The CAE program is a rigorous and challenging professional development journey. In this program you will be asked to engage in self-reflection, learn new skill sets, reach out to new contacts, and to apply your learning directly to your professional organization. You will also be asked to encounter new personal challenges, such as balancing your personal, professional and school lives.
As you progress, keep in mind that you have an array of resources and support through CSAE, to help you through the program. Your instructors, current and past, are available for questions, clarification, dialogue and advisement. The Education Department team can provide learning, advisement, technical and logistical support.
You probably registered in the program to obtain the CAE designation, increase your value to your organization and improve your organization’s performance. Evaluate your success accordingly. Higher marks will not improve your performance or that of your association but enhanced professional skills will.
Your Family & Friends
You may find that learning online may present challenges when balancing family and friend commitments and obligations. Many learners find the following strategies help maintain a balance.
- Choose a workspace free from distractions and interruptions.
- Establish a schedule, so that family and friends know when you are not available.
- Communicate your workload and deadlines clearly, so that others understand your scheduling needs.
- Involve others in your professional development; share your experiences.
- Know your limits. Being a diligent student is important, but maintaining a healthy personal/professional balance will help keep you motivated throughout the program.
Approach your employer and/or board before joining or once you’ve joined the program. Explain that as a part of your studies, you’ll be applying your learning to strengthen the organizations day-to-day operations as well as to utilize your organization as a case study for assignments. Solicit feedback from your employer on areas of importance or for ideas on approaching assignments. Once your organization sees your assignment will likely bring immediate benefits to your organization, they will be more supportive of your studies. It will be easier to continue in the program, and you might even be able to negotiate some work hours for your course work.