From the President


Stephen John Quaye
ACPA President

In late September 2017, the ACPA Governing Board and Assembly Leadership introduced our six Operational Truths regarding the Strategic Imperative for Racial Justice and Decolonization (SIRJD). As an Association, ACPA – College Student Educators International believes:

  1.  All forms of oppression are linked.
  2.  Racism and colonization are real, present, enduring, intersectional, and systemic forms of oppression.
  3.  Racism and colonization have informed the experience of all of us in higher education.
  4.  Advocacy and social change require us to work to dismantle racism and colonization in higher education.
  5.  Our collective education, research and scholarship, advocacy, and capacity will create positive change in higher education.
  6. We believe in and have hope for our individual capacity, desire, and drive to grow, learn, and change.

These operational truths guide our work as student affairs/services professionals. We enter this work believing that racism and colonization are everyday realities and that people, ultimately, can grow, change, and learn.

Since we launched this Strategic Imperative, many of you have wondered: what does this look like in practice? Let me share three ways that it looks like for me, as ACPA president.

First, it means unlearning internalized oppression. As a black cisgender man, I have internalized so many negative messages about what it means to live in my black body. I am a thug. I am a gangster. I come from a single-parent household. I am unintelligent. So much of my life has been spent trying to counter these messages and unlearn the dire impact on my life. SIRJD means unlearning internalized dominance and how that plays out in my life.

Second, it means learning. When the ACPA Governing Board introduced the Strategic Imperative, we centered racial justice. In the process, we received feedback from the Native, Aboriginal, and Indigenous Network that the Imperative was not inclusive of their politicized experiences with colonization. Learning this was painful, as it meant admitting that I did not know this reality and working to address it. Learning is not always joyous. Sometimes it comes through pain, frustration, and embarrassment. And yet, we still must learn.

Finally, it means embracing the messiness and moving forward even when we do not know exactly how. Although the International Office will be sharing more resources in the coming months about how to concretize SIRJD, I encourage you to not treat these resources as the sole answer for moving forward. Think of the connection between SIRJD and your work. Where do racism and colonization show up? What structures are in place that reinforce hierarchical decision-making? Whose voices and experiences do you privilege the most in your organization? How do you make decisions about who is important based on what they are wearing? Does your office reinforce “professional” dress? “Professional” for whom? Who decides that?

Reflecting on these questions enables you to think of what racial justice and decolonization look like in your practice without needing to get it “right” before acting. I look forward to engaging with you about the Strategic Imperative, as we work to make our world more just.


Taking Charge of Your Own Competency

Taking Charge of Your Own Competency

From One Dupont Circle
Cindi Love

Executive Director

“Your driver is on the steer (at the wheel) driving you and you can feel free to doze in the car; this is trust built on competence. Competence is to ensure that your actions put people’s hearts at ease when things are in your hands.”
Israelmore Ayivor

I want to act in such a way that people’s hearts are put at ease.  So, how do I increase my competence?  This is the essential question for all of us who want to support students on their paths to self-authorship and in order to grow ourselves professionally and personally. Over the last several months I’ve listened to members and other colleagues who are struggling with this question due to budgetary reductions on their campuses.  

Whether they are newer professionals seeking support or more seasoned professionals trying to provide support, the dilemma is the same.  “Soft dollars” for travel and professional development are shrinking at most publicly funded institutions and it doesn’t look like a temporary challenge.  

The good news is that growth and competency are not dependent on another person or an institution that employs me.  I am not minimizing the very deep concerns about funding issues for our institutions nor the challenges these cuts pose for ACPA and our operating budget.   I am acknowledging the reality of the times in which we are living and working.  I can’t stop my path to self-actualization because someone else won’t pay my way.  We can’t fix gaps in our budget by making members pay more. We have to get creative.  

As an individual, I have to reprioritize the ways in which I invest in myself.  As an Association, we have to offer high quality and lower cost alternatives.  It is for that reason that we entered into partnership with Worker Bee TV in 2015 to launch ACPA Video on Demand (VOD) and with Professor Peter Lake in 2016 to develop and launch Compliance U™.

We chose these partnerships because we need to increase access, reduce costs and ensure that an ACPA membership provides a clear pathway to increased competency for everyone who chooses to engage.  The good news is that we listened early on to our ACPA Presidential Task Force on Digital Technology and its recommendation to “develop the infrastructure and resources appropriate to ensure sustainability and relevance in digital technologies.”  Our alliance with Worker Bee makes part of this recommendation feasible and achievable.

We know people are tuning in and using our content 24/7/365 on ACPA Video on Demand, so we decided to build on that success and implement several of other the recommendations of the Task Force. (Thank you to Dr. Kent Porterfield for creating this Task Force and Ed Cabellon and Tony Doody for leading the effort of a diverse cross section of scholars, practitioners, educators, administrators, and business partners).

The Task Force also recommended that we:

  • Design training and development opportunities to enhance college student educators’  (and professional) use of digital technologies;
  • Establish and grow strategic collaborations and partnerships;
  • Identify key higher education associations, organizations, business partners, authors, scholars, researchers and change agents with whom to strategically partner;
  • Partner with key graduate level faculty from higher education (or related) programs to discover what digital teaching modules could lay the foundation for future implementation. Begin with small pilot programs across various in-person, blended, and online programs.

I want to focus on the last recommendation about partnership with key graduate level faculty.  Allow me to formally introduce Professor Peter Lake to those of you who may not know him. Peter is professor of law, Charles A. Dana chair and director of the Center for Higher Education Law and Policy at Stetson University College of Law and an internationally recognized expert on higher education law and policy. He authored The Rights and Responsibilities of the Modern University (Lake, 2013) and his newest book, The Four Corners of Title IX Regulatory Compliance: A Primer for American Colleges and Universities.

