The Secret World Of Student Affairs

Coming into post-secondary work as a medical professional, it took me awhile to figure out that there was such a thing as a Student Affairs professional, and a bit longer to identify as one. I already had a fully formed professional identity that was inculcated and reinforced by eight years of school and training, and six years of practice (although it was an identity I would gladly shrug off, given the baggage that people put onto the title of “doctor”).

Despite working among Student Affairs professionals for several years, my first inkling there was a Secret World of Student Affairs was at a retreat with Ryerson’s Provost, recently brand new to the job. (Even though I sat with the Provost during lunch, I had no idea what a Provost was—senior administration were just people who came in as patients to the Medical Centre.)  I sat through a day and a half of discussion about visions, education, students, and student services. I was reaching into the recesses of my medical training for something that I could relate and contribute to the discussion, when I uttered the magic words “student development”. After that, my colleagues swarmed me, gave me knowing looks, and welcomed me into the fold. All the while I was left wondering—what just happened?

So I spent the next few years watching my colleagues, asking myself questions. What are Student Affairs professionals? What did they do? How were they different? How do you become a Student Affairs professional? Questions, I realized later, that are asked by many, if not everyone, in Student Affairs.  (Over the years, I watched these very same questions be asked by the CACUSS Board and its divisions, at CACUSS conference sessions, interview panels, staff meetings, and socials.)

To read more click here

Recent News
Browse News