December and January can be the perfect time to take stock of your council’s efforts so far this year. Have your activities been successful? Are your students growing as leaders? Are you on track to meet your goals?
No matter where you stand, this action plan is sure to help you lay the foundation for a successful year and, ultimately, a successful council. Check out the five suggested goals below and learn how you can achieve them.
1. Build Leadership Capacity
Goal: Increase the number of students that your council impacts and utilize strategies that create opportunities for them to share lead roles.
Why: Every student has the potential to be a leader—some may need a more visible opportunity to be part of a leadership team.
How: Recognize and reward the accomplishments of student leaders to show them that they are using their leadership potential to the best of their ability.
2. Create Community and School Service Opportunities
Goal: Open new doors for students to get involved in their school and community.
Why: Planning and hosting meaningful service activities helps students learn responsibility, self-confidence, self-accomplishment, dedication, respect, and integrity.
How: Plan and organize volunteer events. Implement events throughout the year that entice students to get involved in a cause that supports their school or community.
3. Increase Networking and Communication Among Students
Goal: Promote healthy, friendly relationships among students that emphasize effective communication and foster a positive atmosphere throughout the school.
Why: Improving communication between student leaders allows for an increase in student council effectiveness. It also helps to build personal relationships between students.
How: Leverage committees and reports. Create committees within your council to help delegate the different tasks that your group is charged to accomplish, and task students on these committees with reporting their results to the full council.
4. Implement New Student Council Programs and Activities
Goal: Plan and implement new programs that increase your council’s capacity and effectiveness to address student needs and translate their desires and ideas into action.
Why: Programs that build leadership skills, including leadership capacity and communication, allow for an environment where students feel valued.
How: Start a principal’s cabinet. Create a cabinet of three to five elected student council leaders to work directly with school leaders who will be willing to voice ideas from the student body.
5. Evaluate Council Effectiveness
Goal: Evaluate your student council to measure how effective your organization is in meeting its goals. How has it worked to empower members of the student body to be active participants and leaders?
Why: Through the evaluation process, you and your student leaders will learn which areas and programs of your student council are the most useful, which are in need of improvement, and which may no longer support or accomplish their goals.
How: Survey your council and the student body. Ask student council members to fill out an honest self-evaluation and distribute evaluation surveys to the entire student body.
As you put this action plan to use, it’s important to establish timelines to reach each of these goals. Each timeframe should be long enough to allow your student council to successfully complete all of its necessary tasks, but short enough to establish sufficient time for addressing all five goals.
For more helpful tips on ways to improve your council, visit the Adviser Resources section of the NASC website at www.nasc.us/adviser-resources.