Walden: The Social Change Conference and Summer Residency

This may not be relevant to many of my readers, but I wanted to bring my part of this discussion out into the blogosphere for any other Walden students out there. My advisor, Dr. Nolan, recently posted this prompt in our online discussion forum:

There were many complaints by the attendees of the Minneapolis residency about being forced to attend the Social Change conference. How do you feel? Do you think WU should be hosting the SCC at all? Do you think that the SCC should be a part of the summer residency? If so, how should it be changed? Should it be shorter? Should students be more involved, less? There are no wrong answers here.

Though I wasn’t at the residency myself this summer, I did respond to the prompt and to some of the others’ responses. I’d be currious to read other responses in the comments below:

I enjoyed reading everyone’s responses just now. I wasn’t at the residency, so I can’t answer the question directly myself, but I can say a few things in reaction to what you all wrote:1. Walden’s social change mission has been one of the surprising benefits of going through this program. It has changed my perspective… the way I see what I do, what I can do, and what I should do.

2. I strongly believe that Residencies are for talking to the people who are there. Period. I often say now that information transmission is no excuse for a face-to-face meeting. I gather that residencies have changed a lot since I was attending them (I haven’t been since summer 2005), but I appreciated any flexibility offered to us at the time… and simply made my own flexibility if it wasn’t offered. (I should mention that the faculty I respect most behaved the same way.) Sessions can be good food for thought, especially if they include discussion (the Q&A at residencies is of course ideal)… and they can be a good opportunity to see our faculty in action. As much as I’ve come to love the social change mission of the university, I think I probably would’ve resented having to attend. But, if it were an option, I’m sure I would’ve dropped in – and probably gotten quite a bit out of it. I wonder if Dr. Nolan’s question was a bit of a leading question with the choice of the word “forced”… but I’m sure it was based on conversations he’d already had with students.

3. That being said, I might consider attending the social change conference in the future. ;)

If you are a Walden student and have an opinion on this topic – or if you are interested in it for other reasons – please leave your response in the comments below.

7 Responses to “Walden: The Social Change Conference and Summer Residency”

  1. Dianne Anderson Says:

    Mark:

    I heard you speak at the Walden Residency at NECC and have been reading your blog ever since. It is really entertaining as well as educational. I agree with you about the word “forced.” If the Walden residencies can make the social change conference relevant to the process of writing KAMs and dissertations, they will be turning people away. Thanks for the interesting blog. Dianne

  2. fritz Says:

    Mark, as a future/potential Walden student, I personally find the Social Change aspects very appealing. It helps separate out the program from others.