We found great synergy for the Task Force recommendations in our strategic alliance with Professor Peter Lake and faculty in the development of Compliance U™.  This platform began as a concept that Professor Lake used in his scholarship to describe the impact of hyper-regulation on colleges and universities. It has come to life in Compliance U™ as a facilitative learning vehicle to meet the challenges of higher education—a regulated industry in transition.  

Professor Lake says, “I have watched our field change dramatically during the course of my 25 years in the field, both as a law professor and nationally-recognized higher education law and policy expert. Legal regulation has exploded, impacting the nature of our educational conversations. Political winds at the local, state and federal levels influence the dynamic nature of compliance—‘due diligence’ is now a permanent feature of our work.”

Many higher education professionals wish to have and need to have intensive law and policy training, and, at the same time, do not desire to pursue another degree, cannot afford to do so, and cannot leave their responsibilities on campus to attend classes. They need badging or credentialing opportunities that are cost effective, resource sensitive, time efficient, competency and outcome learning-based, and tailored to promote the goals of higher education.

Compliance U™ is designed to reduce the total costs of training by 50 percent with the majority of content on-line and the content is provided by the best and brightest in the Law, Policy and Governance (LPG) area who align themselves with our core values of social justice, diversity, equity and inclusion.  

Ayivor’s definition of competence comes full circle in ACPA’s offering of ACPA Video on Demand and Compliance U™, providing the pathways whereby my actions can put people’s hearts at ease when things are in my hands.  It’s a tall order to be competent and it is not always easy to discern a pathway to support development. I am excited about our opportunities with ACPA Video On Demand (VOD) and Compliance U™ for higher education professionals to systematically gain competency in the foundational, intermediate and advanced areas for student affairs professionals.


Lake, P. F. (2013). The rights and responsibilities of the modern university: The rise of the facilitator university (2nd ed.). Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press.

From the President

From the President

Stephen John Quaye
ACPA President

As President of ACPA I have the opportunity to preside over #ACPA18 in Houston, Texas, the bellwether state for anti-LGBTQ legislation in the United States. In the process, I also get to facilitate dialogue about the Governing Board’s decision to remain in Houston.  

Holding the #ACPA18 Convention in Houston means we get to ask ourselves the questions that are confronting so many members on their campuses.  

What does it really mean to be a social justice educator in a place that promotes ideas, policies, practices and/or programs that contradict our values?  What should we do? What can we do? What does it truly mean to live out the Strategic Imperative for Racial Justice?

The Governing Board has concluded that staying in Houston directly aligns the Association with the new Strategic Imperative for Racial Justice, which urges us to intentionally and directly engage with issues of race and racism at their intersections of identity, including nationality, gender identity, immigration status, socioeconomic status, disability, and geography.  

In the case of Houston, immigrants, documented and not, as well as trans people, have been singled out and denied legal protections. They now live with less assurance of safety than even a few months ago.

This is why I believe that there may not be a better place than Houston right now to do our work as social justice educators. Convention is a place and time that can engage the largest percentage of our members and allows us to directly support our Texas-based colleagues and member campuses.   

We’ve been on the ground in Houston as grassroots advocates and supporting our colleagues at the ACLU, Equality Texas, Trans Texas, and the Texas Business Alliance since the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) was defeated in 2015 (Mulvaney, 2016).  

Immediately after HERO failed, ACPA Executive Director Cindi Love and Deputy Executive Director Tricia Fechter Gates visited Houston in January 2016. Meetings included the Mayor of Houston, representatives from the Police Department, the ACLU, Trans Texas and Equality Texas and several human rights organizations in Houston. The overwhelming sentiment was that ACPA was welcome in Houston, and our advocacy and commitment to social justice was and continues to be needed now more than ever.

Our Convention in Houston will encourage us to think deeply, innovatively, and boldly about the ways that race and racism shape the experiences of those in our institutions and those who strive to obtain a higher education. We do not believe we should forego these opportunities and, therefore, we are remaining in Texas as social justice educators, as justice seekers, and in solidarity with our colleagues on campuses and those in the ACLU, Equality Texas, Trans Texas, and other human rights organizations.

I understand the perspective of members who believe we should withdraw from Houston and not invest any ACPA funds there. And I also hold the perspective of the significance of showing up, working alongside our trans colleagues and students, and advocating to foster change on the ground. For those who cannot attend for fear of safety or due to a desire to not spend money in Texas, we will provide virtual opportunities for engagement. We are raising funds for these purposes.   

In closing, I encourage you to visit the Frequently Asked Page on the #ACPA18 website to learn more about our rationale for remaining in Houston. I hope you will continue to share feedback and ideas with me. I appreciate your engagement in ACPA and am pleased to serve as your President.  


Mulvaney, E. (2016, January 28). City concerned for conference business in post-HERO Houston. Houston Chronicle. Retrieved from

ACPA Professional Preparation Commission Call for 2014 Awards

ACPA Professional Preparation Commission Call for 2014 Awards

The Commission for Professional Preparation is now accepting applications, including self-nominations, for the following awards:

Burns B. Crookston Doctoral Research Award
This award recognizes a doctoral student or students for original, journal-quality research that brings greater understanding to the learning or development of students or the organization and administration of student affairs practice. The award is $400.

Gerald Saddlemire Master’s Research Award
This award recognizes a Master’s student (or someone who graduated December 2012, Spring 2013, or Summer 2013) for original, journal-quality research that gives insight into the learning or development of students or the organization and administration of student affairs practice. The award is $400.

Roberta Christie Essay Award
This award is presented to a current graduate student for writing an essay that best captures the theme of the conference. This year’s conference theme is “REINVENT You. Us. Indy.” A more detailed description of the conference theme can be found on the annual convention Web site. The award is $200.

Nevitt Sanford Award
The purpose of this award is to provide financial assistance for research within student affairs. The award may either be used to help support dissertations, theses, or specific graduate student research projects. The amount of the award is $400.

