DSA Connect creates opportunities for staff to connect on a personal level to build relationships with others across the Division.
The Division of Student Affairs unveiled its Customer Service Standard in October 2016, summarized as themes that set expectations for each department to achieve.
DSA staff engage customers with an ethic of care in a manner that demonstrates courtesy, attentiveness, active listening, proactive problem-solving, and patience while executing the functions of their job. It is expected that staff across the division possess cultural sensitivity and awareness of our diverse customers.
To help departments achieve these standards, the Customer Service Subcommittee has launched the "Spread the Red" campaign. This campaign is a series of customer service training modules designed to complement the Points of Excellence outlined in the DSA Customer Service Standard.
Upcoming Spread the Red events:
- Red Foundations: October 12, 2021
Please save the date! A review of the DSA Customer Service Standard and ways to demonstrate the points of excellence; general customer service discussions; re-visit the Telephone Answering Protocol.
- Internal Customer Service: Week of October 18, 2021
Speaks to the Ethic of Care. We feel that the way we treat our “internal” customers—our peers—how we “care” for each other, has a direct effect on how we treat our customers. In this module we explore ways we can do this better.
- Listening Skills: Week of November 1, 2021
Speaks to the Active Listening and Attentiveness point of excellence. We know that there are many skills necessary to provide a positive customer service experience. We feel that listening skills is the “catalyst” or “premier” skill that we must possess.
- Defusing Angry Customers: Week of November 15, 2021
Speaks to Proactive Problem Solving and Patience. Participants will learn techniques to de-escalate situations.
- Diversity and Custumer Service: Week of December 6, 2021
Speaks to Cultural Sensitivity and awareness. We will explore ways to effectively serve our diverse cultures and generational cultures in our day-to-day encounters with our customers.
DSA team members can register online to attend Spread the Red trainings.
An ongoing series of workshops and activities to better yourself as a person and professional with experiences such as wellness and authenticity at work.
New professionals in the field can participate in this institute to learn personal and professional development lessons from seasoned colleagues, to improve effectiveness within the first five years.
Sponsored by the Professional Development Committee, the DSA LINK Program pairs experienced and excelling staff members with staff who are interested in developing their career and leadership skills. The program is structured to provide support, networking opportunities, and professional development training to help staff members develop their careers and become effective contributors to the UH community.
The Professional Development Committee would like to thank you for your interest in the DSA LINK Program. Listed below are details about the application process for the program. Should you have any questions, please contact Courtney McElroy.
Please also listen to the Art of Mentoring: LINKed Together, a podcast discussing mentorship and the LINK program.
- Leadership: Provide a structured development program that includes workshops in which a mentee can learn more about leadership and related skills to enhance their careers.
- Insight: Provide an opportunity for mentees to learn from an experienced and excelling staff member at UH through one-on-one informal mentoring sessions, where a mentor can share information on their own career development.
- Networking: Provide networking opportunities for mentees to meet and build relationships with other staff members and leaders at the university.
- Knowledge: Develop a stronger understanding of University resources and programs available for staff.
- Provides an opportunity for mentors to help identify, support, inspire and develop staff members at the University.
- Assist staff mentees in learning more about professional competencies in higher education, the organizational structure at UH, and resources for career development.
- Provide an opportunity for a mentor to develop new, collegial relationships.
Due to limited space, participation in the DSA LINK Program is selective. Interested individuals are required to apply and pending application review, an individual may be accepted into the program.
Ideal candidates for the program display the characteristics noted below:
- Qualities sought in Mentors:
- Excellent Performance
- Positive Attitude
- Willingness to share career experience and skills
- Openness to new ideas and fresh perspectives
- Qualities sought in Mentees:
- Excellent Performance
- Positive Attitude
- Desire to learn more about the University
- Desire to grow professionally
- Openness to new ideas and fresh perspectives
There are a couple of important notes about participation in the DSA LINK Program. Participation in the program does not in any way guarantee advancement, promotion, or salary increases. The program is meant to inspire and support a rewarding and evolving career at UH.
Mentees will be matched with a mentor who is not from the same unit as the mentee and is not in any type of supervisory or evaluative position over the mentee.
All mentors and mentees in the program are asked to provide information on their professional experience, strengths, areas of interest, and program expectations. Based on the information provided, the Professional Development Committee will try to match mentees with mentors who have experience in an area that the mentee would like to learn more about.
