work to the best of their ability and share that sense of excited about their institution to prospective students visiting campus.
Another important point demonstrated by the presenters was helping applicants understand that their position encompasses more than just giving tours. Detailed responsibilities should be included in the job posting as well as discussed in the interview process. Having rounds of interviews is also a great way to get to know the applicants better. Starting with a group interview setting to see how students act when their guard is down is a great way to identify applicants for individual interviews. Being a Student Representative in an admissions office is a very important job. The importance of their position should be made clear from the beginning. This session in particular has given me great ideas to implement in the Admissions Office at U of I Springfield to help make our student workers even better!