Our group of accredited schools, colleges and universities (grouped collectively as The Chubb Institute and Banner Institute) offer online degrees, programs and other distance education courses in the following disciplines:
Career Exploration: The Personal Side of Work County Government - Education MIS Director Background of Bob an Education MIS Director 1) Your first name, or alias : Bob Your company's main business: Running and coordinating workshops on and around the topic of educating the children of America's migrant farm workers. Your job's common name: Director of Information Services Years in field? : 10 years _X_College: Type of degree(s) (please no acronyms): Bachelor of Science, Zoology Some additional courses at the graduate level in Educational Psychology and Reading Instruction, a course or two in computer programming in BASIC and FORTRAN (computer programming languages) Licenses you hold: Driver's :) EMT - emergency medical technician - training obtained for a local volunteer emergency squad. 3) Size of the organization you work for: ___Self ___2-5 Persons ___6-20 Persons ___21-100 Persons _X_101+ Persons 4) Size of the location of your organization. (The population of the local metropolitan area if applicable) ___1-5000 _X_5001-30000 ___30,001-150k ___150,001-500k ___500,000+ 5)_Your yearly salary (gross): $50,000 (optional) 6)_Job description (summary of your duties): [Describe (a)things you accomplish, (b)equipment you work with, (c)management tasks you perform, (d) percent of time at each kind of task (if applicable), etc.] (a)Things you accomplish, Manage the flow of information through the organization. Includes creating and managing databases. Writing routines to get the wanted information back out of the databases. Converting some database output to HTML format for display on the worldwide web. Working with a network of twelve regional programs tracking over 10,000 migrant students and their families. Answering user requests about their evolving spoke and hub distributed database program. Bringing equipment to state trainings. Attend most state and some national migrant education conferences. Travel to provide one to one and one to many onsite training for migrant record keeping software. Creation of a database that allows AT&T to route calls from anywhere in the country to one of 65 migrant education sites. Maintaining a networked contact manager program that allows all people at the local site to access updated information on the over 5,000 contact database in real time. Acquiring, installing, and training people in the use of word processing, spreadsheet, database, communications, presentation, scanning, OCR, and internet software. Training people in the use of email, including encoding and decoding attachments. Acquiring, loading, and installing new computers, system upgrades, and peripherals. Including such things as installing new hard drives or replacement motherboards. Installing phone systems and LAN cables and cards, programming fax machines, creating and maintaining WWW pages. Dealing with vendors on off-site repair of computer items. Dealing with the local and campus phone companies. Searching internet and other resources for needed information. Assisting in the creation of workshop presentation materials, include handouts and transparencies. Tracking lost or missing shipments of same via UPS internet software. Preparing database output for offsite bulk mailings. Providing referrals for migrant families seeking assistance in education, legal, housing, food/clothing, and other areas of concern in 17 states. Lugging boxes of reams of paper, materials and equipment to the third floor in our antiquated elevatorless un-aircondition built in the 1930's as a school building. We also haul up pallet loads of promotional materials, repackage them and haul them back down for UPS pickup. Assembling new workstations. b) Equipment you work with, IBM compatible pc computers, notebook computers, color scanners, laser printers, copiers and fax machines, inkjet portable computers, phone systems, peripheral sharing devices, modems, staplers, tape dispensers, file cabinets. (c) Management tasks you perform, Many decisions concerning staffing, equipment purchasers, phone vendors, printing, buying promotional materials, assignment to various states is made as a group. My recommendations are usually unquestioned in equipment purchases. (d) Percent of time at each kind of task (if applicable), etc.] There are so many slices that it is hard to say. Perhaps 65% messing with the innards or software of the computers. 20% doing phone consulting and tugging and hauling. Leaving 15% to scatter across all the other things out there... and also let'm know that I take lots of work home... The office hum is just too loud and distracting to get much programming or database creation done. 7) What jobs are above and below you on the organization chart? Above: Program Director State Migrant Program Director Director of Identification and Recruitment Below: Information Specialist Education Specialists Administrative Assistant 8) How did you get into this career? And what was your career path to your present position? After college I worked as a substitute teacher, bicycled across the country, then worked in a water quality laboratory. Made a visit to some friends in another state in a quiet rural area. They said I could probably get a job as a migrant tutor within a month. Took the job. When the first Apple computers came into the resource room that I shared with the Chapter I teachers I latched on to them. Then the regional migrant education program got computers and needed help. I trained myself and took a few courses and my knowledge grew as the equipment list grew. The biggest single help to learning the computers was my willingness to forego a new car for the purchase of a nearly top of the line system to learn on at home. Stresses and Rewards of a Education MIS Director 9) What are the greatest stresses, what causes you the most anxiety? (List as many as you want to) Deadlines are the killers. Applications for grants and contracts and user requests that don't allow for the time needed to get the information out. Equipment breakdowns used to be a bother, but now we have so much equipment that the old equipment can get in the way! New software can be tough. For a while when the boss got a new computer all the computers had to be moved down through the pecking order...which was a whole weekend lost to the living. User training can be a challenge. I once heard the phrase, "Ignorance is curable but stupidity is forever." That can ease the pain at times. Communication seems to be the toughest part of any job. Knowing what people mean as opposed to what they say. Knowing why they say what they say and what they feel is really important is all very tough. Totally unrealistic expectations can be a problem. Which is a subset of the communication challenge. Our host organization is a college campus. We are the only building left of the original campus. All the other buildings and functions have moved 'up on the hill.' We are literally 'off campus' but still must depend on campus for a number of things. It is a difficult relationship that saves our organization a huge amount of money that we can put to use for our client population, plus a campus foundation serves as our fiscal agent. 10) What are the most rewarding aspects that make it all worth while? (List as many as you like) Being able to help people is the best part. 11) Do you work closely with persons outside your organization? Please comment on those relationships. Are they stressful or pleasant and why. [Not just clientele, i.e., teachers who have to deal with parents etc.] The government contract officers can be tough to work with. The worst thing that we ever got into was a 3000+ person conference overseen by a government committee who played out their turf battles through us. The committee met every Thursday and had about 30 members. We should have written a play about it. Challenges of a Education MIS Director 12) What problems will be addressed by your industry (affecting your position) in the next five years? Education has to get some national standards. Your phone and your toaster can be plugged in in any house in the country. But move a high school senior or junior and he might not be able to graduate. Get him/her through high school and the person can go to almost any college... Why do we give local schools the ability to frustrate/fail so many of the youth that we will depend upon in the future? Basic Skills of a Education MIS Director 13) We know you most probably use all these skills at one time or another, but on a basic level, what skills does your job demand? Check all that apply. _X_Creativity _X_Emotional Distancing _X_Emotional Involvement _X_Language _X_Manual Dexterity ___Musical Interpretation _X_Numeracy ___Physical Ability _X_Persistence _X_Social Skills _X_Time Management ___Visual Interpret. Advice of a Education MIS Director 14) As a conclusion, what words of advice would you give a person entering your field in the next four years? (i.e., education, internship, find a mentor, jump right in, etc.) I have not been much of a career planner, so I don't think that I could give a whole lot of advice that way. One day my grandfather asked me what I wanted to do. I told him that I thought being a disk jockey would be fun. He looked at me and said, "You know, Bobby, no matter what you do. If you have to do it all day it begins to seem like work." I later read the same sort of idea in some writings about Zen and in Thoreau's Walden... where he thought the Yankee shopkeepers who spent their lives in one shop were really stretching things a bit. 15) Comments and/or relevant web site link: career education mis
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