CLAC Chair Suronda Gonzalez, SUNY Binghamton
Top 5 Reasons to Become a Member of the CLAC Consortium
- Membership is Free. While this isn’t the foremost reason for joining, it certainly is a consideration in these financially lean times. You can become an individual or institutional member for no charge. We only ask that you actively participate in our discussions. (See link about membership – link here) You’ll have access to our resources, list serve, blog, and other materials. Consortium priorities and conversations are shaped by member interests. Add your voice. We make every effort to keep conference costs reasonable so that as many as possible can attend and maintain their membership. What a deal!
- Getting the Inside Scoop. Once you attend a conference or join in our blog discussions, you’ll soon realize that CLAC is a great place to get an up-close view of how CLAC works within an assortment of institutional cultures. There is an incredible variety among existing programs. Looking at websites and reading promotional materials about a program can give you a good overview, but there’s nothing like having a one-on-one conversation with a campus innovator about his/her experiences. As collaborative colleagues show “CLAC in practice” giving details that range from grant draft through assessment, I’ve been able to get an honest representation (“warts and all”) about how other programs work. At conferences, and through continued conversations, I’ve connected with colleagues at institutions facing similar struggles, and we’re establishing a more formalized partnership as one strategy for meeting our common goals.
The community is inclusive and brings together faculty from all disciplines, administrators, international programs staff, graduate students, and undergraduates. There’s also real breadth in the kinds of institutions represented among our membership: businesses, schools, government, community colleges, 4 year liberal arts institutions, and research institutions. This kind of diversity and openness isn’t always the norm at other national conferences I attend. I really like being able to hear from all the stakeholders, and in fact, I find it a necessity for getting the full picture about how CLAC programs work.
CLAC conversations push my thinking, and help me become more reflective at a personal and intuitional level about program development and ways to better meet CLAC goals/outcomes. Honestly, I leave most meeting with a headache – not because the conversations are strained – but because I’m working through new ideas.
- Electronic and Carbon-Free Resources: As the CLAC community grows, so too does the list of available resources. Our website will be featuring some of these in the blog, and also in the resource area. Add your documents to our CLAC Materials Clearinghouse launched in Fall 2016 and join our collaborative resource creation. We’re planning some virtual interactions too, so you can reduce your carbon footprint at the same time you’re advancing your programs.
- The Community: Frankly, CLAC is my first choice networking with colleagues who share similar goals. Members are generous with their time and exhibit a real commitment to their work. It’s been a great place to make professional connections and to develop mentoring relationships. I enjoy it as a place where my students can also engage in the professional dialogue around CLAC. They’ve presented papers, joined in committees, and gone on to become CLAC innovators in their professional lives. Members learn about the latest developments and, in all honesty, actively shape the development of the CLAC movement. Sometimes I look to the CLAC community as a sounding board to remind me that what I’m doing on a daily basis does make a difference or that I’m not the only one facing a certain obstacle. I’ve found a really devoted community in the CLACkers, and they fuel my commitment to my work.
- It’s fun! If it weren’t fun, I don’t believe any of us would be doing the work to support the CLAC Consortium initiative. None of us receive a salary from the Consortium. Instead, the Consortium pays dividends of creativity, inspiration, and professional and program development,
So, why is it again that aren’t you a member? If you’d like to add your institution as a member, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org If you’d like to become an individual member, add yourself to the CLAC Listserv