Information for Prospective Conversation Partners
Thanks for your interest in the Conversation Partner program. The following information has been provided to help Notre Dame faculty and administrators understand how the program works. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-5551.
WHAT IS THE PROGRAM?
The Conversation Partner program is one of the Formative Outcomes that is used for students who have been found responsible for violations of University Standards of Conduct through the University Conduct Process and could benefit from an ongoing conversation with a University faculty or administrator.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
If, through a student's participation in the University Conduct Process, the Office of Community Standards determines that a student would benefit from an ongoing conversation, the student would be notified that a Conversation Partner will be assigned to them.
- The Office of Community Standards (OCS) will review the list of available Conversation Partners and identify a faculty or administrator to serve as a Conversation Partner.
- An OCS staff member will contact the Conversation Partner to ask if the partner is interested in working with a particular student.
- The Conversation Partner can decide to accept the offer to work with the student or decline (for whatever reason -- timing/availability, past interaction with the student, partner does not see it as a good fit, etc.).
- If the Conversation Partner agrees to participate, the student will be provided the contact information for the Conversation Partner. The student will be required to make contact with the Conversation Partner within 2-3 days to schedule an initial meeting (to be typically held within one week).
- The Conversation Partner meets with the student (likely in the partner's office or another mutually agreed upon location).
- The Conversation Partner sends a brief summary (via online form) to the OCS after the initial meeting to indicate that the student is in compliance.
- The Conversation Partner and student can decide to continue their relationship moving forward (although encouraged, this is not required).
AM I A GOOD FIT?
If you identify with the following characteristics, you may be an effective Conversation Partner:
- You have an interest in getting a student engaged outside of the classroom
- You are available to engage a student about their choices in a non-judgmental, caring and concerned manner
- You are approachable
- You are willing to share your personal insight and experiences to help a student learn and grow
WHAT WILL I BE REQUIRED TO DO?
As a Conversation Partner, you will:
- Participate in an annual information session with the Office of Community Standards to review the expectations of the program.
- Communicate with the Office of Community Standards about your availability to participate (when requested).
- Meet with a student for an introductory conversation.
- Complete a brief summary (via online form) of your interaction with the student.
HOW MUCH INFORMATION WILL I KNOW ABOUT THE STUDENT?
The purpose of the Conversation Partner is to assist with the student's development and learning. The conversations between a student and Conversation Partner are not intended to be extensions of a discussion about student conduct (although some conversations may naturally flow to this topic based on the situation). The OCS will provide as much demographic information about the student as possible (e.g. class year, hometown, major, etc.), without going into too many specific details of the conduct case.
HOW OFTEN WILL I BE ASKED TO DO THIS?
The amount of referrals to a Conversation Partner will vary. The OCS anticipates that most Conversation Partners would be engaged with no more than 1-2 students per semester. Depending on the number of students assigned a Conversation Partner, it is likely that some trained partners will not be contacted over the course of a semester.
WHAT TYPE OF STUDENT MAY NEED A CONVERSATION PARTNER?
- A first year student is away from his family for the first time and is trying to "fit in" at Notre Dame. The student is not involved in any campus activities.
A first year student is struggling academically and socially because all he/she does is go to the library and study and has not acclimated to "college life".
A first year student is questioning what role spirituality plays in his/her life now that she/she is at college.
A first year student shares that they want to get involved in other aspects of campus life, but does not know what steps to take.
- A sophomore is struggling to identify their career path.
A sophomore discloses that "there is nothing to do on campus except drink".
A sophomore who does not understand how his/her behavior could impact their future career plans.
A junior indicates that he/she is becoming disengaged with campus because his/her parents are going through a divorce. The student was not interested in seeking assistance from the University Counseling Center.
A junior who is not engaged in the campus community and does not connect with his hall staff.
- A senior posts a questionable picture to Facebook which other students found offensive. Through conversations with the OCS, the student "didn't see why people got so bent out of shape -- it's just a picture."
- A senior indicates that, looking back, they haven't accomplished all they had hoped during their past 3 years at college.
- A senior's actions have directly affected an area of your responsibility/work area. A conversation would help the student understand how their decisions have impacted others.
I HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PROGRAM
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail the Office of Community Standards (email@example.com) or call us at 1-5551.
HOW DO I SIGN UP?
If you are interested in serving as a Conversation Partner, e-mail the Office of Community Standards at: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have been invited to serve, you may also reply to the Interest Form that you are sent.