The Professional Development Committee hopes that the mentoring process is a rewarding and enriching experience for both the mentors and the mentees and that both parties are comfortable with the match that has been provided. Upon completion of the first mentor meeting, in the event that either the mentor or the mentee does not feel comfortable with their mentor/mentee match, we will try to match the mentee with a new mentor. Participants are only allowed one mentor rematch during the program cycle.
The DSA LINK Program will run from October - May. The program will include a variety of workshops and events.
The DSA LINK Program consists of both one-on-one mentoring and development opportunities. The 4 components of the program must be considered prior to committing to the DSA LINK Program. Each of these bullets is further described below.
- Mentors and mentees are expected to meet once a month during the program and complete a professional development plan. Each month, the Professional Development committee will share a discussion prompt based on the NASPA/ACPA Professional Competencies.
- Mentees and mentors are expected to attend cohort meetings throughout the program, usually once every 4-6 weeks, where you will hear from a seasoned professional on “Hindsight 20/20: What I wish I would have known”.
- Mentees are recommended to attend at least 2 Professional Development Workshops during the program cycle hosted by the Professional Development Committee of their choosing.
- Program evaluations will be distributed at the end of the program cycle to gain feedback from mentoring participants on different aspects of the program, but feedback can be shared at any time with the Professional Development Committee.
Program participants (mentors and mentees) are required to attend a Program Orientation, only if they are selected to join DSA LINK. In the event that individuals are not able to attend the program, they must coordinate with the Professional Development Committee to review program guidelines and materials from this session.
After pairing, all mentor pairs are expected to finalize a Professional Development Plan, which outlines the expectations for their specific mentoring relationship along with objectives to achieve during the program cycle. A Professional Development Plan template will be provided by the Professional Development Committee, and the mentoring pair can make additions to the agreement as necessary.
The primary focus of the DSA LINK Program is to provide the opportunity for staff mentees to meet and learn more about UH from experienced and excelling staff mentors. Through one-on-one, face-to face meetings, mentors and mentees may discuss and explore areas including professional strengths, career development, and UH organizational culture.
Mentors and mentees are expected to meet once a month for the program duration, for a total of five meetings. Meeting lengths can be determined by the pair, but should be for at least 30 minutes.
Throughout the program, participants may be asked to provide feedback about the program, professional development programs, and overall program effectiveness. This will include a complete program evaluation at the conclusion of the program. All feedback provided will be kept private and will be used for informational purposes only.
The DSA LINK program should inspire career growth and development, while not interfering or imposing upon an employee’s responsibility to their position, particularly with regards to release time. In addition to the Program Orientation, a mentee in the mentoring program can expect to devote approximately 90 minutes to two hours a month towards the program, for an estimated total of 9 hours over a five-month period. Similarly, a mentor in the mentoring program can expect to devote approximately 30 minutes to one hour a month towards the program, for a total of 4-5 hours for the duration of the program.
Due to limited space, participation in the DSA LINK is selective. Interested individuals are required to apply and after they have been through the application process, may be selected into the program. The program is open to any staff member of the Division of Student Affairs.
To apply for the program:
- Read the DSA LINK Program Information which details the program design and anticipated time commitment.
- Submit the Mentee Application / Mentor Application. You are encouraged to provide fully developed responses to each of the application questions. Responses for the questions will help the Professional Development Committee in identifying and matching individuals with a mentor. Please type your responses.
- Discuss Interest in Applying with Supervisor: It is important that you discuss the mentoring program with your supervisor. As part of the application process, prospective mentees are required to gain their supervisor's support. It is highly suggested that this packet of information is shared with the supervisor for additional awareness.
- Submit Completed Application: Submit your completed mentee application through Get Involved.
- Committee Review: Once your completed application has been received, it will be reviewed by the selection committee. If you are determined to be a candidate for the program, the Professional Development Committee will contact you.
This institute series is to help supervisors navigate university policies and responsibilities while learning how to best support their staff by developing new management and leadership skills.
A series of activities related to the latest hot topics and current issues arising in higher education.
This semester, the PDC will offer a series of Electronic Resource Toolkits for staff members related to a variety of hot topics. Toolkit topics, links, and dates of availability are listed below:
Receive a welcome package with digital orientation and engage in sessions to meet other colleagues and understand the culture of the University and Division. *For new DSA Employees.
SYNC events are intended for staff within their first year of employment within the Division; invitations will be sent directly to appropriate staff members to invite them to SYNC events.