I strongly feel that student affairs professionals have one of the most interesting jobs. This course has led me to that conclusion. Students affairs administrators are at the forefront of changes affect higher education as we must be responsive to the needs of the various student populations and those needs change. As more students are enrolling in higher education, diversity is also increasing in all of its manifestations. This includes the increase in students with mental, emotional, and physical disabilities as well as nontraditional students. Students are no longer affluent, white males. This changes the type of programming, services, and resources deployed to ensure the success of the new student. In fact, it requires new theory such as CRT and others that are relevant to the experiences of the students who are now enrolling more often in college.
The need for remedial education, safe spaces, and academic support are increasingly important. I think most student affairs professionals can identify these trends. The issue is that leadership and faculty are not as flexible. In my role, supplemental academic support is not a priority and I have to justify my budget constantly despite serving a quarter (800-1000 students) of the undergrad engineering population each year. Just like hiring minority faculty, there often has to be incentives or pressure for departments or leadership to support certain initiatives. And it must come from the top. I think student affairs professionals can sometimes be in the difficult position of enforcing policy that might not reflect changing students needs or try to create programming or resources on a limited budget because those resources are not prioritized. However, in my opinion it is a wonderful career because it is challenging, but seeing students succeed, persist, and graduate is my reward.