Application Details
Full descriptions of the awards and application procedures are on the Commission’s web page. The deadline for sending entries is 11:59pm on Friday, November, 1, 2013. Late entries will not be considered. Email questions about preparing or submitting your entry to Kathy Goodman.

ACPA – College Student Educators International Launches Mid-Level Community of Practice

ACPA – College Student Educators International Launches Mid-Level Community of Practice

ACPA has always offered programs and services uniquely designed for mid-level professionals in student affairs. Those programs have included not only convention offerings but also the Donna Bourassa Mid-Level Management Institute, and the saGROW mentoring program to name just two. ACPA has now added even more for the mid-level professional in student affairs: the ACPA Mid-Level Community of Practice!

The ACPA Mid-Level Community of Practice – with an internal governance structure similar to existing ACPA commissions and standing committees – offers a vehicle through which mid-level members can identify and participate in programs and services with their unique needs in mind. The mission of the Mid-level Community of Practice (ML COP) is to encourage, develop, and deliver programs and services focused on the needs of mid-level professionals in student affairs. Our offerings will include but not be limited to convention programs, pre-conferences, roundtables and other programming as well as offerings throughout the year which may include leadership opportunities within ACPA, webinars, publications, drive in conferences, dial in discussions, mentoring opportunities, networking possibilities, and other forms of programming designed for our audience. In essence, we will foster a mid-level community of practice that will sustain and enrich professionals throughout the year.

Recognizing that many definitions or conceptualizations exist, we define mid-level as more than five years of fulltime experience in student affairs and not a senior student affairs officer – a broad categorization. For some professionals, mid-level is a position at which they wish to remain for their professional careers. The reasons for doing so are as unique as the individuals themselves and may encompass not only professional concerns but personal concerns as well. Likewise, some professionals see the mid-level as a stepping-stone to senior level opportunities. It is for this broad group of mid-level professionals that the Mid-Level Community of Practice will offer programs and services designed to enrich our professional practice.

How do I join ACPA’s Mid-Level Community of Practice?

Log onto and click on Member Profile at the top right. After entering your username and password, click on “Get More Involved” on your Member Profile page. From the list of groups within ACPA, click on Mid-Level Community of Practice. You will start to receive listserv messages whenever they are posted to members of the ML COP.

ML COP Leadership Opportunities

The ACPA Mid-Level Community of Practice is led by members of an interim directorate. When ACPA elections are held in November-December 2013, opportunities exist for you to seek office as a member of the directorate that will take office at ACPA Convention 2014. Our website will keep you informed on opportunities to seek office with the ACPA ML COP.

How can I stay informed and participate in ACPA’s ML COP?

Visit the Mid-Level Community of Practice homepage on the ACPA website to learn more.

Update of the ACPA Ethics Committee

Update of the ACPA Ethics Committee

Michael M. Kocet, Ph.D. LMHC, ACPA Ethics Committee
Associate Professor & Student Affairs Program Director, Department of Counselor Education
Bridgewater State University

Ethics and ethical decision-making permeate almost every facet of student affairs practice – from issues such as confidentiality, boundaries, dual relationships, cultural competency, adherence to legal statutes, and technology. These are just some of the types of complexities that professionals face each day. In addition to the ACPA/NASPA joint document on professional competencies for student affairs professionals, the ACPA Code of Ethics is a central document that guides student affairs practice. Ethics are the collective values of the student affairs profession (Pope, Reynolds, & Mueller, 2004) and the code of ethics is an embodiment of those values represented in each of the professional standards contained in the code of ethics. The ACPA Code of Ethics serves numerous purposes:

  1. to guide ethical decision-making;
  2. to help shape the work of practitioners in the field;
  3. to protect individual practitioners, institutions, those students and stakeholders served by student affairs professionals, and the profession as a whole;
  4. to help measure competent and effective practice;
  5. to affirm the public and its needs and concerns; and
  6. to be used as an educational/training tool (Fried, 2011; Pope, Reynolds, & Mueller, 2004).

As Dalton et al. (2009) state, ethics focuses on two paramount questions – What ought I do? and What is my responsibility? In order to keep up with current practices in the field, it is necessary for professional codes of ethics to be revised from time to time.

The ACPA Ethics Committee is pleased to announce that ACPA, in partnership with Student Affairs in Higher Education Consortium (SAHEC), is working on revising the current ACPA Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics Consortium Committee is charged with creating a unifying code of ethics for the student affairs profession. Codes of ethics are not static documents. Codes of ethics need to be revised every few years in order to keep up with best practices in the field, as well as in response to current research and scholarship in the profession. There have been new and emerging issues that currently face student affairs professionals since ACPA revised the current code of ethics in 2006. This revision task force will examine the current code, keeping the standards that are still relevant, while adding new standards on issues and challenges that practitioners face in the various functional areas within student affairs. The goal is to provide a revised code that can be utilized by a broad range of professionals. The Code of Ethics Consortium Committee will look at the current ACPA Code of Ethics, as well as codes of ethics from SAHEC associations, along with other disciplines such as counseling, psychology, social work, and business in order to examine best practices in ethical practice today. The consortium committee will examine current issues affecting the profession and create new ethical standards that guide competent practice, such as the ethics of social media, cultural competency, social justice, and dual relationships. ACPA believes it is important to create a code of ethics that includes the input and expertise of a variety of higher education associations. We believe in having diverse voices at the table and will be working to ensure that the new code of ethics that emerges from our work represents aspirational ethical practice that promotes the best of the student affairs field. In the coming months, ACPA members will be asked to provide input to draft versions of the revised code of ethics. Please stay tuned to future editions of Developments for more information.

