Spring is an ideal time to plan and begin student leadership transitions. This time of year offers a great opportunity for outgoing officers—upperclassmen in particular—to share new ideas about current chapter or council programming. Consider the following strategies to make the student leadership transitions seamless and successful.

  • Officer Informational Session. Host a meeting for leadership candidates where the current leaders can provide an informal description of roles and responsibilities, coupled with the expectations as articulated by the adviser/principal.
  • Outgoing/Incoming Meeting. This is an opportunity for present and future officers to meet and review planning documents or task lists associated with current events, with a focus on how to ensure a successful execution next year.
  • Adviser/Officer Vision Gathering. Before the close of the academic year, the adviser and current student leaders should come together and describe what success could look like for the upcoming year; these points then become benchmarks for accountability.

The close of the academic year might also include transitions for advisers. If you are considering transitioning out of the adviser role, the same need for succession planning exists. Consider putting together program overviews, snapshots, or task lists for the new adviser(s) to provide both the big picture and the multiple steps required for success.

Best wishes for effective succession planning this spring!

Jonathan D. Mathis, PhD
Director of National Honor Societies

Ann Postlewaite
Director of Student Programs