Amy Steele, assistant dean for student affairs and community life at Vanderbilt University Divinity School, led a group of 40 ATS student administrative personnel on a one-hour spiritual reflection through the works of Howard Thurman—prominent philosopher, theologian, and civil rights leader. The webinar was a gift to those present, providing a moment of Sabbath rest in the midst of a chaotic year.
Student Personnel Administrators
Student personnel administrators include a variety of professionals, all centered on service to students: recruitment officers, admissions directors, financial aid officers, counseling staff, career services staff, housing staff, registrars, and deans of students, among others. These specialists benefit from sharing best practices and peer networking through their participation in the Student Personnel Administrators' Network (SPAN). Engage ATS (an interactive online community for those who serve at ATS member schools), annual conferences, webinars, and other resources cover topics such as administrative structures in various institutional settings, vocational identity, spiritual formation, seminary community, and position nomenclature.
ATS will not be holding any in person events in fall 2020. While several fall events are transitioning to a similar format to the two-day meeting in a virtual format, SPAN, (Student Personnel Administrators Network), will be taking a different approach. Throughout the summer we’ve been gathering people around various topics, work groups, and discussion forums. For the 2020-2021 academic year, we’ll be continuing with similar programs. Our goal for this year is to deepen our engagement with one another and provide space to develop communities of practice to support you in the tremendous work you are doing amidst unprecedented change this year. In the near future, we hope to have a slate of opportunities for you to learn from and connect with one another. We do have two professional networking groups that are already underway: Career Services and Housing. If you are interested in joining either of these conversations, please email Jo Ann Deasy or Linda Giehll. Be on the lookout for a follow up email with more details.
Here are several professional organizations ATS student personnel administrators have found useful:
American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
American College Personnel Association
Association for Christians in Student Development
Association for Student Conduct Administration
Association of American University Women
Association of College and University Housing Officers
Association of Higher Education and Disability
Association of International Educators
Forum for Theological Exploration
National Academic Advising Association
National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
National Association of Student Personnel Administrators