Members of the Code of Ethics Consortium include:

Bill Crockett, NIRSA (National Intramural and Recreational Sports Administrators)
Executive Director, Campus Life Operations and Campus Center
University Maryland, Baltimore

Tom Ellett, ACUHO-I (Association of College and University Housing Officers International)
Senior Associate Vice President
Student Affairs
New York University

Michael Hayes, AFA (Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors)
Executive Director of Campus Life
Washington University in St. Louis

Cynthia Hernandez, NODA (National Orientation Directors Association)
Assistant Vice President, Division of Student Affairs
Texas A & M University

Ryan Holmes, ASCA (Association of Student Conduct Administration)
Associate Dean of Students
Assistant to Vice President for Student Affairs
University of Texas-El Paso

Michael M. Kocet, ACPA (College Student Educators International)
Associate Professor & Director, Student Affairs Program
Department of Counselor Education
Bridgewater State University

Regina Young Hyatt, NACA (National Association for Campus Activities)
Dean of Students and Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Loren Rullman, ACUI (Association of College Unions International)
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

The Code of Ethics Consortium Committee is being chaired by Michael M. Kocet, Ph.D., Bridgewater State University. Professional associations who wish to be represented on the committee, or ACPA members wishing to contribute to the code revision process, are invited to contact Dr. Michael Kocet.


Dalton, J.C., Crosby, P.C., Valente, A., & Eberhardt, D. (2009). Maintaining and modeling everyday ethics in student affairs. In G. McClellan & J. Stronger (Eds.) (2009). The handbook of student affairs administration (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Fried, J. (2011). Ethical standards and practice. In J. Shuh, S. Jones, & S. Harper (Eds.) (2011). Student services: A handbook for the profession (5th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Pope, R., Reynolds, A., & Mueller, J. (2004). Multicultural competence in student affairs. San Francisco: Jossey Bass.


The ideas expressed in this article are not necessarily those of the Developments editorial board or those of ACPA members or the ACPA Governing Board, Leadership, or International Office Staff.

Member Needs Guide Strategic Direction of Association

Member Needs Guide Strategic Direction of Association

Jan Davis Barham, Chair, 2012 ACPA Membership Survey Analysis Team
Associate Dean of Students & Director of Tate Student Center
University of Georgia

ACPA-College Student Educators International has always placed strong value on member needs and involvement. Indeed, member feedback was the basis for the Association’s new strategic plan. The following article represents a synopsis of what our members said during the recent member survey, and how the Association plans to use that feedback within the context of building a vibrant, member driven Association.

In spring 2012, the ACPA Membership Development Committee surveyed members to better understand (1) Future Membership Intent; (2) Benefits of Membership; (3) Member Satisfaction; (4) Perceptions of the Association; (5) Member Needs; and (6) Association Involvement. The web-based CampusLabs (formerly StudentVoice) survey was sent to the ACPA membership; of those, 32% responded. The majority of respondents self-identified as female, Caucasian, and from four-year institutions (public and private).

We learned some important things from our members. Below are key findings followed by an alignment between those findings and ACPA’s new strategic plan.

Key Findings

Future Membership Intent

Respondents overwhelmingly intend to renew their membership. Members were very pleased with the Association; 96% of participants were likely or very likely to renew their membership. Two of the biggest factors impacting membership renewal were home institution’s commitment to membership and engagement in a Standing Committee or Commission.

Benefits of Membership

Respondents indicated that there were multiple benefits to being a member of ACPA-College Student Educators International. Participants gave high praise to ACPA publications such as the Journal of College Student Development, Developments, and About Campus. The discount offered for the Annual Convention was also deemed as favorable. Areas of highest satisfaction included the services and activities ACPA provides, publications, research and scholarship, and the Annual Convention.

Perceptions of the Association

In general, survey participants had positive perceptions of the Association. Participants indicated that ACPA fulfills, supports, and lives its espoused values. The highly positive perceptions were consistently reflected among new professionals, mid-level professionals, Senior Student Affairs Officers, and faculty respondents. There were no striking differences among the various demographic groups. Further, both members who attended ACPA Convention in the past three years as well as those who did not attend convention were very positive in their perceptions of the Association. In particular, the largest percent of survey respondents believed that ACPA lives its value of promoting and upholding diversity, social justice, multicultural competence, and human dignity.

Member Needs

From a list of 15 priorities, participants identified areas of highest importance individually. Identified needs varied from professional development to career/job placement. Respondents indicated that some of their needs included increased exposure to scholarship and learning new concepts. It is important to note that the areas of greatest need were consistent among the demographic groups examined (entry-level professionals, mid-level professionals, Senior Student Affairs Officers, and faculty).

Association Involvement

ACPA has always encouraged and valued member involvement. Of the many opportunities for involvement, respondents indicated that Commission and Standing Committee leadership roles were of high value. Participants involved in the Association indicated the greatest level of overall satisfaction with the Association. Overall, respondents indicated their involvement either exceeded or fully exceeded their expectations.

Framing ACPA’s New Strategic Plan Around Member Needs

Member needs were used to finalize the Association’s new strategic plan and to establish goals within each of the strategic directions. The following section aligns the Association’s strategic commitment with data from the 2012 Membership Survey.

Strategic Direction: Career Development

ACPA will enhance opportunities for its members to be intentional in their career progression and make informed career transitions to best lead their constituents and the profession.

Context: ACPA believes that we have a responsibility to society to prepare leaders that enhance the quality of life in the communities in which they work. Our association values the diverse pathways and experiences that individuals follow to their desired leadership role. We support the continuous self-evaluation and personal improvement that fosters the skill development ACPA members need to be successful in their current and future roles. We are committed to promoting career advancement as something that is not limited to just looking for the next job, but also developing programs and services that support and mentor the leaders that follow us in our work.

