November 10, 2020
Ned Khatrichettri, M.A., is an internship coordinator in the College of Humanities at the University of Utah.
Student affairs professionals are seldom encouraged to publish (online or in print). It’s time for that to change! Turn your knowledge and experience into a resource for other career service professionals, financial aid and admission counselors, residential life staff, and academic or study abroad advisers by sharing observations and trends in your field, successful practices, resources, or accounts of challenges that you’ve overcome. This kind of engagement is a form of professional development that is economical and benefits everyone. Write something today!
In the past year, three of my blog posts were published in the Co-operative Education and Internship Association (CEIA) website, and another seven with the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE). This year, I posted in the Chronicle of Higher Education, co-authored a piece for HigherEdJobs.com and The Evolllution. I’ve grown a lot throughout this process and want to share what I’ve learned along the way. I hope you find it helpful in your own authorial endeavors!
How do I make time?
You know your bandwidth better than anyone. It is important to make realistic and manageable goals on a daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly basis. What always helps me is carving out a "golden hour" every Sunday morning.
How do I choose a topic?
What is it in student affairs that excites you, frustrates you, or challenges you? Is it student engagement, defining and measuring success, the politics and bureaucracy in higher education, or something else? Your audience will respond to the emotion you put into your writing, so be sure to pick topics that speak to you personally.
Build your article around the magic equation: Your lived experience + a connection to larger theme/issue in higher ed + a call to action = an interesting, useful, and memorable article.
Where do I submit?
A few professional organizations that accept submissions to their blogs and journals include: Insight into Diversity, The Chronicle of Higher Education, HigherEdJobs.com, Inside Higher Education, and NACE blogs. But there are plenty more—Google them!
What is the submission process like?
Prior to reaching out to a publication through email, it is a good idea to familiarize youself with their work. When you write the email, introduce yourself with your name, title, and employer. Every online publisher has a different focus, word count requirement, style etc.; if they’re interested in seeing your work, they’ll provide you with these details, but it’s always a good idea to execute your own due diligence first.
Some editors can discuss a tentative project with you before you write a draft, or you can submit a “finished” piece right away. Before submitting your writing, however, I suggest acquiring feedback from a few colleagues that you trust and respect.
There will always be a series of back and forth—expect it!
What is the added value for you and your employer?
Publishing in respected journals and websites demonstrates engagement, gives you and your work additional credibility, provides a resume and LinkedIn booster, opens the door to co-authoring projects with colleagues, and can even generate opportunities to present at conferences.
Your work will also result in free, positive publicity for your college or university.
How do I get started?
I always start with the following four questions. Enjoy the process, and I am excited to read your work!
- Who is the audience?
- Which publication is it for?
- What is it that you want to say? Be exact!
- What is the paradigm shift or call to action you want to initiate?
Ned Khatrichettri has been a NACE blogger for several years and is a contributor to Grab & Go. If you are interested in writing for the NACE blog (all voices welcome and needed!), contact Claudia Allen (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.