Owl Team Leaders, Temple students who lead orientation activities and programs over the summer, now have to prove their skills inside the classroom before being put in the field.
The newly selected Owl Team Leaders for next summer now have to take a one-credit course before orientations begin. The course, which was implemented this semester, focuses on helping these new members find their leadership style and cultivate it to help the team become a cohesive unit.
It focuses on “Student Development Theory,” said Eric Goins, coordinator of orientation and new student programs. This includes topics like transition theory, leadership theory and moral development. After students learn these techniques in leadership, they will apply them to small and large group facilitation and customer service.
“Taking the time to look at what Student Development Theory is and how that can be applied to the work that they do with new students … we will really see how that is going to benefit them this summer,” Goins said.
Goins and Amber Cardamone, director of orientation and new student programs, were able to execute the plans for this new course after they talked about it for some time and brought it up in one of their meetings.
Goins started his career with the group this past summer, and explained how it was in the works for a while, but with his past experiences on leadership courses, they were finally able to implement such a course. He taught orientation leadership courses at Florida State University and the University of Tennessee.
Goins also explained how implementing this new course will give the new leaders a chance to understand their leadership style and how it can work with the rest of the team.
“I think it will allow them to build that cohesion and really help build that rapport that they need to help welcome the students,” Goins said.
He understands the theoretical aspect of welcoming students to campus, and believes this new course will be a great opportunity for the new leaders to build an effective team and augment their leadership styles over the course of the semester into the summer.
Tyler Sewell, a senior human resource management major and former member, feels the new leaders will benefit from the leadership skills learned but also from spending time together before orientation.
“A big part of Owl Team is just the camaraderie and learning to work with each other,” Sewell said. “I think them getting to know each other before the summer is going to have a really good effect next summer.”
Sasha Aronzon, a senior speech pathology major and another past member, believes this new course will help the students grasp what they are preparing themselves for.
“If they go into orientations knowing each other and already being friends and leaders on campus, I think that could change the whole dynamic of Owl Team,” Aronzon said.
Andrea Odjemski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.