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    Playing Your Position

    While attending the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education Conference recently, I attended a session in which Melanie Hamilton and Bonnie Farries, from Lethbridge College, spoke about the intersection of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and Strategic Enrolment Management (SEM).

    These are two areas that rarely find their way to the same platform, either at a professional or an academic gathering.

    Hamilton and Farries introduced a model to show how each of these desparate activities support overall student and institutional success. The model they shared at the conference is below. Hamilton and Farries argued that SEM focuses on macro level decision-making without sufficient attention to the micro level and SoTL focuses on the micro level with little attention paid to macro level priorities. Through effective coordination, SEM and SoTL can enhance macro and micro activities to achieve greater levels of student success.

    SANDS Model
    SandS Model (Hamilton & Farries, 2019)

    My take away is that both SoTL and SEM play an important and effective role in institutional effectiveness and student success.

    The maxim of “playing your position” seems appropo to the intersection between SEM and SoTL. Many have written about the importance of playing your position within the context of team. Vince Lombardi said, “Individual commitment to a group effort–that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” Andrew Carnegie commented, “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” And Helen Keller professed “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”  All could be said to endorse the notion of each of us playing our position well; that by performing our role effectively, we can achieve great things.

    If enrolment professionals and the instructors who teach our classes each perform their respective roles well, it is likely that we will achieve much institutional and student success.

    Clayton Smith