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Creating Your Own Expert Advisory Team

Do you ever feel like you’re alone in providing disability services on your college campus? Does bureaucracy have you down? Do you want to provide the best available solutions for your students?

Often times, it may feel that superhuman powers are needed to coordinate multiple types of services for multiple students with multiple sets of unique accessibility needs. Students don’t always use the traditional approach. The administration has provided a limited budget and minimal direction. And resources aren’t always available in the local community.

The good news for you and your colleagues is that you don’t need to accomplish these daunting tasks alone.

Instead, you can develop your own Expert Advisory Team to save the day.

Success doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Each great coach has great assistants. Presidents have specialty advisors. Executives have business coaches and managers. Providing excellent disability services to students on your college campus is no different.

Even if your department is small or only you, there are specialists available to include on your personal Expert Advisory Team. And the best part – these experts are happy to help!

It takes effort upfront but it will result in peace of mind, creative solutions, and productive outcomes.

Cultivating your Expert Advisory Team means choosing the right people and dedicating time to build meaningful relationships. When faced with a new or challenging situation, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

Each member of your Expert Advisory Team is now at your fingertips and available for you to seek their expertise and incorporate their advice into your campuses’ solutions.

Creating effective and mutually-beneficial relationships are at the core of your success. So…

Who should be on your team?

  1. Consumers – faculty, staff, or students (current or previous)
  2. Service providers for each need and potential need – vendors
  3. Key administrators within your department or outside your department (admissions, financial aid, advising, IT, housing, human resources, etc.)
  4. Peers within your field – coordinators at other colleges/universities
  5. Peers on your campus – coordinators within your college/university system, coworkers, etc.
  6. Professional colleagues outside of higher education – diversity and inclusion professionals in government or businesses
  7. Mentors – business coach, life coach, previous employer, senior staff

Here is a checklist for your Expert Advisory Team…

  1. Create a list: What areas of growth and advisement do you need? Who can help guide you in those areas?
  2. Reach out to those on your Expert Advisory Team. Thank them for how they have advised you.
  3. Reserve time on your calendar to meet with your personal Expert Advisory Team. Near or far. Buy them coffee or lunch. Set up a phone call.
  4. What value are you adding to the relationships of your Expert Advisory Team? How can you start adding value today?

Don’t be discouraged. You don’t have to go at it alone. Build your team and watch how quickly things can move towards a positive outcome.