One of the prevailing paradigms in higher ed these days is student success. Cynics decry it as a framework devoid of meaning. After all, haven’t all of us in higher ed existed to ensure student success at all times? As in: how is this “new” or advancing the field? But more narrowly constructed, many universities, colleges, and community colleges frame their missions and strategic plans around it. Student success can mean many things. It can entail access – ensuring that education remains available to all to the degree possible. It can include breaking down scheduling and financial barriers so students are able to complete their programs and graduate to a rewarding career. And it can mean that institutions provide services for its increasingly diverse students, such as food insecure students, first generation students, etc. But what does your higher ed institution do for career success for its staff? Anything?
I believe so strongly in the notion that you didn’t get to where you are without support, without cheerleaders, without both overt and behind-the-scenes advocacy. It’s a huge part of the reason I share what I have learned and continue to learn in this blog. But it’s not just the individual it benefits; it’s also the entire profession.
Back in the recession, I was shocked at how ill-prepared grad students were for the work of finding work. Now, eleven years later, I’m becoming less patient with grad schools not transparently providing the facts and training they need to have the wool ripped off their eyes.
We need to be helping grad students learn how to multi-task. Actually, that’s not quite the right term. It’s more how to handle task-switching. To learn how to put constraints on their time and deliverables and accept ‘good enough’ and move on, because that’s what any job will require of them.
Parental leave is a start, but what about the support working parents need throughout the duration of working parenthood?!