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GSA Performance Framework

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The GSA Performance Framework sets the benchmark of performance excellence and distinguishes the importance of student affairs in medical education as a profession.

GSA Professional Development Initiative Logo

Explore the GSA Performance Framework, the foundation of the GSA PDI, for role-based critical behaviors that serve as guideposts for excellence across student affairs. Learn more about the GSA Core Values and Guiding Principles and the core components of the GSA PDI.

It outlines critical behaviors essential for successful performance and career progression, inclusive of all roles and functions across the GSA community, in alignment with the LCME standards.

The Framework consists of four components:

  1. GSA Core Values and Guiding Principles
  2. Common Areas
  3. Areas of Expertise
  4. Benchmarks

In addition, learn more about how to use the framework and find the full framework here.

GSA Core Values and Guiding Principles

Define what is most important to the GSA community and set a guidepost for how professionals should strive to perform their work.

Core Values

  • Adaptability
  • Advocacy
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Excellence
  • Professionalism
  • Service

Guiding Principles

  • Champion wellness, justice, and respect for all
  • Serve our students, institutions, and profession with unwavering compassion, integrity, and commitment
  • Promote student success in pursuit of a career in medicine
  • Engage as an advocate and responsible steward in the development of future physicians
  • Collaborate to advance learning and maintain relevance in the dynamic education and societal environments

Common Areas

Four areas of critical behaviors essential for successful performance for all student affairs professionals; regardless of specific titles, roles, and services provided.

  • Leadership: Position self and others to successfully maximize their potential and achieve targeted results while exhibiting the highest ethical and professional standards of performance. Sustain a supportive and inclusive climate, engaging others through role modeling, meaningful work, accountability, and targeted professional development.
  • Organizational Acumen: Apply essential business practices to plan, manage and execute work priorities to navigate effectively in a dynamic environment. Contribute to the achievement of targeted, strategic results in compliance with relevant institutional and external requirements and standards.
  • Relationships: Cultivate and sustain mutually beneficial and collaborative alliances through effective communication practices. Engage self and others by understanding and capitalizing on personal strengths, perspectives, and preferences to promote inclusion and shared commitment for achieving desired results.
  • Service: Provide guidance and resources to enable effective support of students in their pursuit of a career in medicine. Promote and capitalize on the application of products/resources, services, and capabilities across the academic health center to increase the value and impact of student affairs and student success.

Areas of Expertise

GSA Performance Framework graphic

Eight areas of more technical critical behaviors essential for successful performance unique to specific roles, functions, and services provided.

  • Student Wellness & Mental Health: Build, promote, and manage programs, policies and interventions to enable student wellness and mental health. Collaborate across the academic health center and broader community to recognize and counsel students as necessary to sustain optimal health, wellness, and performance.
  • Student Academic Progression: Build, promote, and leverage resources, policies, programs, and interventions to enable successful academic progression for all students. Collaborate across the academic health center and broader community to help students proactively address and mitigate risks and issues necessary to optimize their educational experience and growth.
  • Student Diversity & Inclusion: Position diversity as a key driver of educational excellence, a diverse physician workforce, and ultimately equitable health care for all. Advocate for and foster an inclusive, engaging environment to optimize student performance and experience.
  • Student Professional & Career Development: Empower and guide students in setting and advancing their achievement of effective, individual-driven career and professional goals. Provide students resources and a supportive community of advisors, mentors, and staff to promote their development and transition from medical school to residency training.
  • Unit Operations Management: Establish, execute, and allocate resources necessary to support strategic and programmatic goals and priorities and overall direction of student affairs. Lead efforts to maintain ongoing alignment of services and programs with the dynamic needs of students and the mission of the school.
  • Student Records Management: Interpret, communicate, and act in accordance with the laws, regulations, and school standards for maintaining the academic records of students. Establish and oversee processes to ensure the ongoing integrity, security, and fulfillment of information needs.
  • Medical School Recruitment & Admission: Develop and execute effective, data-driven pipeline programs and admission policies, processes, and practices to ensure a broadly diverse and well-rounded student body that advances the mission of the medical school.
  • Student Financial Assistance: Provide medical students, applicants, and graduates with sufficient financial aid and effective debt management counseling, education, and resources. Establish mechanisms and recognize opportunities to enable students to minimize medical education debt.