Examples of Key Findings

  • Career/Placement Services was identified within the data as an area of growth. Suggestions for improvement were provided and ranked in order of importance. One such request was for ACPA to provide more functionally diverse support in placement services.
  • Mid-level and senior professionals expressed an interest in assistance in the area of career advancement

Professional Development

Offer exemplary, innovative, comprehensive professional development, based on the professional competencies as well as emerging issues and trends in higher education, to provide enhanced student service and foster student learning and development.

Context: ACPA is committed to the holistic growth of its members. Toward that end, we capitalize on the knowledge and skills of our members to create a variety of professional development opportunities maximizing diverse delivery methods helping our members develop professionally to better serve students and foster learning and development.

Examples of Key Findings

  • Members rated the importance of 15 priorities based on their professional needs in the next three years. Areas such as learning new practices, exposure to literature, research/scholarship, and contemporary thought in student affairs are examples of higher ranked priorities. Additionally, areas such as assessment, leadership and student learning were highlighted as areas for potential professional development.
  • Networking was an area specifically mentioned as a benefit of the association. The desire to develop professionally came in various forms but the concept was discussed primarily in regard to staying current on trends, practices, and research.

Leadership in Higher Education

ACPA will lead discourse and action in higher education related to the learning and development of college students, our members, and their institutions.

Context: As a comprehensive professional association advancing student learning and development, ACPA is positioned to offer powerful and influential leadership to those whose goals involve promoting student success, both within and beyond student affairs, and higher education. We have a broad membership base, which includes recognized thought leaders, renowned researchers and scholars, and nationally-recognized (and increasingly internationally-recognized) administrative leaders. Additionally, the foundation of this leadership—research and scholarship—is a well-established strength of our organization.

Examples of Key Findings

  • Survey participants indicated a need for the Association to engage in dialogue regarding advocacy, legal issues and internationalization in higher education. This was emphasized at various points throughout the data.
  • The research and scholarship produced by ACPA are viewed as strengths for the Association. The publications produced are viewed as an excellent source of information and an excellent tool for practitioners.

Social Justice

ACPA will lead in advancing social justice, equity, and inclusion across higher education.

Context: Issues of equity and inclusion in our field continue to be a dominant part of the discourse, both within and outside the United States. ACPA has a strong history of advancing social justice in student affairs and higher education. We will build on our foundation as the leading voice in promoting knowledge and practice around issues of individual and group identities and promoting social justice on college and university campuses, recognizing that national, regional, and cultural contexts inform the understandings of this issue. ACPA will help professionals and campuses expand on practices that promote inclusion and ease of opportunity for access to higher education.

Examples of Key Findings

  • Members believe that ACPA lives its value of diversity, social justice, multicultural competence, and human dignity – over 98% of respondents said ACPA “significantly” or “moderately” supported this area.
  • Participants indicated that being a member of ACPA allows access to a vast network of student affairs and higher education professional(s) and scholars. One respondent said “being a member affords individuals the opportunity to connect with others around the world who share either passion for student development, social justice, and developing campus communities that seek to provide an engaged student experience.”
  • Respondents were asked 15 questions related to ACPA’s role in advocacy. Respondents gave especially high marks to the extent to which ACPA fulfills/supports/lives the Association values identified by diversity, social justice, multicultural competence, and human dignity. High ratings were given by all demographic groups.

Research & Scholarship

ACPA will lead in the generation and timely provision of cutting edge research and practice-related professional development resources.

Context: Building on a foundation of research excellence in student learning and development, ACPA is uniquely positioned to lead the field in the scholarship of theory and practice. We seek further to increase the quality and reputation of flagship publications (Journal of College Student Developments, About Campus) while supporting a broad-based array of traditional and innovative formats to make scholarship and practitioner-scholarship accessible to the profession. ACPA will lead the field in emerging forms of scholarship and dissemination using synchronous and asynchronous modes, digital and social media for training and education.

Examples of Key Findings

  • Participants appear to be highly invested in learning and continued growth. Respondents were particularly interested in professional growth in scholarship, learning, and application of learning.
  • Research and scholarship were rated highly among respondents in both importance for the next three years as well as current satisfaction with services and activities.

Association Performance & Excellence

Invest in the Association’s resources, business processes, and workforce to ensure growth and performance improvement.

Context: Organizational excellence is based on key business and people development processes and regular performance measurement. To deliver the best possible results and value to ACPA members and stakeholders, and at the same time ensure organizational strength and sustainability, we will continuously focus on the improvement of overall organizational effectiveness and capabilities.

Examples of Key Findings

  • Participants provided feedback regarding the Association’s leadership and staff attention to customer service and representing member interests and needs. Areas for suggested enhancement included communication and customer service.
  • Participants also indicated a wish for more financially feasible professional development opportunities to include the Annual Convention.


This article is intended to provide a brief overview of findings from the recent 2012 Membership Survey and how data were utilized to direct the organization’s new strategic plan. ACPA is an organization that values member feedback. Findings presented in this article, as well as the full data report, have been instrumental in operationalizing the new strategic plan and serve as a pathway to continued membership involvement yielding an association grounded in the values and belief of its constituents.

Please e-mail inquiries to Jan Davis Barham.

ACPA Annual Convention 2013

ACPA Annual Convention 2013

March 4-7, 2013; Las Vegas, Nevada

Convention Theme: ACPA 2013: Inspiring Communities of Wellbeing

ACPA is partnering with NIRSA: Leaders in Campus Recreation to collocate our associations’ annual conventions in Las Vegas. The convention theme Inspiring Communities of Wellbeing invites us to embrace grander possibilities individually and within community. In this spirit of partnership, community, and wellbeing, the 2013 ACPA Convention poses two important questions: How do we connect to the communities we touch in our work? How do we contribute to the wellbeing of these communities?

Four critical issues along with the ACPA/NASPA Professional Competencies undergird these questions and serve as the foundation for our educational curriculum. The four critical issues are advancing student learning and wellness, cultivating critical discourse, integrating intersectional approaches to identity, and transforming higher education.

