Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Student Outreach Corner

The Corner is the place where you can find updated information about our Western and Eastern Region Chapters direct from the mouths of our Student Outreach Coordinators. The Student Outreach Coordinators are the key communicators between local chapters and the Presidential Team. Here, our Student Outreach Coordinators can pay special tribute to those chapters doing an outstanding job in their regions.

Cultivating a Strong and Powerful Student Chapter, 101:

NAEA News, December 2007

The focus of our last student edition was the steps to growing your own Student Chapter. This month’s focus is the cultivation and maintenance of your newly founded support system. In many situations starting an organization of your own is just half the battle. The other involves careful planning, consideration and attention to your members. No matter how strong your chapter may appear to be initially, it cannot evolve and mature without your nurturing. Following are some of the steps you and your fellow members can take to make sure that your Student Chapter maintains momentum.

1. Set a date on the calendar. Make it a point to meet with your student chapter at least once a month. Try to set routine meeting dates on the calendar so that it is easy for members to remember to attend. Also try to set at least one social event and/or community service event every other month. Social events help relieve the tension and stress of the everyday. Community service events help members reach out to their broader environment.

2. Meet with your mentor on a regular basis to brainstorm and discuss group successes. Make sure that you are meeting regularly with your mentor at least once a month to talk about the progress of your chapter and future endeavors. Your mentor has the wisdom and knowledge to push and challenge your members to rise to their ability. Look to your mentor as a valuable asset to your group, but do not rely heavily on them for leadership. The leadership of the chapter must come from you!

3. Look for fresh meat. Continue looking for new members that can serve as valuable additions to your chapter. The best places to look for such members are the beginning art education courses in your program. Invite new members to join the NAEA bandwagon and share their fresh and insightful ideas. Put together a presentation that informs potential members of the benefits of NAEA and visit classrooms. New members will be ready and waiting to get involved!

4. Celebrate on a regular basis. Acknowledge members that go above and beyond within your chapter. As you continue to congratulate each other on your successes as individuals and as a group, you will see an ever-growing desire to continue evolving as a team.

5. Keep close ties with your Student Outreach Coordinator. Currently there are two national officers that are ready and waiting to help your growing Student Chapter become successful. These individuals are your go-to people with helpful information direct from the Presidential Team. In charge of the Western Region is Aimee Allen (aims@email.arizona.edu). In charge of the Eastern Region is Sandra Koberlein (skoberlein@msn.com). Send your Student Outreach Coordinator an email every other month detailing the events and growth of your student chapter. Ask your Student Outreach Coordinator to consider you as the focus of a Student Chapter Spotlight. The Spotlight is part of the NAEA Student Chapter eBulletin sent out by the national president. Make your group’s ideas and events known to other chapters across the nation!

6. Share and collaborate. As a chapter, make it your personal goal to attend your state conference, in addition to the national NAEA conference. Attending these events is absolutely crucial to the growth of your chapter. Conferences allow you to share and brainstorm ideas with other chapters across the country.

7. Encourage your leaders to continue with NAEA. For those leaders that take a sincere interest in the advancement of the National Student Chapter, encourage them to run for the national presidency. The national presidential team is constantly on the look out for leaders that have fresh and exciting ideas. Having a member represented on a national stage can also elevate your local chapter to a new level of responsibility.

8. Keep in touch with your alumni. As members begin to graduate from your program, keep their information in a database for future reference. These alumni are potential mentors and guest speakers for your younger members.

9. Keep Up the Energy!

Presidential Talks

This is the venue for past and present National Student Chapter Presidents to voice their experiences while in service. Take a look at their commentaries and ask yourself the question, "Could I be Student Chapter President one day?"

NAEA Conference Experiences

Going to the NAEA Conference each year is an incredibly exciting and inspiring experience. All who attend walk away with numerous memories and bags full of ideas! Share some of your experiences today!

State Conference Experiences

In addition to the NAEA Conference coming up in March, states are holding their independent conferences around the country. Tell us about your experiences at the state level. What was the most exciting part of the event? What was the best lesson shared? What was the most invigorating presentation?