scouts-l Mail Archive for May of 2000: Re: Council Merger - Uniforms
MAJ) Mike Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle (blkeagle@USSCOUTS.ORG
Mon May 10 1993 - 18:00:46 CDT
Bob Taylor (and several other Scouters, including Chris in Houston) wrote
and asked questions similar to Bob's:
>Mike--you used to be a "Para-Professional"? does that position still exist?
>if so, where does that posoition fit in the council structure? can you
>supply ball park figures for the various jobs?
Officially, *today*, the BSA folks at the Council Support Division *frowns
very heavily* on ANY Council hiring part-time or temporary *field
employees*, which the BSA defines as "Paraprofessionals". But they ARE
needed, now as back in my day (the late 70s/early 80s).
I'm not talking about the office staff...the few secretaries, the Registrar
nor the people manning Council Trading Posts. Nor am I talking about the
summer camp staff, even though some Paraprofessionals are found as Program
Directors or Associate Camp Directors at some camps.
These men and women -- parapros -- work within our Districts and in support
of Council programs.
Officially, Paraprofessionals are authorized when a Council's Scout
Executive deems them to be of value to their operation. A paraprofessional,
like a professional, comes in "several shades" depending on the amount of
compensation and scope of responsibilities of the person.
Most Councils hire what is called a "program coordinator" or "neighborhood
coordinator". This person works under the supervision of a District or
Council professional (usually a District Executive or Field Director) and
under their direction. Mostly it's "O and E" (organization and extension,
the two biggest roles of a field professional, closely followed by C and R,
cultivating and raising volunteers and monies).
Some Councils hire Paraprofessionals to lend their services to programs like
Venturing (Exploring) or Learning for Life/Career Awareness programs. These
"program specialists" assist the Director or Executive in managing those
programs over a county or within several school systems.
In some Councils, a volunteer may be chosen to serve as a District
Representative. Those individuals do many of the same things that
professionals do, and are under the supervision of a Senior District
Executive, District Executive mulitple-person, or District Director. This
person may be the ONLY "field person" out there. Direct Service, Far East
and Transatlantic Councils also use "DRs" to serve as initerim District
Executives until such time the Council feels that the District can "support"
(financially, that is) a fulltime field executive.
In other Councils, a volunteer serves as a Paraprofessional Executive (note
the word "executive"), and is given responsibilties to manage a part of or
an entire District.
The title basically states that he or she is "acting as" a DE, again, under
the strong guidance of a middle manager within that Council, or in some
Councils, under the direction of the Council Scout Executive him/herself.
In order to get this far up the "ladder" so to speak, a Council Scout
Executive and indeed a Council must have a lot of confidence in your
abilities to manage, work with others and raise the monies needed to support
Scouting in that part of the Council's territory. Most Paraprofessional
Executives are either entered into or are already in the Counci's
"professional preview program", a "fast track" toward being hired as a
fulltime District Executive in that Council or some other.
In my "Cardinal Council" example previously, I explained that in this case,
the Council employs several parapros to do a wide range of jobs. I based
those positions on the actual positions I held in four Councils during my
Paraprofessional tenure of service. In YOUR Council, unless you are from
Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Dallas/Fort Worth, Orlando, Miami,
St.Louis, Kansas City, Denver, Salt Lake City, or Atlanta, you may only see
ONE paraprofessional, generally a college student working a semester or two,
working in your Council.
(Ouch! Sorry...I left out Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Boston and two of the
places where I worked, Nashville and Louisville!)
Why don't Councils use MORE parapros? Money. If you can get work from two
paraprofessionals for the same compensation you're paying a District
Executive, "why hire the District Executive"? This is why in some
Councils, it's hard for that entry-level professional to "go
anywhere....because instead of hiring the pro, the Council, needing to cut
expenses, would hire a parapro for a short period of time".
This is why National strongly encourages local Councils to hire FULL TIME
employees to do professional-technical work and hire PROFESSIONALS to do all
field work in their Councils.
Paraprofessionals do NOT have to meet the same educational requirements, but
they DO have to meet the same character, registration and leadership
requirements as all other professionals.
Hope this all helps out!
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
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