Meet Jared Scharpen, career coordinator at Minneapolis Community & Technical College. Scharpen’s interview appears as part of a spotlight series on 2020–21 fellows in the Postsecondary Leadership Success Program at ACTE – Sponsored by ECMC Foundation.
What leadership skills do you hope to develop as part of the Postsecondary Leadership Success Program at ACTE – Sponsored by ECMC Foundation?
One of the specific leadership skills I hope to develop as a participant in the Postsecondary Leadership Success Program at ACTE – Sponsored by ECMC Foundation is advocacy. So far in my career, I work directly with students. Thinking ahead though, I know how important it will be for me to lead by advocating for students across the broader community, which includes employer partners, community members, city and county leaders, and even statewide and national legislators. Another skill I hope to further develop, which I believe to be critical in leadership, is self-awareness.
How do you anticipate your participation in the program will better equip you to support career and technical education (CTE) students, particularly underserved groups, toward career success?
The opportunity to learn from and discuss practices with my peers represents how I anticipate my participation in the program helping me better serve underserved CTE students toward their career success. Career services is my functional area in higher education, and I look forward to the program providing me tools, resources and strategies to further enhance my professional effectiveness.
In your opinion, what are the most important elements of professional development for postsecondary leaders?
One of the most important elements of professional development for postsecondary leaders is a set of practices that support collaboration. When professionals are exposed to new information and strategies, implementation can be difficult if the professional context is one that lacks a collaborative dynamic. Sustainability is also important when it comes to professional development. In my opinion, sometimes, when we’re presented with a new idea, we quickly jump to implementation without first reflecting on institutional context that may hinder sustainability.
Learn more about the PLSP–ECMC Foundation.
The Postsecondary Leadership Success Program at ACTE – Sponsored by ECMC Foundation presents a yearlong professional development experience. The program is intended to develop the organizational leadership and management skills of postsecondary CTE professionals, with an emphasis on addressing the needs of underserved populations. Applications for the third cohort open Oct. 1.