SCSU Strategic Planning & Reporting
Student Life & Development

DEPARTMENT: University Organizations / Volunteer Link
DIRECTOR: Rhoda Schrader, Director / Maribeth Overland, Coordinator
PHONE NUMBER: 255-3004


University Organizations and Volunteer Link provide students the opportunity to develop leadership potential, a sense of belonging and civic responsibility through involvement in campus and community life.


  • Proximity to student organiztions to facilitate enhanced responsiveness
  • Service orientation of staff and programs
  • Strong base of current leadership development programs
  • Positive relationships with St .Cloud non-profit organizations
  • Heavy involvement in volunteer and organizational activities by students
  • Positive working relationships with academic departments/faculty related to service learning and faculty participation in leadership seminars/speakers series/leadership development workshops
  • Department's physical accessability for students, staff and public
  • Accessibility of information about department resources via The Web


  • Inadequate technology for student involvement data base/transcripts
  • Volunteer Link Coordinator reduced to half-time position
  • Lack of parking for external constituents
  • Lack of Student Personnel graduate program makes attracting qualified graduate assistants difficult


  • Uncertain institutional commitment to service learning/leadership development in a comprehensive, campus-wide manner
  • Lack of financial and human resources to meet increasing demands which limits development of leadership/service programs and hinders the ability to meet student career development needs
  • Minimal staffing doesn't allow for sustaining or enhancing community relationships (e.g., dropped tri-college service learning relationship)
  • Increase in non-traditional students may change needs of student population regarding leadership development and organizational involvement


  • Credit-bearing leadership development programs would generate numbers of students and subsequent credits and revenue
  • Co-curricular transcript's increasing importance with industry and graduate schools creates collaborative partnership opportunities with Career Services and businesses
  • Leadership development/service programs create opportunity for input from and partnerships with academic departments, business community, Continuing Education and student constituents
  • Increasing non-traditional student population may create need for greater day-time program


  • Increased employer expectations for leadership skills in graduates
  • Decreased higher education funding/more reliance on outside funding
  • Greater concern about developing a sense of community/civic responsibility among college students as a future community investment
  • Greater awareness of - but greater societal issues surrounding - all forms of diversity


  • Creation of leadership development centers on university campuses
  • Development of service learning service communities
  • Enhanced civic responsibility emphasis in organizations and volunteer programs
  • Increased diversity awareness (including racial, cultural, sexual orientation, ablism and others) and greater subsequent programming
  • Increased use/expectations for co-curricular transcript for employers and graduate schools

University Themes

Academic Distinction

Current/Continuing Objectives/Programs

  • Fireside Chats - a leadership lecture series that utilizes the expertise of faculty, staff, students and community members from the SCSU and surrounding community - assess through attendance and audience feedback
  • Foundations of Leadership - a basic leadership development workshop for students that offers educational sessions presented by faculty, staff and advanced-level/graduate students on the fundamental components of leadership - offered each semester - assessed through written evaluations and participant and presenter feedback

New Initiatives

  • STARS - Advanced Leadership Development Retreat - a weekend program offered to students completing basic leadership training - designed to enhance the leadership experiences of students - utilizes expertise and presentations from administration, faculty, staff and community members to provide advanced leadership topcis in educational sessions - assessed through written evaluations and participant and presenter feedback

Future Goals

  • Capstone Leadership Service Experience - a week-long leadership service experience involving students in an extended service experience in another area of the country where they will utilize previously developed leadership skills and reflective skills to enhance their personal growth as leaders - assessed through journals, reflection activities, written evaluations and participant and agency feedback
  • Develop CEU and credit-bearing offerings initially through Continuing Studies and then through academic departments to provide leadership seminars that can be offered during intersessions and regular academic periods to campus and community as experiential education options - assessed through participation and written course evaluations

A Service Community

Student Life and Development will put students first in everything that we do. Guided by periodic assessment, we will provide the highest quality student services possible, cognizant of the diverse needs of our students. Further, SLD will model and advance the values of civility and service to others in an effort to develop a safer and more effective living-learning community.

