"Togetherness and engagement"

Those keywords, directly from an adviser, summarize the success of College Media Association’s first virtual Adviser Certification Training Program.

From July 6-17, 20 advisers from 18 schools participated in the program, including seven mandatory sessions, three elective sessions and a series of roundtable discussions.

CMA provides its Adviser Certification Training at its various annual conferences. The training acclimates new and newer advisers while giving veteran advisers a chance to sharpen their skills and share their acquired wisdom.

COVID-19 provided a new challenge for CMA: providing a digital certification process that was personally rewarding and educational for its membership.

CMA pivoted to a new format: 13 asynchronous video sessions for the participants to choose from, combined with online meetings that allowed advisers to network and explore current advising concerns.

For one adviser, the event proved to be a great way to share the learning experience, despite social distancing.

"It was so smooth, and still interesting and engaging. I think doing the virtual check-ins on Zoom was a great idea to create a sense of togetherness and engagement in the material,” the adviser wrote.

Another adviser cited the possibility of incorporating the digital format into future in-person events as an introductory exercise. 

"When we can go back to F2F (face-to-face) conferences, I'd say make this available virtually as prep to meet in person,” the adviser wrote.

“The advisers were engaged with both each other and the material," said Allison Bennett Dyche, CMA’s Vice President for Member Training. "We’re thrilled we could offer the training to new and veteran advisers alike, and interact with participants from Seattle to Savannah."

CMA plans to offer another virtual adviser certification from Jan. 4 - 15, 2021.

The training— prepared and presented by veteran advisers— covered the basics of advising such as budgeting and student training, as well as advanced topics such as diversity initiatives, ethical considerations and multimedia development.

CMA is granting free access to two of the elective courses from July. Click here for more information.

If you have an idea for how CMA can support you professionally during COVID-19, please send your suggestions to info@collegemedia.org.