MOOC: Exploring the Student Affairs Profession

It's time to look at the future.

November 6, 2013
Student Affairs Technology MOOC

Earlier this year, I asked whether or not Student Affairs needed a technology MOOC. The idea being that a technology MOOC for Student Affairs would be useful as a way to provide access to a baseline of technology-related content for Student Affairs practitioners (especially for folks who are in masters level higher education programs). It does seem like MOOCs would be useful platforms for those of us who work in (and study) higher education. At the very least, we would be using the very tools that many of us expect our students to use. Having direct fluency with MOOCs and online learning would be highly useful for all Student Affairs practitioners.

While it's not specifically related to technology, Colorado State University's SAHE Program in collaboration with CSU Online Plus, the CSU Institute for Learning and Teaching, and NASPA, have created a MOOC titled "Exploring the Student Affairs in Higher Education Profession." I'm not sure whether or not this is the very first MOOC for those who are interested in pursuing a career in Student Affairs, but it's definitely new. The 8 week course covers a wide swath of Student Affairs content including: foundations of the profession, student development theory, professional associations, student success, graduate programs, transitioning into the field, globalization, and the future of Student Affairs. Beginning in January of 2014, the course is going to be offered free of charge to any and all participants. Registration for the course is currently open.

In terms of content, this SA MOOC looks pretty standard. However, and I am going to be as charitable as I can, but the content of the "future" needs to be revised. The current bullet points within the "Future of Student Affairs" section list the following topics: technology and mobile and online learning engagement. Just so we are clear, it is 2013. Mobile apps, mobile devices, mobile learning…are in the NOW. Not later, not down the road, it's right now. Also, as long as I'm getting fired up, what the heck is wrong with us? I'm serious. Framing online learning engagement as the "future" is such a disservice to all of those individuals who are CURRENTLY in online-only programs. And, just to be clear, I'm not linking to these posts to get clicks. I'm linking to these posts because I wrote them in the PAST. That's right, there are online learners, they need us, and it's ridiculous that a large portion of our profession is content with thinking about these students as "the future." Okay, that's the end of my rant…for now.

If you're interested in Student Affairs as a profession, check out CSU's SA MOOC. If you want to learn about technology…well, remain hopeful, we're moving…ever so slowly.

[Photo Credit: original photograph by heloukee.]


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