The adviser’s role in the application process is extremely important. While the adviser has several ongoing responsibilities in the application process, there are none that extend beyond their normal activities with their councils. Responsibilities include:
- Support. Advisers need to offer encouragement and support as the student works through the process and seeks opportunities to build a portfolio. Encourage students who have met the criteria to apply for the Distinguished Student Leader designation.
- Observation and Verification. A student will be expected to demonstrate both knowledge and skill in multiple areas of leadership and to create a portfolio as proof of their work. Advisers will be asked to observe students in a variety of tasks and activities and to sign off on those as students successfully accomplish each one. Read the material under Portfolio Builder to affirm the student’s mastery of each activity or demonstration.
- Validation. Once the portfolio is complete, the student is required to meet with their adviser to present the portfolio for evaluation. After the presentation and review of the application, if the adviser feels the student has met the requirements to be recognized, they affirm it on the student’s application. As part of the signoff, advisers will be asked to answer a basic question about the student’s worthiness of being declared a Distinguished Student Leader.
Completing and Submitting an Application
In order for student applicants to ultimately earn the designation, your school must have an active affiliation with NatStuCo. If your school wishes to join or renew, please visit our Membership link. Applicants can create NatStuCo Student accounts, which must then be verified by the adviser. After being verified, students can log into the application using their NatStuCo Verified Student accounts. Once an application is started, it can be saved as a draft and revisited at any time until it has been submitted by simply logging back into the application.
As part of the online application, the student will enter the adviser’s contact information for a validation request. The adviser will receive an automated e-mail with a unique URL associated with the student’s application. The adviser will respond to a question about the student and validate that the student has satisfied the program criteria. After the adviser completes the validation, the student will need to log back into the application portal, check that all sections are complete, and then hit the submit button.
For general information about the NatStuCo Distinguished Student Leader Program, visit our FAQ page.