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Professional Development Opportunities

SUNYCUAD Professional Development Opportunities

Professional Development

Providing valuable professional development and networking opportunities for our membership is a core priority of the SUNYCUAD organization. Examples of these opportunities include:

  • The Annual SUNYCUAD Educational Conference, where advancement colleagues from the 64 campus gather to learn and share best practices
  • The Spring Social Media Workshop hosted each April at Empire State College’s Saratoga campus and webcast to SUNYCUAD members
empire state plaque on campus with lawn and trees
interior of glass building with students
  • The Professional Development Institute (PDI), a partnership with SUNY Administration that features webinars specifically tailored to the needs and interests of SUNY schools
  • Networking receptions held periodically throughout the state, including the annual Albany event in conjunction with the Chancellor’s State of SUNY presentation
  • The newly-revamped Career Coaching Program, which connects experienced SUNYCUAD members with newcomers to the SUNY advancement community
  • The Harry and Barb Charlton Newcomer Scholarship Program, which offers registration and on-site expenses to the SUNYCUAD Conference to selected employees new to SUNY and/or the advancement fieldFor more information about these programs, or to get more involved with SUNYCUAD,  contact us.


Recap of the 2020 SUNY Community College Chief Advancement Officer Retreat

The ninth annual SUNY Community College Chief Advancement Officers Retreat was held at The Century House in Latham, NY on January 17-18, 2020. There were 68 attendees from 18 SUNY campuses and 1 CUNY campus. The retreat offers sessions and opportunities to share best practice on a wide array of important topics to foundations, fundraisers, college presidents, and board of directors.

This year’s topics included Design Thinking for Fundraising & Advancement Success; Key Characteristics of Top Performing Community Colleges; When Campaigns Go Sideways; Challenges Facing Institutionally Related Foundations; MOU’s and Gift Acceptance Policies; Donor-Centric Fundraising; and an Alumni and Career Services Panel Discussion. There were also opportunities to network during roundtable discussions, dinner, and “The Familiar Feud Game Show” hosted by Mark Pastorella.

The event was sponsored by SUNYCUAD, CASE District II Venture Capital Grant, Dupli, the Winkler Group, and Blackbaud.

Do you have an idea for future workshop or would you like to get involved in the planning process? Contact Vice President Kerry Gotham at

New SUNYCUAD “Career Coaching” Program Open to Newcomers

SUNY New Paltz

One of the goals of SUNYCUAD is to promote the professional development of new members through outreach and structured mentoring programs, thereby increasing the retention of “new talent” within the SUNY advancement community. To that end, SUNYCUAD is offering a new Career Coaching Program to connect experienced SUNYCUAD members with newcomers to the SUNY advancement community.

The new program provides a SUNYCUAD career coach to newcomers who are either new to SUNY or the advancement field within the past five years, or who have switched fields within advancement recently. Interested newcomers will be matched with a career coach who is a seasoned advancement professional in the newcomer’s field (i.e. public relations, alumni relations, publications, electronic communications, development, government relations or marketing.)

Participants (both coach and “coachee”) are asked to make a one-year commitment to the program, with the option to continue if both members would like to stay connected.

Benefits of Participation in SUNYCUAD’s Career Coaching Program:

SUNYCUAD’s Career Coaching program provides “coachees” with the opportunity to:

  • network with, and learn from, experienced advancement professionals in SUNY.
  • receive career guidance relevant to the participant’s field within advancement.
  • better understand the SUNY system.
  • create a support system to help manage change and challenges
  • enhance job satisfaction

Benefits of Volunteering  as a Career Coach:

Career coaches have the opportunity to:

  • experience the satisfaction of helping a newcomer succeed in the advancement profession.
  • learn new skills and knowledge that a newcomer may bring to the profession.
  • build leadership skills.
  • expand career networks.
  • affirm professional competence and get a fresh perspective from a “coachee.”
  • give back to the profession, perhaps in recognition of a coach’s or adviser’s role in one’s own career success.

What to Expect:

  • Once a request for a coach has been received from a newcomer, a program organizer will work to secure a coach in the same field. Every effort will also be made to find a coach who is from the same type of campus (e.g. community college, comprehensive college, university center).
  • The coachee’s contact information will then be provided to the coach, who will be responsible for making the initial contact with their coachee.
  • Participants should make every effort to meet their “match” in person, at least once, to establish the relationship and decide together how they would like to proceed with the coaching relationship.
  • Participants will be invited to “meet their match,” if they have not already met, and attend an informal orientation session during the annual SUNYCUAD Conference in June. (The 2017 conference will be in Tarrytown June 7-9.)
  • It is recommended that coaches and coachees advise their employers that they intend to participate in the program.
  • Information shared between the two parties should be treated as confidential and sensitive.
  • The time commitment of the partnership should be agreed upon at the beginning of the relationship. Regular contact – for example, once a month – is key to a successful coaching relationship.
  • A one-year commitment is requested, with the option of continuing the relationship if both agree they would like to stay in touch.
  • A program organizer will contact both coaches and coaches after six months to request feedback and ensure that the relationship is both ongoing and productive.

What NOT to Expect:

  • The relationship should be career- or job-specific and should not be used as an opportunity for personal counseling.
  • Coachees should not expect coaches to find them a new job or get them a promotion.