As one of the professors who founded the Strategic Communication and Leadership program, Dr. Mark Fackler instills focus in the Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Leadership online students he mentors, transforming their professional commitment in a deeply rooted way. He changes their approach of “having to work” into an internal commitment to making a contribution that is satisfying to them and to the world.
A Focus on One’s Personal and Professional Calling
Dr. Fackler engages students in ongoing dialog after they have read works by significant authors that broaden their outlook. One of his objectives is to actualize the wisdom of Frederick Buechner.
One of the primary selling points of the Communication and Leadership Masters online program is the self-reflection and examination of one’s true calling that occurs under the guidance of experienced mentors. Spring Arbor University’s mentor and students discuss the results of StrengthsFinder tests utilized in classes to help identify their talents, knowledge and skills. By focusing on what students’ strengths are and what the world’s needs are, Dr. Fackler increases students’ awareness of the calling they want to fulfill when they approach the next stage of their life.
Coaching with Approaches to Professional Issues
When students enter Spring Arbor University’s online graduate Strategic Communication and Leadership program, they have a choice of regularly communicating with a seasoned mentor who they are matched with according to their field of study and experience. The ages of students varies; approximately one-third of the mentored students are seasoned professionals who seek greater fulfillment in their career. Readings explore how to rise above one’s experiences and the meaning of vocation in corporate life and leadership. Conversations then build from assigned readings and the mentors’ experience, as mentors guide students through the process of actualizing their calling.
A Focus on Courage at Work
A co-author of Media Ethics: Cases and Moral Reasoning, Dr. Fackler would like to see more effort put into personal soul searching, transparency and the establishment of common bonds, corporately and nationally. In teaching the practice of “taking off the mask” and being real, he inspires students to go into corporate life and presume be a consultant with upper-level decision makers in organizations. Students ask executives how they communicate their business, and proceed to suggest ways that it could be done better. Dr. Fackler also teaches a class on courage, wherein courage is discussed as something you can lose your job over — or something that can be utilized to help mature the organization you work for.
Mentoring Sets Strategic Communication and Leadership Program Apart
The online Master of Arts in Strategic Communication and Leadership program was developed following a long series of discussions with hiring managers and agencies regarding the kinds of skill sets they want to see in new hires. Armed with that data, Spring Arbor University then asked Dr. Fackler to design a program that would include the skill sets that are relevant. He also included specific literature that would address pertinent issues in the program.
After grading students’ evaluation of the mentorship experience, Dr. Fackler found that reports from students was overwhelmingly positive regarding the impact of mentoring on their careers. The mentor program is seen as something that sets Spring Arbor University apart from the standard academic program of classes and advisors.
For further reading, check out these blog posts: How Martin Luther Broke Through the Noise and Loving God With Your Whole Mind.