AS Student Program Assessment Coordinator and SPAC (Structure and Program Advisory Committee) Chair, Matt Smith
What are some of your position or department’s responsibilities in relation to other AS departments?
My position entails working with seven offices a year to assess, create meaningful suggestions for change and long or short term student needs, and search for consistent problems or opportunities, which goes through the SPAC office and into the AS. We guide the AS Assessments in an every-four-year rotation. Initially relying on AS departments to do their own assessments were not sufficient enough for meaningful changes, which is why my position/office was created.
What are some work tips you would pass on to an employee with similar job duties?
Don’t lose sight of why you chose the job, and don’t forget what engaged you. Focus on aspects that engage you and create change for others. Be an active listener and take the time to listen to the concerns and experiences of others, to avoid creating a poisonous environment and workplace. The AS is a complex, dynamic organization and we are not there to judge others.
What are some work practices that works best for you in your position?
Being focused on relational aspects in terms of support, and interaction between person to person makes higher quality assessments. I also focus on thinking outside of just getting the job done, as I work in a very unique setting with a constant turnover of student staff. Making people feel supported, and being organized; focusing on categorizing/organizing the work you do works best. It’s a bureaucratic organization, so I keep organized on a lot of documents. Focusing on each position by themselves and focusing on what is working works best.
What is the most difficult and interesting part of your position at WWU?
I deal with a lot of complex issues, some that are really diverging, and challenging the assessment process isn’t everything. Sometimes the issue is so multifaceted that it takes more than one recommendation to change it. Working with logistical budget constraints and the realities that change may not be possible financially or personnel wise can be difficult.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Just don’t lose sight of the change and impact you’re able to create!
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