Our Outstanding Committee – Leadership Pipeline

Introducing the Our Outstanding Committees series. Throughout the next 12 weeks you will be introduced to each of RMASFAA’s 12 committees, the committee members and find out all that they accomplished this year. This is week 11 of the series.

RMASFAA Leadership Pipeline was created by the RMASFAA Board in 2006 and represents an exceptional professional development opportunity for advancement and leadership training in the financial aid profession. The goals of the program foster the development of leadership skills, support individual growth, and initiate future leaders for the state, regional and national organizations via an integrated curriculum within a structured mentoring program.

This unique program exists due to the hard work of the Leadership Pipeline Committee. Those who volunteer for RMASFAA committees typically serve for one year. The term of service for the LP Committee is two years due to the structure of the program. The following committee members are finishing their second year of service:

Ricki Jones, Chair, UMW
Shauna Savage, Vice Chair, MTECH
Cristi Millard, Past Chair, SLCC
Julie Watson, MSU
Monica Kopcow, CSU
Don Buehrer, Nelnet, SD, (RETIRED)
Connie Corcoran, Emporia, (RETIRED)

Leadership Pipeline

In 2014 this committee began its charge of planning the Leadership Pipeline program for 2015. Two committee members, Julie Watson and Monica Kopcow, were especially valuable for the planning stage as recent LP graduates. The Committee served as a screening board for applicants and suggested potential mentors. They worked hard to help craft a program that would enable participants to achieve the program goals as well as their personal leadership goals.

The 2014 RMASFAA Winter Board Meeting brought new challenges to the Committee. Could we re-imagine LP in a way that would allow a graduating class every year rather than the current structure of a planning/prep year followed by an implementation/participation year? If this were to work there would need to be a curriculum, much like NASFAA’s CORE, that would provide consistency in terms of program goals and outcomes, while being flexible enough that each Chair and committee could put their own stamp on it.  Importance was placed on aligning the work and goals of RMASFAA and other committees such as Association News, DMCI, Training Committee and Electronic Initiatives Committee. The curriculum that was developed pays homage to the vision of the 2006 Board but is nimble and flexible enough to take Leadership Pipeline into the future.

The Leadership Pipeline kick-off took place in Snowbird last October where committee members, participants, mentors, and content area experts successfully worked together to prep the participants for the tasks and opportunities ahead. Since the kick-off event, participants and committee members have engaged in conference calls as a group, working through curriculum to achieve leadership goals. The program has participants working with their mentors weekly on reflective leadership and individual goals. Participants and committee members will gather again at RMASFAA 2015 in Colorado for their capstone experience and graduation. For Leadership Pipeline Committee it has been an amazing year, an amazing journey, and an amazing opportunity to serve.

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