ACPA Annual Convention 2014:Local Arrangements and Career Central Update

ACPA Annual Convention 2014:Local Arrangements and Career Central Update


Local Arrangements – Lots to Walk to Near Convention Center and Hotels

We are excited to welcome you to Indianapolis in 2014! Many opportunities exist to reinvent yourself this year. The downtown area offers a number of restaurants, museums, outdoor venues for running/walking, and shopping. As we approach convention, check back to Developments for information on how you can navigate the city. In this issue we will provide information about a few attractions that you will find within walking distance of the hotel.

As we help you get to know Indianapolis, the first thing you will need to know is that the locals refer to the city as Indy! The convention site will be downtown and ACPA members will be staying in hotels that are directly connected to the Indy Convention Center via skywalks. Indy is designed to be navigated as a pedestrian, and as a result you will find a number of attractions within walking distance of the hotels.

A must see while in Indy is The Canal Walk. The canal offers a 3 mile loop where you will find locals and tourists running, walking and enjoying the sights. This will be the perfect option for that morning run or a quiet walk away from the convention center.

Along the canal you will find the NCAA Hall of Champions. This interactive museum provides a historical and current perspective on the over 400,000 student athletes who are part of the NCAA in our higher education institutions.

The Eiteljorg Museum provides another unique opportunity to explore Native American and Western Art collections. It is only one of two such museums that are east of the Mississippi.

Reinventing yourself during the 2014 convention will happen through both amazing educational sessions offered during convention and the phenomenal attractions that will be within walking distance of the hotels.

Career Central at Convention – A High-touch, Participant-focused Endeavor

For decades, an overwhelming majority of current and former student affairs professionals have secured successful employment through ACPA’s career and placement services. Throughout this time, while attending ACPA’s Annual Convention, employers have recruited highly-qualified candidates to interview and hire, and candidates have found jobs through this supportive environment.

We hope that you will join us in Indianapolis and find your new home or colleagues!Career Central’s Convention program will begin with orientations on Friday, March 28 with full services available from Saturday, March 29 through Tuesday, April 1. Here ACPA members, candidates, and employers have a convenient on-site forum through which to arrange interviews, explore career advancement opportunities, and participate in mock interviews along with other career development sessions.

Yet, ACPA members ought to stay tuned! Career Central will be unveiling some exciting new services and on-site additions over the coming months thanks to participant feedback – and in keeping with the convention theme of REINVENT You. Us. Indy. The Career Central Leadership Team remains committed to delivering career development support services with continued high-touch customer service.

20th Anniversary National Leadership Symposium Transforming Leadership Education for Significant Learning University of Richmond July 8th – 11th 2010

THURSDAY, APRIL 15, 2010 – 19:39

About the Symposium

The National Leadership Symposium is a professional development experience designed for faculty members, student affairs professionals and other educators involved with promoting college student leadership education. The program is coordinated by the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) and the National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs (NCLP).

Given the intense learning environment of the Symposium (included required reading prior to attending), it is advised that participants have significant professional experience in leadership education. Registration is limited to 50 people.

20th Anniversary Theme

For the 20th anniversary year of the National Leadership Symposium, the focus will be on the intersections of student learning and leadership. Transformative documents such as Powerful Partnerships and Learning Reconsidered challenge student affairs professionals to consider themselves as educators who facilitate student learning and development. Yet many practitioners continue to view themselves primarily as programmers, as providers of services and activities. This outlook can be especially detrimental to those working in the area of leadership development, which is increasingly calling for educators skilled in the creation of engaged pedagogy, integrative learning experiences, and intentional learning communities.

The Symposium puts forth the following suppositions: that leadership can and should be learned; that the learning and development leadership capacities are inextricably intertwined; and that leadership educators can purposefully foster learning environments that help students integrate knowledge, skills, and experiences in meaningful ways. The 2010 Symposium will offer an overview of some of the ways learning theories can be applied to student leadership development. It will examine socialization to the role of leadership educator and the role of authenticity in education and the development of intentional learning communities. Select learning theories and their implications for leadership learning will be presented. Strategies for constructing leadership-related learning outcomes and assessing leadership learning will also be discussed.

Participants in the 2010 National Leadership Symposium will:

  • Learn how to recognize the qualities and attributes of today’s student learners.
  • Create environments that promote meaningful and measurable learning.
  • Foster a learning environment that will promote transformative learning in the context of leadership.
  • Develop a network of practitioners, educators, and scholars that can be used to augment their current understanding of leadership.


  • Dr. Dennis (Denny) Roberts – Assistant Vice President for Faculty and Student Services of Qatar Foundation
  • Dr. Stephen Quaye – Assistant Professor, College Student Personnel, University of Maryland
  • Dr. Jillian Kinzie – Associate Director, Center for Postsecondary Research & NSSE Institute,  Indiana University System

Program Chairs:

  • Dr. Julie Owen -Assistant Professor, New Century College, George Mason University
  • Dr. Lucy Croft – Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, University of North Florida


  • Early Registration Begins March 2010

– See more at:

ACPA Thoughts – The Convention

Darren Pierre
University of Maryland

I remember vividly my first experience at ACPA’s annual convention last spring in Nashville. In a way, I see my, now two, convention experiences as markers on my time in graduate school. My first annual meeting came with the excitement of both attending my first national convention and coordinating a large scale trip with members of my Master’s cohort. This was a feat to say the least! This past year’s convention came with the similar excitement of the first, but this time it was nervous excitement with ideas fluttering in my mind that my future employer may be among the participants.

