Current Job Title:
Assistant Director- Institutional Accreditation and Planning
Western Michigan University
Describe your current job:
In my current role as Assistant Director of Institutional Accreditation and Planning, I am responsible for supporting the efforts of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness in maintaining current knowledge of accreditation requirements for higher education institutions from our regional accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission. I work closely with units on campus to assure the University’s processes and practices are complying with accreditation requirements as well as responsible for submitting the University’s annual reporting to our accreditor. Another aspect of my role is supporting the strategic planning reporting efforts for the University; I am responsible for the annual collection of the University Strategic Plan and reporting of the University information. I also am called to sit on committees to advice on accreditation requirements.
What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?
The most rewarding aspect of my job is the ability to connect with individuals from all across the University and support their work in advancing the institution forward! The most challenging part of my work but also the one I enjoy the most is learning about all the different systems and processes at the University and understanding them in the context of accreditation.
What activities, resources, or people helped you prepare for your career?
I am always looking for opportunities to increase my knowledge, strengthen my current skill set and apply my skills! I attend conferences, participate in webinars, follow educational journals and websites on Facebook and Linked In. I am bilingual (Spanish and English) and as a result, this skill has allowed me the opportunity to be a bridge between communities. I also have strong mentors that have helped me process the information I am learning, and have challenged me to think critically and be intentional in the decisions that I make in regards to my career.
What advice do you have for students looking for their career after college?
Be intentional! It is important that you have career goals and work towards that. Also, focus on developing your skills and increasing your 'transferable' skill set, as these skills will be applicable across disciplines. Find mentors, it is important that you have individuals on your side that can help process ideas, issues and next steps.