Benchmarks

To accommodate the diversity of position descriptions, titles, and roles across the GSA community, three performance benchmarks were developed and validated to support the professional development and talent management practices of all GSA professionals. Each benchmark represents a grouping of critical behaviors, ranging from tactical to strategic, that align with typical roles present across student affairs functions in medical education.

The critical behaviors within each benchmark set a common standard of performance excellence against which professionals can confirm their responsibilities in their current roles and assess their capabilities. The benchmarks can also be used to identify development opportunities to facilitate ongoing success, both in current and aspirational roles.

Note: It is inherent in the Framework that the three benchmarks are related and progressive. Each provides the foundational building blocks to progress to the next benchmark.

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Support Staff

Recognized as an individual contributor and primary student interface, with periodic support from more experienced colleagues.

Responsibilities consist of tactical work with an emphasis on recurring tasks and common situations:

  • Focuses on daily execution of tasks and troubleshoots related issues
  • Explains and applies related terminology, concepts, principles, and issues
  • Utilizes the full range of reference and resource materials

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Supervisors, Program Managers, Directors

Recognized as a key escalation resource and collaborator with more senior colleagues to ensure results are achieved.

Responsibilities consist of more complex, less common situations, including day‐to‐day management of staff and/or facets of their function:

  • Focuses on broad organizational and professional issues.
  •  Discusses implications of change and provides insights and ideas to guide improvements to processes, practices, and policies
  • Supports development of reference and resource materials
  • Coaches and supports others informally and formally to execute work and achieve goals

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Directors, Assistant/Associate Deans, Deans

Recognized as an expert and leader in this area; considered the “go to” person for decision making and advisement.

Responsibilities consist of highly complex and strategic work, including leadership and decision making for one or more areas across student affairs:

  • Defines, leads, and guides others in strategic direction
  •  Performs and makes decisions in highly complex, new situations
  • Focuses on strategic initiatives and issues that serve to progress and sustain expected levels of performance, improve results for the department, and support the mission of the larger organization
  • Explains the implications of processes, practices, and policies, as they relate to organizational issues and trends to foster clarity and decision making

Framework Uses

The Framework was developed to complement and enhance current professional development practices and results for all GSA professionals and the larger community.

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Professional

Impacting your performance and career

Framework uses:

  • Confirm critical behaviors associated with current roles and responsibilities
  • Self-assess current capabilities against appropriate Framework benchmarks
  • Identify interests and career opportunities across student affairs

Potential Benefits/Results:

  • Increased clarity and confidence in capabilities
  • Focused development on opportunities that leverage strengths and build key capabilities critical to your success
  • Increased engagement, empowerment, and accountability for development and achieving career aspirations

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Mentor or Trusted Colleague

Impacting the performance and careers of others

Framework uses:

  • Confirm critical behaviors associated with current roles and responsibilities
  • Self-assess current capabilities against appropriate Framework benchmarks
  • Identify interests and career opportunities across student affairs

Potential Benefits/Results:

  • Increased clarity and confidence in capabilities
  • Focused development on opportunities that leverage strengths and build key capabilities critical to your success
  • Increased engagement, empowerment, and accountability for development and achieving career aspirations

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Supervisor

Impacting the performance and careers of your staff

Framework uses:

  • Communicate consistent, clear performance expectations
  • Assess performance against consistent and more defined performance benchmarks
  • Identify targeted development needs of professionals and entire staff that align with staff and area goals

Potential Benefits/Results:

  • A common understanding of performance expectations and accountability across staff
  • More meaningful, targeted professional development goals and decisions
  • Reinforce a culture of development and equity, not competition

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Leader

Impacting the performance and careers of staff and others within your area(s)

Framework uses:

  • Provide evidence and information to reinforce the value of student affairs and need for staff development
  • Educate others on the depth and breadth of services provided by student affairs
  • Develop position descriptions to support approval for staffing budget decisions

Potential Benefits/Results:

  • Confirm performance expectations of others and greater support in handling performance situations/decisions
  • Gain budget approval for staff development and staff expansion needs
  • Opportunity to deepen understanding and appreciation of others across areas
  • Increased collaboration and engagement resulting in better service to students