Harnessing Talent: A Tiered, Accelerated Leadership Model for Academic Support Programs
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While student-leadership models are not uncommon among Supplemental Instruction (SI) programs, Texas State University has developed a tiered leadership model providing real-world paraprofessional experience to the undergraduates and graduates who serve as its leadership (Skalicky & Caney, 2010; The International Center for Supplemental Instruction at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, n.d.). The intention of this model is to increase the responsibility of each tier, creating more marketable new professionals while allowing fulltime staff members to focus on larger programmatic objectives. Under Texas State’s tiered SI leadership model, undergraduate student leadership is primarily responsible for front-line program coordination while graduate student leadership functions as a half-time professional, coordinating personnel management from recruitment to onboarding and managing initial program assessment each semester. Professional staff members closely monitor and concentrate on the work and development of the student leadership through weekly team meetings, individual bi-weekly meetings, and annual leadership retreats focused on needs assessment and larger program goals. The outcome is a heightened professional development experience for student leadership with greater ability of full-time staff members to better allocate time to other administrative tasks, metaphorically creating “hours” in the workday.