Current/Continuing Objectives/Initiatives:

  • Opportunities Fair - increase volunteer opportunities for students and enhance partnership with community agencies - assess through numbers or returning agencies and agency feedback/numbers of student participants and student feedback
  • Day of Caring - provide students with exposure to benefits and rewards of volunteering - strengthen university relationship with United Way - assess through numbers of students/staff participating (increases each year)
  • MAINSTREET - provide numerous opportunities and options for student involvement - assess through written evaluation completed by organizations/agencies and by student feedback/attendance
  • SIDESTREET - provide involvement opportunities for students who may not have been ready/able to become involved at the beginning of the year - assess through written evaluation completed by organizations/agencies and by student feedback/attendance
  • Promote civic responsibility through community agency opportunities serving unmet needs: abuse, graying population, at-risk youth, homeless, etc = assess through numbers of students/volunteer hours (increasing each year)
  • Serve as resource to students regarding leadership information, volunteer service questions, etc. through written, spoken and other forms of communication
  • Serve as resource and adviser to SCSU Student Government through formal and informal training and development activities and regular meetings with executive officers, committees and task force members
  • Act as link between university and students regarding service questions and servant leadership opportunities by providing opportunities, information and referrals
  • Provide experiential opportunities for students in areas of personal development, volunteer/service opportunities/leadership/organizational involvement through such activities as:
    • student leadership conferences (basic and advanced offered each semester) - assess basic and advanced leadership programs through written evaluations, student participation and student feedback
    • lecture series - assess through numbers attending
    • mini-workshops,
    • individual and organizational volunteer activities - assess through volunteers/volunteer hours and student/agency feedback
    • consultation with officers and organizations
    • membership/leadership/volunteerism opportunities in student and community organizations that serve the student population, the campus and the community
    • provide resources and support to organization advisers through newsletter, e-mails, organizational handbook, adviser workshops - assess through adviser feedback

New Initiatives:

  • Resource "library" of materials for students to provide current information on leadership, service learning, and related topics
  • Adopt-An-Agency - provides student organizations with opportunity to engage in a meaningful long-term service relationship with a community agency
  • SRA Organization Awards - provides recognition of student organizations involved in giving back to their campus and community through active involvement in a variety of areas
  • Incorporation of St Cloud community service experience into new STARS Advanced Leadership Program - will serve as culminating experience of week-end retreat offered during Fall and Spring Semesters to students who have completed (the equivalent of) the Foundations of Leadership Program
  • Spring Service Experience - provides students with a capstone leadership development service experience working with disadvantaged youth from another culture to provide hands-on community service to others and increase students' understanding of the long-term value of civic responsiblity and community involvement

Future Goals:

  • LEAD Team - creates a core student group that works with student organizations/groups to provide information, training and resources in leadership/service areas
  • Community Leadership Advisory Board - creates a community-campus partnership that provides input into the development of future leadership programs and ensures that students have the opportunities to develop those leadership skills that are critical to success in their career field - will utilize results of leadership survey and focus groups conducted during 1998-99 and 1999-2000 academic years
  • Develop plan for SCSU Leadership Center - creates partnerships across campus and community which bring together a comprehensive leadership development model that will drive the leadership activities and courses offered to SCSU students, resulting in a coherent, coordinated approach to leadership development and skills meeting the needs of students, graduate schools and employers - will utilize results of leadership survey and focus groups conducted during 1998-99 and 1999-2000 academic years

Diversity and Justice

Current/Continuing Objectives/Programs

  • Diversity education sessions incorporated into Foundations of Leadership Workshop - racial and GLBT sessions part of the curriculum - assessed through written evaluations and participant and presenter feedback
  • Diversity topics included in each year's Fireside Chat lecture series - including activism, dialogue, women in leadership, and other topics around minority populations and leadership styles, issues, etc - assessed through participation and feedback from audience and presenters
  • "World Class Leaders" leadership development workshop for international students to address issues particular to the international population - assessed through written evaluations and participant and persenter feedback
  • Resources - material and educational provided to all student organizations, including organizations specific to students of color, international students, GLBT students, students with disabilities, and numerous other student populations - assessed through individual feedback and utilization of services
  • Serve as resource to cultural center council and to cultural diversity committee in providing resources such as promotional materials and spaces for cultural events - assessed by use and feedback

