Yesterday was a great day for Student Affairs. The All of The Above Conference (#AOTA12) took place on Saturday, February 11, 2012 at Tufts University in Boston, MA and the amount of knowledge that was shared was utterly inspiring. The keynote speaker, Bridgewater State University‘s own Beth Moriarty, kicked the day off with an inspiring message – “Find a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”… How true!
Beth also showed us this video. It confirms why our jobs are so important:
This video set the tone for the day, and seemed to inspire everyone in attendance. Following the keynote, we started off with the first (of four) presentation sessions, followed by lunch, more learning sessions, and a social following the conference. Topics included: Making the switch to being a (Very) New Professional, How to get the most out of graduate school, current opportunities for students, disability services, social learning networks, and many more!
I was thankful enough to be accepted as a co-presenter with Ryan Greelish. Together we presented the generational theory surrounding Generation Y or the Millennials. I have been consumed with learning as much as I can about Millennials since Beth’s presentation about them to my student development theory class last fall semester…
When I think of Student Affairs and what it means to “meet students where they are at” I struggle with fully knowing the answer to this question. Millennial theory (or any generational theory) helps with this. Millennial theory tells us a little bit more than what’s on the surface. It provides us with a framework that can help figure out the common life experiences, expectations, and motivations of today’s college students. It is very important to keep in mind that most Millennial research has been conducted on white middle class males. This is a major limitation of the theory, and makes it almost impossible to generalize this to the entire population of Millennials (born between 1982 – 2004).
Regardless of this limitation, a brand new book- Diverse Millennial Students in College: Implications for Faculty and Student Affairs just hit the market and is breaking new ground on how we can relate this theory to all the cultures and experiences that college students bring to campus.
Howe & Strauss, the architects of Millennial Theory, identified seven core traits of Millennial Students:
Ryan and I went on to discuss these traits more in-depth during our presentation, here are some more screen shots:
Check out this info-graphic for some more information on Millennials…
Do you fit these descriptors?
How do you work with Millennial students?
What are come challenges you have faced with Millennials?
How can we meet Millennials where they are at?