I spent last week at a SAEOPP Priority 3 training in San Diego.
This post has nothing to do with the "me" time at San Diego; that will follow. This is just a post about what I learned. YES, I DO learn while on my "exotic" work trainings! :)
SAEOPP trainings do not disappoint! This training was very beneficial and relevant. This training focused on proven retention strategies and assessments. I really appreciated all of the theories supporting student retention and the different strategies that implement these theories. Currently, I am taking a graduate level Educational Psychology course. This training fit in seamlessly with what I have been learning, and provided many ideas. Programmatically, it was a very timely training since we will be writing our grant this summer and access to proven strategies targeting retention & preparation will help us meet the changes.
I have used the SWOT (Strengths – Weaknesses – Opportunities – Threats) Analysis a couple of times before. We used this a lot in our training. I like its simplicity & effectiveness. I think I will start using this with my students as a needs assessment & a resource to develop goals. It’s such a helpful way to think about our resources/options when making a decision.
One of the best parts of this training was our group project. We were assigned to a mentor-group and we had to develop a model focusing on student recruitment/retention or assessment. Our group focused on the necessity of early recruitment to circumvent the drop-out process. We located relevant data, created a model based on our research & different theories we’d learned and presented it. It was such a great project to really implement research into practice. I personally really liked it because I can get intimidated by research or developing models – but, this was ‘easy’! I also love collaborating with other people to come up with something creative and relevant.