The ACPA 2013 convention represents an unprecedented partnership with NIRSA. Collocation is distinct from a joint convention. While there will be several combined events during the convention (including the opening session/reception) as well as sharing of space (the exposition/exhibits area, and career services including the New C3), ACPA and NIRSA will each be holding their own conventions but with a strong collaborative spirit. Convention registrants for each association will have access to the educational sessions of both associations.

Join us in Las Vegas as scholars, practitioners, corporate partners, and students come together to inspire communities of wellbeing that advance our collective work. Educational program decisions will be made and communicated to presenters by the third week in October. Online submissions for ancillary programs are due November 5, 2012. Early registration ends January 31, 2013. Learn more online.

Professional Development and Course Materials from the National Study on Women in Higher Education and Student Affairs

Professional Development and Course Materials from the National Study on Women in Higher Education and Student Affairs

John A. Mueller
Chair, Commission for Professional Preparation

ACPA’s Commission for Professional Preparation (CPP) is pleased to announce the availability of three sets of slideshows and annotated bibliographies (free and downloadable) for courses and/or professional development opportunities. These materials were developed through a CPP grant awarded to Dr. Penny Pasque and Brenton Wimmer, the National Study on Women in Higher Education and Student Affairs at the University of Oklahoma.

You may find these resources useful for courses on gender in higher education and student affairs, diversity in higher education, intergroup dialogue courses that focus on gender, and for qualitative research courses. In addition, the slideshows might be beneficial for a class session or workshop on women leadership, mentoring between women, intersectionality, or qualitative research methodologies.

The materials are available on the Resources page of the ACPA CPP Web site.

As assessment professionals and scholars, we hope these essays will provide readers with new ideas and starting points for conversations about assessment needs. We believe these promising practices are components of comprehensive, participatory assessment plans. Backed by professional literature, we are confident that building a culture of assessment in student affairs requires individuals to envision a system that transcends unit-specific boundaries.

The Commission for Professional Preparation thanks Penny and Brenton for these valuable resources!

Please e-mail inquiries to John A. Mueller.

Commissions Corner

Commissions Corner

Laura A. Bayless
Coordinator for Commissions
Heather Shea Gasser
Past Coordinator for Commissions

This issue of Developments highlights the work of two Commissions:

  • Spirituality, Faith, Religion and Meaning
  • Graduate and Professional Student Affairs

Please take a moment to read these brief articles. We expect you will find resources to assist in your work on your campus. Commissions and Task Forces produce a number of important professional development opportunities ranging from webinars to publications to in-person training opportunities. It is never too late to become involved yourself; contact any Commission Chair for information about how to make a difference in ACPA and in the field through work in Commissions.

Commission for Spirituality, Faith, Religion, and Meaning

Sharon A. Lobdell, Chair

The ACPA Commission for Spirituality, Faith, Religion, and Meaning (CSFRM) provides ACPA members an arena within which to conduct research and assessment, strengthen their professional competencies, and enrich their self-knowledge and professional knowledge about issues related to meaning-making, specifically spirituality, faith, religion, belief, and existentialism within the context of higher education. In addition, acting within the ACPA governance structure [e.g., governing board, assembly, etc.] and with the ACPA International Office, CSFRM will assist in positioning ACPA to be an informed voice on existential pursuits of meaning-making, including spirituality, faith, religion, and belief as they relate to student development, the administration of student affairs, and the organization of governance structures within a college, community college, or university setting. These efforts will include examining various modes of pursuing meaning-making in the contextual experience of both the United States and the global higher education community (CSFRM, 2010).

The previous paragraph is the mission adopted by the commission in October 2009. The commission provides many opportunities and resources consistent with this mission. Recently, the CSFRM sponsored two webinars, “If Not Now, When? Student Affairs Educators’ Role in Promoting Religious/Secular Pluralism” and “Atheist College Students: Faith, Spirituality, and Meaning Making.” Both webinars were collaborative efforts led by CSFRM Directorate members and other participants dedicated to presenting learning tools for our colleagues. We were also quite fortunate to have a four-part series, “Working on Our Inner Lives: Meaning-Making in Colleges and Universities,” featured in Developments in the past year. (Read the second installment of the series in the summer 2011 issue here).

The CSFRM is currently revamping its organizational structure. The new structure will have the following six subcommittees, each co-chaired by Directorate members: Professional Development and High Impact Practices, Publications and Research Development, Convention Services, Sponsored Programs, Partnership Development, and Outreach and Member Services. Any current member of the CSFRM can work on one of these teams. If you have not joined the commission, perhaps now is the time!

Additional information about the CSFRM is available on the commission Web site. Please direct questions to Commission Chair Sharon Lobdell or Chair-Elect Jenny Small.

Commission for Graduate and Professional Student Affairs

Mary T. Hall, Chair

There are more than two million students enrolled in graduate and professional schools in the United States (American Bar Association, 2011; Association of American Medical Colleges, 2011; Council of Graduate Schools, 2011). These masters, doctoral, and professional (e.g., MD, MBA, JD) degree students face unique academic, developmental, and environmental challenges.

The Commission for Graduate and Professional Student Affairs (CGPSA) is a community of student affairs professionals who work with graduate and professional students (e.g., MA, MS, MEd, MBA, MD, JD, PhD, DVM) across student affairs functional areas (e.g., admissions, enrollment, orientation, academic advising, counseling and psychological services, career services, residence life) in every institution type that offers graduate and/or professional degrees. The Commission members work to expand the scholarly and applied knowledge base by generating and sharing research, services, and programs that foster and enhance the graduate and professional student learning experience.

