Happy Friday! As some of you know, I am an academic advisor at an institution in Oklahoma currently. I am still in my first 5 months in this role, but I was given the opportunity to not only attend the Annual Oklahoma Academic Advising Association (OACADA) Fall 2019 conference, but I was able to join the OACADA committee as a member at large. While this is not my first professional conference, it was my first state-only and my first academic advisor specific professional conference to attend. If you are an academic advisor in Oklahoma and you are not sure what OACADA is or if you should join, definitely check it out at the link here. For a little more information here are some details about how the day went:
The conference was a 1 day Friday conference in September, which worked out perfectly for advisors with a busy schedule who needed something during work hours. It started around 9:00 AM and went until a little after 2:00 PM, allowing for the Oklahoma State Regents to speak and present, keynote Kathleen Smith to give an exceptional kick-off to the conference, 2 program sessions (with 8+ programs to choose from), and a lunch meant for mingling.
One benefit was the intention from the committee to build a community within advisors around the state, demonstrated through the ways our groups were broken up during an afternoon activity. Another was how cost effective the conference was for a professional development opportunity. It ranged from $55-70 depending on if you were a member and got the early-bird discount or not, and signing up to be a member resulted in a fun new-members gift with stickers and a lapel pin. What stuck out to me the most though was the incredible kindness and sincerity of the committee and their want to serve and support academic advisors in the state of Oklahoma. It is clear that they stuck to their mission and the conference theme, and I am excited that I was able to be a part of it. They welcomed me in even as someone with significantly less experience in the field and have been very supportive of me and the team as a whole.
I look forward to more OACADA conferences, as well as the NACADA regional and annual conferences to come. If you are an academic advisor out there looking to build a community check out OACADA, and if you don't live in Oklahoma, know that OACADA is affiliated with NACADA (The Global Community for Academic Advising) and is here to offer an outlet for your work specifically. If you have any questions or want more information, feel free to reach out to me or check out the links included.
I am a student affairs professional, an amateur chef, and an adventurer at heart.
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