Commission Corner: CASHE Update

Commission Corner: CASHE Update

Rebecca Shepherd
Chair, Commission for Academic Support in Higher Education

Founded in March 1977, the Commission for Academic Support in Higher Education has overcome a variety of obstacles. As a Commission that came out of dormancy a few short years ago, we are slowly working toward becoming a valuable professional resource for the ACPA membership.

The announcement of the 2014 Convention theme to “Reinvent” was taken to heart by the CASHE Directorate. In April the Commission completed a Task Analysis, where we asked Commission members to let us know what they need from the Commission. Responses overwhelmingly indicated that more training and information opportunities in the area of Assessment, Evaluation, and Research are needed (71%). The second most requested (56%) competency was in the area of leadership development. To help meet the needs of our membership, CASHE is in the process of developing new opportunities for the ACPA membership. The Commission hopes to have several webinar opportunities available throughout the 2013-14 school year.

During this past academic year, our Commission noticed that the Professional Competencies for Student Affairs Practitioners (2010) has become a focal point for ACPA professional development. Specifically, the “Advising and Helping” competency lends itself to Academic Advising – a popular presentation topic at Convention. However, the competency levels are geared toward psychological services as well. As a Commission, we have initiated a goal to critically analyze and review each of the ten competencies to ensure they are representative and inclusive of all ACPA membership. While we expect this to take some time, CASHE is happy to announce we have teams working on two competencies: “Advising and Helping” and “Leadership”. Our goal is to make recommendations for future editions to ensure ACPA is inclusive of primary functional areas within the organization. If you would like to get involved in the review of the Professional Competencies, please feel free to contact Rebecca Shepherd.

Why We Thrive – from The President

Kathleen Kerr
ACPA President

In the fall issue of Developments, I reflected on the June leadership meeting and described “why we struggle.” Since that edition, as is typical of most ACPA – College Student Educators International Presidents, I have had the opportunity to travel widely, meeting and interacting with many ACPA – College Student Educators International members and leaders. Now, as I sit in Delaware in December, our coldest and darkest months ahead of us before spring, I have the opportunity to reflect on why we thrive.

As someone who has been a practitioner for almost 24 years, I am able to reflect on my career and through that lens critically examine the organizational structure of ACPA – College Student Educators International. What I see is an Association that is living out its values. Our values are embodied by the holistic approach that we take to connecting with and serving members.

Opportunities exist to connect with the Association in four primary ways:

  1. Based on where you work (for example, State and International Divisions )
  2. Based on the nature of your work (for example, Commissions )
  3. Based where you are in your career, (for example, the Mid-level Community of Practice or the or the Senior Student Affairs Advisory Board), and/or
  4. Based on your identities (for example, Standing Committees).

Diagram of Where You Work

Connection of course, we hope, leads to involvement, and for some may lead to leadership.

When I travel, I am often asked to talk about Association involvement and how members of all experience levels and backgrounds might get involved. Typically I describe level of involvement as being on a continuum from consumer to masochist (with contributor and leader in-between).

Consumer Diagram Image

I do believe that there is not just one way to get involved and there is not just one acceptable quantity of involvement. We must all find a “right sized” Association fit, and this may change over the course of our careers based on personal and professional context.

ACPA offers enough variety that with a little effort each member can find what will best meet their needs. The range of opportunities is broad. You can attend a conference, institute or convention (consumer); present a program or facilitate a round table discussion (contributor); review programs, serve on a planning committee or the convention team, serve as an institute faculty member (leader); or Chair a Convention Team or Planning Committee (masochist). You can be a listserv voyeur and read articles in the many ACPA publications (consumer); submit articles for publication and post on listservs (contributor); serve on an editorial board (leader); or serve as an editor (masochist).

Involvement though, whatever the level, is crucial to our professional growth and development. Whether you recognize it for the personal and professional value it provides to you, or if you view it as service to the Association and to the profession, it is crucial. Simply stated, there is no way we can contribute to our students’ success if we do not simultaneously commit to ourselves and ensure that we are successful. ACPA – College Student Educators International has understood this and been committed to the growth of each individual since its inception in 1924, when ACPA – College Student Educators International was created with two primary purposes:

  • Supporting the various functional areas within student affairs; and
  • The career and professional development of membership – emphasizing cooperation, research and service.

We will continue to do this, metaphorically, “from cradle to grave.” Whether you are an undergraduate student exploring a career in student affairs, or a practitioner in retirement, ACPA – College Student Educators International will serve your professional development needs. In the near future, we will enhance how we do this by offering free, to all members, access to a “professional registry” which will be rolled out in 2014, our 90th year as an Association. The registry will be a comprehensive web-based professional and career development portfolio, built around the ACPA/NASPA Student Affairs Competencies, that will allow you to record your skills, knowledge, and experiences for use with your supervisor, in your next job search, and as you map out your future.

My travels have allowed me to witness first hand, at institutes, state conferences, in the International Office, and at planning retreats, how ACPA – College Student Educators International involves and develops members, and I have seen the powerful and amazing efforts of consumers, contributors, leaders, and of a couple masochists (you know who you are!). It is why we as an Association thrive and will continue to do so, year after year.

