It is wonderful to see just how much our students can do! I was especially impressed the past few weeks as we have taken students to undergraduate leadership conferences. Students presented and did a GREAT job. Additionally, they learned about being responsible conference attendees and active participants.
First, we took students to the Southwester Black Student Leadership Conference. There, they learned about becoming more marketable, embracing leadership opportunities, and formed networks with students from many universities.
Following that trip, we took another group of students to the Diversity Leadership Conference at Sam Houston State University. The students submitted panels and were accepted as speakers. They learned a lot about facilitating discussion, leading a panel, and working with fellow presenters.
How can you engage your undergraduate students to embrace new leadership opportunities? It does not have to happen at far-off campuses. Work to get them involved, listen to their ideas, empower them to act, and see what they can deliver. It is key to offer specific and focused guidance throughout the process and have both pre- and post- trip meetings to help students prepare and process their journeys.
Consider which conferences or opportunities you could offer your students and then watch as they surpass your expectations!
Author of article – Lora Helvie-Mason