This information applies to pages in the CSUN template system.Windows-press ALT + an access key. Macintosh-press CTRL + an access key.
Recently, we asked our GA's about their expectations and experiences related to their current graduate assistantship in our departments. Here's what they shared with us..
The JADE program's outstanding reputation and its commitment to student learning and involvement was one of the reasons I was interested in applying for this assistantship. My chief goal was to further my personal counseling and group facilitation skills. I also looked forward to being part of the 2008 Eating Disorders Awareness Week planning process, which has been met with success throughout the past years.
The experiences I have gained are certainly too numerous to mention. Yet, all have been valuable lessons that have successfully helped me reach the personal and professional goals that I have established for myself upon starting the program. Perhaps, the most rewarding aspect of this experience has been the opportunity to work with a group of hardworking and dedicated peer educators. Witnessing their remarkable accomplishments and the progress they have made towards their goals and learning objectives has truly solidified my mission and purpose to serve students.
Ellen Mayer, my Supervisor, has been instrumental in making this fieldwork experience most positive and gratifying. Her continuous guidance and support has given me the confidence and motivation to succeed on only in my current but future roles. I envision the future with many possibilities and would like to continue exploring various roles, such as counseling, teaching, programming, and leadership positions that will enable me to serve our college student population. As a student affairs professional, I am most certain that I will highly benefit from the JADE experience and hope to one day provide such learning opportunities for future students as my Supervisor has provided me.
It is very exciting to be a seasoned professional and observe the energy, enthusiasm and new ideas that our grad assistants bring, all of which make the mentoring/supervising role so exciting for me. I've found in the several years that I've had grad assistants from the Ed Psych College Counseling and Student Services Program, I have been enriched professionally by new information that they bring to me, new ways of doing things and new ways of perceiving what it is that we do, including: assessment, evaluation, their perceptions of our traditional student population and the energy that they bring to this program. In this particular year, the energy and ideas that Dorna has brought have led us to do things that I didn't think were possible, including the collaboration and funding necessary to host an event to bring Dr. Jean Killbourne to campus, where we had over 700 students, and follow it with a fair that reached over 500 additional students. It is a joy for me to work with our future professional colleagues and in particular, it has been a pleasure to work as a team with Dorna, each of us bringing ideas and insight to our work together.
When I applied for this assistantship I hoped to gain a better understanding of how a campus organization works and to become more engaged in the campus community.
I am constantly challenged in this position to tackle new knowledge and more importantly, apply this knowledge not only to my assistantship but as a student and teaching associate for the Communication Studies department as well. There is so much that I have learned, from improved business writing skills, to creating event assessments, policies and procedures and having the opportunity to sit on hiring committees for both student and staff positions. It is quite the learning experience to sit on the other side of the hiring table. I feel better prepared to tackle upcoming job interviews. The Union is a fantastic work environment; I have numerous mentors who are interested in helping me gain the knowledge I need to grow and support me in my many endeavors. Overall, I have gained more confidence as a graduate assistant and new professional.
My ultimate goal is to teach at a four-year university. Being a part of the division of student affairs has given me new insight into how best to serve students and the institute. In addition, I have learned new ways of engaging students and gained a new appreciation of how each of the divisions on campus work together to create lifelong learners who have the skills necessary to compete in today's job market. Studies show that engaged students perform better academically and matriculate in a more timely manner. Working at the University Student Union has introduced me to only a fraction of activities and organizations students can become involved in. I look forward to referring students to such events and services in the future as a full time faculty member.
When I joined the University Student Union just a few months ago, I was thrilled to learn that I would be working with a Graduate Assistant. Supervising Marisa is a fantastic learning opportunity for me. Over time, I am gaining a better understanding of Marisa’s personal and career goals, which allow me to tailor her GA experience to meet her needs and interests. Marisa plans to become a professor in communication studies, so I try to create opportunities within the GA position that will help her become a successful educator. I am invested in her growth and development, challenging myself to develop her as much as possible in the time we have before she moves on to her next adventure. I believe we both learn from each other, not just about how to accomplish our daily tasks and navigate the CSUN waters, but about how to become better professionals, student affairs practitioners, and people.
When given the opportunity to apply for the various positions and assistantships, I was excited, however overwhelmed at the options. I had limited knowledge about the services and programs provided for students at CSUN, so I had selected the New Student Programs assistantship as a high interest of mine in order to better acquaint myself to this University, and to better educate myself in this particular field.
Through the different opportunities and experiences, with this office which include staff trainings, retreats, professional conferences, and campus events, I have developed a great appreciation for this type of work and can clearly recognize the necessity and gravity that New Student Programs offer to incoming students.
This graduate assistantship has inspired me to challenge myself both personally and professionally by exposing me to different areas of Student Affairs and counseling. I have found that through my daily interactions in this program, I have been able to relate my current graduate work as well as my hopeful career goals through many ways. On top of learning the logistical efforts that go into large event planning, I have been able to assist in carefully crafting student learning outcomes and developmental theory around such. Additionally my role with various sub-groups of the different New Student Programs (e.g. Freshmen and Transfer students, TAKE Cast members, Orientation Leaders, and finally staff and faculty), I have been able to expand on both Student Service responsibilities as well as meaningful counseling opportunities that have truly blended these two realms together.
My work with the Professionals in SDIP, specifically Hilda Garcia – Putzel, and Christopher Aston, as well as the para-professionals that surround my work daily, have given me the support and guidance I can truly utilize and appreciate in my future. I am confident and assured that the education that I have received on issues of leadership development, transitional impact, and new incoming students, will sincerely help me in the field of College Counseling.
Having had the opportunity to continually participate in the Graduate Assistantship Program, I have found it to be rewarding on many levels both personally and professionally. This experience has given me the privilege of being part of the mentoring process, helping to shape young upcoming professionals in the field of higher education, with the hopes in contributing to their success. It gives me great pride to know that in my leadership role, I am also responsible for their personal and professional growth and am able to see the changes that transpire every year. In my position I have seen first hand the impact that benefit not only the Grad Assistant, in this case Lesley, but the contributions she makes in enhancing our program. Ultimately, I continue to grow as a professional through my mentoring – which is a humbling and fulfilling experience.