New Initiatives

  • Diversity training provided to student government at fall retreat and through ongoing meetings, mini-seminars and dialogue with members - assessed through formal and informal oral feedback from members and adviser
  • Include diversity training sessions in STARS Advanced Leadership Program offered each semester to student who have completed basic leadership training - assessed through written evaluations and participant and presenter feedback
  • Assisted students in providing an expanded orientation for international students during week prior to Fall Semester - will work with Center for International Studies to refine, enhance and formalize an international students' orientation program that incorporates elements of general orientation, SL&D and academic resources, etc - assessed through participant and CIS staff feedback
  • Provide diversity training as part of annual all-Greek Meet to address such issues as diversity within current Greek organizations, consider development of African-American an/or Latino fraternities/sororities, etc - assessed through written evaluations and participant and presenter feedback

Future initiatives

  • Provide opportunities for interaction between SCSU students and minority youth through Capstone Leadership Service Experience to promote greater understanding of diverse populations and to provide positive role models to encourage minority youth to enter higher education institution such as SCSU - assessed through journals, reflection activities, written evaluations and participant and agency feedback
  • Work with administration, staff and students to develop on-going diversity training programs for student government to occur during summer, fall and beginning of Spring Semester each year - assessed through written evaluations in fall, and through participant and adviser feedback

Information Technology

Current/Continuing Objectives/Programs

  • Co-curricular transcript database provides organizational involvement and volunteer service information for all students participating in activities through SCSU - assessed through utilization and review of accuracy of information by students
  • University Organizations/Volunteer Link web site provides current, accessible information to students and student organizations about opportunities, policies and services available to them - assessed through student feedback individually, through organizations and through Student Representative Assembly and Student Government
  • Student organizations have the opportunity to post their own web site through our office and the university to promote and provide information to current and potential students and the community about their individual organizations - assessed through feedback and utilization

New Initiatives

  • University Organizations provides support and oversite to student government finance committee and through them to student organizations using the computerized contracting system for payment of performers, persons providing services to organizations, speakers, etc. - assessed through utilization and organizational and Business Services feedback
  • Developing software specifications for computer staff to develop integrated database system through new student information system that will incorporate all student organizational involvement and student volunteer hours information necessary for producing accurate co-curricular transcripts - assessed by accuracy of and ease of access to all student information and utilization

Future Initiatives

  • Work with Continuing Studies and other academic departments to provide leadership development programs to other students and community members via ITV - assessed through course evaluations and utilization
  • Work with university departments managing web-based university calendar to include student organizations' events and other information of general interest - assessed by utilization and user feedback
  • Develop capability for students to review their co-curricular transcript from theSCSU website/computer terminals similarly to their academic transcripts - assessed by user feedback

University-External Relationships

Current/Continuing Objectives/Programs

  • Work cooperatively with campus and community members who serve as presenters and speakers for leadership speakers series and leadership development workshops and seminars - assessed by continuing participation and presenter feedback
  • Work cooperatively with Chamber of Commerce in recognizing student leaders who serve the campus and community through Partners in Education initiatives - assessed by participant feedback
  • Provide numerous student volunteers who, through organizational and individual involvement, provide service to the campus, St. Cloud and surrounding communities - assessed through student and community feedback and continued participation
  • Provide cultural enrichments opportunities for the community through student cultural organizations' programs and major events - assessed through participation and feedback
  • Provide educational, social and cultural opportunities to community through numerous programs, conferences, speakers, programs and events provided by student organizations individually or in cooperation with University Organizations or other departments and offices - assessed through participation and feedback

New Initiatives

  • Develop cooperative relationship with College of St. Benedict's / St. John's University through student internship program, providing site for student leadership intern and enhancing SCSU program through experiences of intern and host institution - assessed through written internship evaluations and through feedback from intern, faculty, and SCSU students and staff participating in program(s)
  • Provide service to community through extended service experience portion of STARS Advanced Leadership Development Program during each semester - assessed through written evaluation and participant and presenter feedback

Future Initiatives

  • Adopt-An-Agency - provides student organizations with opportunity to engage in a meaningful long-term service relationship with a community agency - assessed through evaluations and feedback
  • Provide a week-long service experience to students that will benefit their leadership development and the community and community members/youth that are served through the Capstone Leadership Service Experience - assessed through journals, reflection activities, written evaluations and participant and agency feedback
  • Involve community agency and business members in a leadership roundtable/summit meeting to discuss and determine directions for a leadership center and comprehensive leadership development program that will meet the needs of the community and the future work force that will await SCSU graduates - assessed through participant feedback and usefulness of results