The CGPSA serves as a vital intellectual and social home for many student affairs professionals—many who serve the graduate student population in an office of one. Specifically, our commission provides support and networking opportunities for professionals who share similar concerns affecting the broader graduate and professional student population (e.g., attrition) or a specific subset (e.g., law school outcomes assessments). Further, our commission advocates for increased awareness of graduate and professional student services throughout ACPA and other higher education communities.

We invite you to join us in the following networking and other opportunities:

  • Volunteers wanted! A CGPSA committee is developing an annotated bibliography of research and periodical articles on the graduate and professional student experience.
  • Two free conference calls in summer 2012 regarding sponsored programs for the 2013 annual convention will address the items: What is a sponsored program? How to submit a proposal. What are topics of interest?
  • A webinar in summer 2012 will be presented regarding alcohol and the graduate/professional student culture.
  • Regional drive-in conference will be held on October 19, 2012 at Harvard University (Co-sponsored with our colleagues in the NASPA Administrators in Graduate and Professional Student Services Knowledge Community, Region I). Contact Jason McKnight (CGPSA Past-Chair) for more details.
  • Join the conversation with your CGPSA colleagues on LinkedIn.

Additional information about CGPSA is available on the Commission Web site. Please direct questions to the Commission Chair, Mary Hall.


Please contact Mary T. Hall for article references.

Commissions Corner

Commissions Corner

Laura A. Bayless
Coordinator-Elect for Commissions
Saint Mary’s College of Maryland
Heather Shea Gasser
Coordinator for Commissions
University of Idaho

This issue of Developments highlights the work of four Commissions and one Task Force:

  • Academic Support in Higher Education
  • Commuter Students and Adult Learners
  • Recreation and Athletics
  • Student Involvement
  • The new Task Force for Campus Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Take a moment to read these brief articles. We expect you will find resources to assist in your work on your campus. Commissions and Task Forces produce a number of important professional development opportunities, ranging from webinars to publications to in-person training opportunities. It is never too late to become involved yourself: contact any Commission Chair for information about how to make a difference in ACPA and in the field through work in Commissions.

Commission for Academic Support in Higher Education

Adrianna Guram, Chair

The Commission for Academic Support in Higher Education (CASHE) provides support and professional development opportunities for individuals in higher education institutions who work within the areas of academic support. These areas include (but are not limited to) academic advising, developmental education, and college learning centers. Our mission is to inform professionals in academic support services of issues and trends impacting student academic success. Professionals who affiliate with CASHE regularly engage students by providing direct services to assist students in achieving academic success.  Based upon the CASHE mission statement, the commission members keep a pulse on topics of concern specific to their professional niche. Discussions within this context pertain to serving special student populations, including academically at-risk students, international students, and first-generation college students and sharing specific techniques or best practices related to providing academic support.

To enhance the role that academic support professionals play in the daily lives of our students, CASHE is committed to highlighting best practices across the spectrum of academic support units.  We supported programs at the 2012 ACPA Convention, prepared a “virtual” book club with our membership in 2012, and looking ahead at the possible creation of an Institute for Academic Support.

We encourage individuals to join our group on Facebook to connect with current issues and topics, connect via LinkedIn, and to read our quarterly newsletter for updates on the Commission and scholarly writing by our members.  We invite you to become active in the Commission through one of our various opportunities for involvement.  Please direct questions to the Commission Chair, Adrianna Guram.

The Commission for Commuter Students and Adult Learners

Margaret Langford

The origins of the Commission for Commuter Students and Adult Learners trace back to the growing interest in commuter students and their special needs that emerged during the early 1970s.  ACPA’s Commission II (Admissions and Orientation) agreed to host the Commuter Task Force in 1975. The Association officially created Commission XVII (Commuter Programs) at the1978 ACPA National Convention. At the 1988 ACPA National Convention, the Commission added Adult Learners to their title, and action that clearly indicated that adult learners, a significant constituency within the overall commuter student population, are an integral and vital part of the Commission’s overall advocacy, networking, and education efforts. During the summer of 2002, the current name, Commission for Commuter Students and Adult Learners, was formally adopted.

The Commission for Commuter Students and Adult Learners (CCSAL) provides a network of contacts and support for professionals serving commuter students and adult learners. Opportunities for learning about effective programs and services, encouraging original research, sharing data, and discussing the needs/concerns of these populations are a large part of the Commission experience. The mission of CCSAL includes

  • Providing a network of contacts and support for those serving commuter student and adult learners;
  • Providing a forum for discussing and advocating on behalf commuter and adult student needs and concerns; and
  • Promoting the generation and sharing of data, research, services, and programs, which effectively enhance commuter and adult students’ development.

Here’s what we are working on now:

  • Sponsored Programs: If you were at the 2012 ACPA Convention, the CCSAL Sponsored Programs had some great information on how to serve commuter students and adult learners, including our annual offering “More Than A Place to Park.”
  • Commission Awards: Congratulations to our Award winners! A list of award winners is available on the CCSAL Web site.
  • Convention Showcase: The CCSAL table at the Convention Showcase had information on what we’re doing and how you can get involved.
  • E-Newsletter: Want to get published? Consider writing an article about serving commuter students and/or adult learners for our e-newsletter.
  • Directorate Nominations and Elections: CCSAL welcomed new directorate members this spring. Check out our website to meet them.

Want to get involved? CCSAL is always happy to welcome new members! You can find more information on the CCSAL Web site. You can also contact the CCSAL Chair, Gerry Elizondo.

Commission for Recreation and Athletics 

Mike Fulford, Chair

The Commission for Recreation and Athletics (CRA) is a fairly new commission (established in 2009), but, in a short time, this commission has been very engaged in the profession and serving its members and ACPA. CRA’s mission is to provide ACPA members with opportunities for professional development regarding issues of importance in campus recreational sports and inter-collegiate (varsity) athletics. In addition, acting within the ACPA governance structure and with the ACPA International Office, CRA assists in positioning ACPA to be an informed voice on campus recreation and athletics issues, as those issues intersect with student affairs and with the strategic objectives of ACPA as an association.

