Student Affairs

High Touch and High Tech: Student Affairs Moves Online

Date/Time: Tuesday, 10/29/2019, 1 pm EST
Duration: 1 hour
Facilitator: Dr. Aaron Hughey
Price: $108.00

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Advanced technologies are moving more and more traditional student affairs functions into the virtual world, where students can have access to the services they need anytime and anywhere. Moving to this brave new world, however, presents several challenges for student affairs professionals who have traditionally delivered their services in person. As financial resources have become more scare at many institutions at the same time demands have become more acute, the need for student affairs has become more pervasive. In a very real sense, going virtual offers student affairs professionals a way to do more with less while increasing retention and enhancing completion rates. But this does not necessarily mean that face-to-face services should be completely abandoned. In a very real sense, a hybrid approach offers the best of both worlds. When implemented conscientiously and correctly, it can create a synergy that is both high tech and high touch. 

This webinar will cover the essential components of successful online student affairs services and programs, focusing on how those components can be integrated in a way that accentuates the advantages of both face-to-face and virtual delivery approaches. The goal is to develop and maintain student support services using an online platform that has all the features of a face-to-face experience. A primary focus will be on making the transition from face-to-face to a hybrid model, which utilizes both approaches to deliver the most successful experience possible for the student. Opportunities for participant involvement through the use of case studies and real-time feedback via chat will also be used to enhance the learning experience. The session will emphasize evidence-based best practices that meet both student as well as institutional needs while preserving and reinforcing the advantages associated with each approach.


Successful Student Affairs Practice: Critical Components and Considerations

  • What Students Need from Student Affairs Professionals: Past, Present, Future
  • High Touch/High Tech: Not an Either/Or Proposition
  • Moving to a Hybrid Model: What to Pay Attention To
  • The Hybrid Model: Benefits and Challenges
  • Platforms: The Key to a Successful Transition
  • Connecting Across the Formats: What Stays the Same/What Changes
  • Interactions: Traditional vs. Online vs. Hybrid Approaches
  • Student Engagement: The Process May Change but the Goal Remains the Same
  • Case Studies: Bringing the Hybrid Model to Life

Learning Outcomes:

  • Review the essential components of successful student affairs practice
  • Assess and anticipate evolving student needs with respect to student affairs
  • Learn how to adapt student affairs programs and services to an online environment
  • Investigate the available platforms and applications for facilitating online delivery of student services
  • Improve the ability to truly connect in a virtual environment
  • Critique real-life examples of effective and ineffective ways of interacting with students in a hybrid advising environment
  • Discover strategies for engaging students in meaningful, productive relationships in a hybrid environment
  • Consider case studies from the proverbial real world that demonstrate how a hybrid model actually works

Who Should Attend:

Student Affairs Professionals, including those who work in

  • Admissions and Recruitment
  • Orientation and Advising
  • Enrollment Management
  • Student Financial Assistance
  • Registrar’s Office
  • Career Services
  • Student Discipline
  • Student Support Services


Aaron W. Hughey is a professor and program coordinator in the Department of Counseling and Student Affairs at Western Kentucky University. He supervises the master’s degree program in student affairs in higher education as well as graduate certificate programs in international student services and career services. He was head of the department for five years before returning to the faculty in 2008. Before joining the faculty in 1991, he was the associate director of university housing; he also served as interim director of WKU’s Knicely Institute for Economic Development where he coordinated outreach (training and development) services to business and industry.  He has degrees from the University of Tennessee at Martin, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Western Kentucky University, and Northern Illinois University. He has authored (or co-authored) over 60 refereed publications on subjects including higher education administration, student affairs, counseling and testing, diversity, leadership, teams, and management. He consults extensively with regional companies and schools and provides training sessions and programs on a variety of topics. More importantly, he has been in the situations where he has had to supervise former peers several times during his career.

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