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Voices of the Global Community


Dana Zahorik, NACADA President

Dana Zahorik.jpgAs our semesters and terms come to a start, so does the preparation for NACADA’s Annual Conference, taking place this year in the beautiful city, St. Louis, Missouri.  Our Executive Office, Annual Conference Planning Committee, and a variety of association leaders have been planning for a full year, with activities coming to a full force as October closes in.  Just like planning for a successful conference, we as advisors have a plan for our new students and how we assist our students in fulfilling their own plans for academic success.  I encourage you to extend this planning beyond student success to your own growth by creating your own advising professional development plan. 

Perhaps your plan includes opportunities to get connected from the comfort of your own home or office, which could include connections through a variety of NACADA media, including etutorials, webinars, publications, and more.  If you are able to join those of us attending the annual conference, think about what you would like to accomplish and how you will go about it.  Will you attend sessions specific to your advising concerns, network with individuals from similar institutions or those who have addressed similar concerns at their own institution, or attend the Commission and Interest Group fair to learn more about ways to share and gain knowledge on a specific advising topic?

Perhaps your plan includes getting engaged in the association at a different level.  Consider getting involved by attending the Town Hall Business Meeting taking place on Friday, October 13th.  The meeting will begin with a short business discussion, followed by rotating topical feedback sessions.  Topics will include Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement in Leadership; Core Competencies; Research Center Initiatives; External Partnerships; Strategic Goals; and Global Initiatives.  Members will have the opportunity to share input on each of the topics, leaders will gather the information, summarize, and share with the Board of Directors, along with other leaders, to assist in future planning.  This feedback will be shared with members post-conference through a variety of venues.  Please mark your itinerary for 5:45 p.m. in Hall 1 and help us meet our goal of 250+ attendees.

If your plan includes additional opportunities for engagement in the association, consider getting interested in writing; chairing a committee (or simply becoming a member of a committee); or leading at the state, regional, or global level.  If you are not ready for leadership yourself, consider taking the time to nominate someone you feel has great leadership skills. You can do so by visiting this LINK or a paper copy of the nomination forms will be available in the program at annual conference.

Finally, the Board of Directors has been working throughout the year to fulfill their plans from the 2016 Annual Conference Board of Director meeting.  We are closing in on our plan to complete the strategic goals measurements and benchmarks and have completed the groundwork for an internal evaluation of the association.  We are also welcoming our newly elected and appointed leaders and including them in conversations as they prepare to take on their new positions beginning at the close of the 2017 annual conference.  Please join me in welcoming our new leaders and also promoting a slate of diverse leaders by nominating a leader for our 2018 election cycle.

Regardless of what you are interested in, having a plan can make the journey more meaningful and productive.  Knowing your goal, determining potential barriers, creating a plan to overcome barriers, and setting up support systems to succeed can all be part of your own professional development plan.  Sound familiar?  It is what we as advisors do for our own students daily while serving in the advising field and it is what we do best.  Plan for your own future and let NACADA be part of that plan to help you get there.  Have a great fall start and I hope to see you all at Annual Conference in St. Louis!

Dana Zahorik, President, 2016-2017
NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising
Counselor/Academic Advising Council Chair/Peer Advising Co-Chair
Counseling and Advising Services
Fox Valley Technical College

Cite this article using APA style as: Zahorik, D. (2017, September). From the president: Planning for progress. Academic Advising Today, 40(3). Retrieved from [insert url here]


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Academic Advising Today, a NACADA member benefit, is published four times annually by NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising. NACADA holds exclusive copyright for all Academic Advising Today articles and features. For complete copyright and fair use information, including terms for reproducing material and permissions requests, see Publication Guidelines.