Jostens Adviser University Goes Beyond Industry Standard
to Strengthen Yearbook Staffs Post-Pandemic
Minneapolis, July 14, 2021 – As a new school year approaches post-pandemic, Jostens is proud to announce their Jostens Adviser University and optional Leadership Academy from July 13–16 to educate yearbook staffs on the project management, production and leadership associated with creating a high school or middle school yearbook.
Jostens Adviser University (JAU) is a highly interactive conference that offers new and experienced yearbook advisers the opportunity to gain practical teaching strategies and methodologies for their school’s yearbook class or extracurricular club, while building an adviser network. Despite that, the event is being held virtually (like 2020) due to uncertainty over COVID-19, Jostens aims to replicate the in-person experience as closely as possible.
Attendees will benefit from daily “Deep Dive” classes led by distinguished yearbook advisers, many of whom were named National Yearbook Adviser of the Year by the Journalism Education Association. The sessions, recorded for attendees’ future use, cover yearbook project management, design, writing, photography, and more. Advisers will also receive on-demand videos that expound on specific areas of each topic, for further learning.
“These amazing classes cover areas that not only make yearbook easier in terms of management, but also better and more exciting for the students who are working on and receiving the yearbook,” says Sara Sausker, who oversees Jostens Yearbook Customer Experience at Jostens Corporate Headquarters in Minneapolis, MN.
Each class is followed by a moderated breakout discussion that allows advisers to expand on their education and connect with fellow attendees.
“At the end of JAU, the feedback that we hear is, ‘Yes, the instructors were incredible,’” says Sausker. “But the unexpected thing (for them) is to walk away with a community of friends. Over and over, we hear that the ability to make connections with other advisers was a very valuable part of JAU.”
Jostens Yearbook Education Specialist Kristen Scott, who previously served as the yearbook adviser at Kealing Middle School in Austin, TX, agrees.
“Like many yearbook advisers, I was the only person at my school who taught yearbook or journalism, so district and school staff development opportunities often lacked the specific relevance to be useful to my instructional needs,” Scott says. “JAU wasn’t like that. Not only was the curriculum uniquely tailored to my needs, but I was finally able to learn alongside others who understood the unique challenges I faced. The interaction and collaboration allowed me to make friends and build a community of support that I could reach out to when I had questions or needed to brainstorm.”
This year, for the first time ever, Jostens is broadening the JAU experience to include student editors with the launch of Leadership Academy on July 16. Led by master yearbook adviser Sara Nichols from Whitney High School in Rocklin, CA, the one-day event invites yearbook advisers and up to three of their editors to learn how to strengthen leadership across their staff.
Focuses include improving communication, engaging and maintaining motivation among staff, and organizing workflow to increase yearbook output with minimum stress.
According to Sausker, the event is particularly important for the many yearbook editors who have never worked with staff or witnessed student leadership on-site due to the pandemic. This is paired with a rise in new yearbook advisers, who will also benefit from “empowering their editors to be great leaders.”
“And when that happens, it’s like magic,” Sausker says. “Suddenly, you have these students who are empowered to lead so that not every responsibility falls on advisers’ shoulders.”
For more information about this industry-leading yearbook education at Jostens, visit Jostens.com/yearbooks/advisers-and-staff/events-workshops/.