Since its inception, the commission has aligned its focus with the association and the unique lens in which it operates within the areas of campus recreation and athletics.  These areas of focus involve three goals:

  • Offer professional development opportunities that explore the impact of participation in recreational sports and athletics on students.
  • Create and disseminate knowledge, contribute to existing ACPA publications/materials, and develop additional professional development publications/materials and opportunities that expand the knowledge on campus recreation and intercollegiate athletics in support of informed and effective practice.
  • Develop professional competencies that articulate the knowledge and skills needed by student affairs professionals who serve in or address issues in campus recreation and/or athletics.

CRA’s membership has been busy over the past two years.  CRA members have spent significant amount of time working to develop a thought paper and support the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) to challenge the development of policies in the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) that will have a negative impact on the ability of institutions to earn revenue through hosting basketball camps. The issue is on-going and CRA is a vocal participant in these discussions as a representative of ACPA.  The leadership of Scott Hirko, past Chair of the CRA, has allowed the CRA to have a presence in these conversations and while the CRA’s thought paper was being developed.

In addition to developing the infrastructure of the commission, another project includes working closely with ACPA and NIRSA to make the upcoming co-located 2013 convention in Las Vegas a huge success. This has been a great opportunity for two associations to prove that collaboration is possible at the highest level and to bring professionals in campus recreation closer to their colleagues in other student affairs functional areas.

As CRA grows, we would like to encourage interested professionals to become involved in our Commission. Members may run for positions on the Directorate, help with the new awards process, assist in the development of the inaugural ACPA Institute in collaboration with NIRSA that is slated for Fall 2012, and submit sponsored programs for the annual convention.  As a newly established commission, this is a great time for ACPA members to get involved and obtain experience in a leadership role with CRA.

If you are interested in the Commission for Recreation and Athletics, additional information about the commission is available on the Commission Web site.  Please direct questions to the Commission Chair, Mike Fulford.

Commission for Student Involvement 

Marlena Martinez Love, Chair

One of ACPA’s oldest entity groups, the Commission for Student Involvement (CSI), exists to support and advance the work of student affairs educators who promote student engagement, foster change, and encourage students’ development through activities in four focus areas: community service/service learning, leadership education, clubs and organizations, and fraternity and sorority affairs. While CSI is known to many as the “fun commission,” we also mean business!

The Commission continues to enhance the ACPA member experience by offering top-notch educational programs, exploring ways to integrate CSI values and ACPA action (like the 2011 Dress for Success Drive), and advocating co-curricular learning that is equally important to what students learn inside the classroom. CSI has an active listserv, an invaluable benefit that engages members in resource sharing and brainstorming on a variety of topic areas. Through our awards and recognition programs, CSI is able to support new research about our four focus areas and acknowledge campus best practices that shape the field.

CSI commits to providing a year-round professional development experience and engaging members through volunteer, educational, and networking opportunities. Volunteer opportunities exist for professionals at every level and range from participating in dial-a-dialogues, to working on CSI’s focus areas from serving in an elected CSI leadership role, to publishing in a variety of commission venues. While Convention programming is a major component of our activities, CSI also actively engages members outside of the Convention period to enhance the overall experience and improve services to ACPA and to our field.

The Commission has undertaken a number of major initiatives this year, including streamlining our online elections process, revamping the leadership structure for Directorate and Leadership Team operations, enhancing our social media presence, creating a mid-year meeting, developing real and virtual resources to best meet the needs of our members, and drastically rethinking the way we approach the work of the Commission. After 50 years of growing and learning as an ACPA entity, CSI is entering an exciting new phase of existence. Made possible through the vision and dedication of incredible volunteers, CSI members have created a Task Force to rethink, retool, and reimagine our purpose and to chart the course for a reinvigorated path forward. To learn more about the evolution of CSI and how you can help shape our shared future, please visit the Commission Web site  or contact CSI Chair, MarlenaMartinez Love.

Many seasoned ACPA members get their start in CSI and many new members join our efforts every year. For many, CSI is their home within ACPA. Whether you are a first-year graduate student, a mid-level manager, or seasoned faculty member, we welcome you to join in the conversation and be a part of CSI’s evolution. If you are interested in the Commission for Student Involvement, additional information about the commission is available on the Commission Web site.  CSI also is active on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Please direct questions to the Commission Chair, Marlena Martinez Love.

Campus Safety and Emergency Preparedness Task Force

Kathy Adams Riester, Interim Chair

College and university professionals are often challenged to develop new areas of expertise as issues arise across the country and on our own campuses.  Many of us have had to work quickly to develop behavior assessment/management teams, critical incident response teams, continuity of business plans, and pandemic plans to address issues of safety and violence on campus. ACPA has created a new Task Force on Campus Safety and Emergency Preparedness to help assist you with these new demands.  The purpose of this Task Force is to provide ACPA Members with knowledge and skill development in the areas of Campus Safety and Emergency Preparedness on college and university campuses. Additionally, the Task Force will be an informed voice on issues, concerns, and best practices in these areas for the field of Higher Education.

The Task Force on Campus Safety and Emergency Preparedness kicked off its inaugural year at the ACPA Annual Convention in Louisville.  There will be two sponsored programs: one that focuses on combining student and staff behavior assessment and management teams and the other on emergency response to natural disasters on campus.

Additionally, the Task Force was at the Convention Showcase on March 26 and held an Informational Meeting on March 27.  Future plans include the creation of a clearinghouse of Campus Safety and Emergency Preparedness resources.  The Task Force will also develop trainings to allow professionals at various levels to add skills, knowledge, and resources that are appropriate for their level of responsibility. If you have any questions and/or are interested in getting involved, please contact the Interim Chair of the Task Force, Kathy Adams Riester.