Please e-mail inquiries to Kathleen Kerr .

Follow Kathleen on Twitter @acpaprez

Quarterly Update from One Dupont Circle

Gregory Roberts
Executive Director


The time continues to fly by and a lot is happening for the better in our Association. ACPA – College Student Educators International is marching onward and upward creating new opportunities for the nearly 7,500 members and beginning to plan the 90th Anniversary year of events for the Association. Also, preparation is underway for my transition and the installation of a new Executive Director. During summer 2014 I will step down as the Executive Director of ACPA – College Student Educators International. Having served eleven years in this position as the third Executive Director in ACPA’s history (VanDursen, Neuberger and Roberts). It is my hope to return to a campus and continue the work of the profession to advance student learning wherever and however I can.

There is much to do and the strategic plan is fully underway and we are making progress on all areas. The 90th Anniversary of ACPA – College Student Educators International is well underway and the Foundation will highlight a few wonderful events at the Indianapolis Convention, March 29-April 2, 2014. Please visit the Web site and learn all the wonderful professional development activities and programs available to each of you.

Since we last communicated, there has been lots of activity on Capitol Hill here in the United States. Our elected officials were truly sending a message showing just how selfish they are to allow the most respected government on earth to “shut down” simply to make a partisan point. Many elected officials did not realize or care that many in the country lost their job and/or were laid off while our elected leaders “played” with the operations of the Federal Government.

I urge you to continue monitoring the troop withdrawal schedule for the end of 2014. I would imagine we would see a spike in veterans enrolling in our colleges and universities with the expanded GI Bill benefits. I challenge us as educators to be proactive and be prepared to embrace this large segment of our college going Americans.

The Supreme Court continues to flex their muscles and will hear the Fisher v. Texas case again. Continue to watch for updates on the ACPA – College Student Educators International Web site. The Association signed on with the Amicus Brief supporting widespread diversity in higher education.

I want to say congratulations to the 2014 ACPA – College Student Educators International Diamond Honoree Class. As always, the class is comprised of distinguished colleagues who have earned international recognition from their peers. In addition, a personal congratulations to Ann Bower, Association Archivist, on her full time retirement from the National Student Affairs Archives, housed at the Bowling Green State University Library.

Have a wonderful winter and I look forward to seeing all of you in Indianapolis.

Until next time,


From the Editor

Paul Eaton

In the next two issues of Developments, we will feature a series of articles focusing on the 90th anniversary of ACPA – College Student Educators International. These articles are only one of many ways our Association will be celebrating this important milestone in history. During this year’s annual convention in Indianapolis, our entire community will not only commemorate the important work we have accomplished in the past 90 years, but also look ahead to the important work we have to do to continue impacting our students, campuses, and systems of education.

I want to personally thank Susan R. Stock of Roosevelt University, James P. Barber of the College of William and Mary, and Paul G. Brown of Boston College for their contributions that appear in this issue of Developments. Stock and Barber have effectively highlighted for all of us the important role of our profession in advancing understanding, education, and advocacy in regards to mental health and student learning. Further, each of their pieces challenges us as professionals to think about the future: how individually and collectively we can continue important work on our campuses, nationally, and internationally. Brown reminds us of the intimate connections of our profession, our still relative infancy, and invites us to explore our own connection to Esther Lloyd Jones.

As Kathleen Kerr discusses in her remarks, our profession thrives because of committed individuals whose passion, dedication, and vision ensures our Association continues to move forward. Each of the scholar-practitioners who have contributed to this issue fall into this category: sharing with us perspectives, intriguing questions, and challenging us to think about some important and sometimes difficult to discuss topics. I hope you will take the time to engage with each article of this issue and think about the many topics that are explored. In no short order, you will find in this issue articles exploring: the challenges facing undocumented students, the challenges associated with digital first-year experience courses, perceptions of safety on campus for international students, and ideas for building and enhancing academic coaching programs.

This issue also contains the final installment of our Series “Women As,” sponsored by the Standing Committee for Women. I want to thank all the authors who contributed to this important Series, helping each of us to think anew about the intersections of gender and multiple identities, as well as the continuing barriers of access and advancement present in the modern day academy.

I would like to welcome to our Editorial Board a new set of Reviewers and Copy Editors. Alongside our continuing editorial board members, each member of our team dedicates countless hours to reviewing manuscripts, working with authors, perfecting APA citations, reading and re-reading proofs, and ensuring thatDevelopments continues to advance knowledge and information that enhances our work. I thank each of them for being the most outstanding and professional team of individuals anyone could ask to work alongside. Finally, to our International Office Staff: ACPA – College Student Educators International would not be what it is without your work behind the scenes. If you have never had a chance to talk to or work with the fine individuals at the International Office, I hope that one day you will. As our Editorial Board works to continue enhancing our publication, the International Office Staff has been nothing short of supportive, encouraging, and hard working. Our Association is truly blessed to have such a strong supportive group of individuals working for us day-in and day-out.

Our next issue of Developments will appear immediately preceding our 2014 Annual Convention in March. From the entire team, may you have a safe, joyful holiday season and New Year.

Please e-mail inquiries to Paul Eaton.

Follow Paul on Twitter.