I arrived at Placement on Friday afternoon after touring parts of Indianapolis such as Founder’s Row which houses several national and international fraternity and sorority headquarters. The Placement volunteers were very friendly, which was no different than many of the other Association members I had had a chance to meet. Like many of my colleagues, I did the internal debate “should I or should I not go through Placement orientation?” I made the wise decision to take a tour of placement and found the chance to interact with other excited (and nervous) candidates rewarding. Each of us practiced our career counseling skills on one another which proved very beneficial in the interview process.

I enjoyed speaking with potential employers who hailed from New York to Washington. Hearing employers speak from a diverse set of institutions but sharing similar stories of the rewarding experience they have had with students was phenomenal. The days were long in the Placement, but it gave me a better understanding of what previous candidates referred to as the adventures in Placement.

When I first began setting up interviews for the conference, I made the deliberate decision to limit my interviews so I could enjoy the conference experience. I attended a great session on social justice in higher education. With the help of two colleagues in the field I was able to present a session at ACPA on navigating your way in the field of higher education. The room I presented in was full of new professionals like me sharing similar experiences about their first formative years in higher education.

When I attend ACPA, I don’t just enjoy it for the informative sessions and educational speakers, but also the chance to reconnect with others in the field. I have heard others speak about that the annual Convention as a place where long lasting friendships are built. I agree. I suppose one of the underlying benefits that should be part of ACPA’s mission is my belief that in the work the Association does, the organization actually creates a group of friends centered around the professional ideals of bettering the collegiate experience. Whether it was conversing with friends or strangers about job interviews, or having follow-up conversation over coffee about an intriguing speaker, the annual Convention has proven for two years now to be a rewarding experience. I look forward to sharing again at the 2007 Convention. See you in Orlando!

CAS Symposium

CAS National Symposium

Offered by the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education

CAS Standards, Self-Assessment, and 
Student Learning Outcomes in Higher Education

November 12-14, 2006 
Hilton Crystal City Hotel, Washington, DC

Keynote Speakers:

Richard P. Keeling, M.D. 
Chief Executive Officer & Executive Consultant
Keeling & Associates, Inc. (K&A)

Susan Komives, Ed.D.
Associate Professor of Counseling & Personnel Services 
University of Maryland, College Park


  • “CAS Basics” – introduction to CAS materials & approach
  • Learning sessions
    1. Connecting Functional Areas to Student Learning Outcomes
    2. Frameworks for Assessing Learning Development Outcomes:
      Setting the Foundation for Imagining the Future
    3. Preparing for Institutional Accreditation
    4. Creating a Culture for Assessment
  • Round table discussions institution type
  • Round table discussions by functional area

Early Registration cost:  $195 – Limited to the first 300 registered participants
Room cost:  $169/night, single or double

For more information contact:  Phyllis Mable, CAS Executive Director, (202) 862-1400 or visit <>

Ten Ways to Enhance your 2006 ACPA Annual Convention Experience!

Kirsten Freeman Fox
University of Maryland

Spring’s arrival means many of us will soon pack our bags for ACPA’s Annual Convention. A large convention such as ACPA can sometimes seem overwhelming. This compilation of helpful hints and strategies may assist you in your planning to make the most of your Convention experience.

  1. Before you Leave, Be PreparedMake sure to tie up loose ends at work before you leave! While internet access is available it can be crowded; plus, with so much activity going on at the Convention, who has time for work! Take time to talk with your employer about mutual expectations. What do they want you to take from the convention? On what are specific topics or issues should you be seeking to attend sessions? As you pack your suitcase, don’t forget business cards, a notepad, your Convention booklet, travel materials, and your hotel and conference confirmations.
  2. Plan AheadWith the convention schedule on-line, it is so easy to plan ahead! Just go to and click on ‘Annual Conventions.’ What sessions look good to you? What topic areas can you apply to your current position? Which receptions might you check out? Highlight program sessions of interest including the room location and time of each session. You don’t want to be flipping through the program right before a session.
  3. Early Birds Catch the WormThink about registering for a Pre-Convention Workshop. Obtain valuable information and explore new ideas during an in-depth workshop. The half-day and full-day programs take place on Saturday and Sunday before the opening gala. There are over 20 different workshops to choose from. Prices and program abstracts can be found at
  4. Get Involved in Something NewThe convention offers something for Student Affairs professionals at every level! Are you a graduate student or new professional? If so, think about putting your knowledge of theory and practice to use by participating in the Graduate and New Professional Case Study. For more seasoned professionals, consider the Senior Practitioner Program (SPP). Think about volunteering at placement or attending a standing committee meeting. If you like to sing and perform for others, then contemplate being part of the ACPA AIDS Memorial Choir.
  5. Key to the Field…and it Just so Happens They are Convention Speakers!The Annual Convention offers a variety of major speakers. Take advantage of them all, including Dr. Merrow of PBS and narrator of “Declining by Degrees,” to round out your convention experience.
  6. Make New Friends, but Keep the Old.It is definitely appropriate to network during the convention. Meet business contacts and new colleagues at program sessions and receptions; together you can share strategies and techniques and learn new skills. In your pursuit of new knowledge, take time to extend conversations beyond convention sessions. However, don’t forget your roots — show pride in former institutions and take time to catch up with old friends you do not see as often. Take advantage of breakfast and lunch time to connect with former classmates or staff. You will see current colleagues and classmates almost daily when you return home, so take advantage of conversations with former colleagues and future connections.
  7. Think of Each Day as a Separate “Day Trip.”No one ever claimed that they caught up on sleep at ACPA! Days are packed full and often extend well into the late evening. Make sure to eat breakfast before your first session. Early morning workouts and fun runs/walks with the ACPA Wellness Commission is a great way to greet the day! As you prepare to leave your room for a good portion of the day, fill your briefcase, satchel, backpack, or shoulder bag with business cards, your previously highlighted/earmarked program, pen and paper, mints, money for meals, note cards to write inspiring notes to colleagues going through placement, a snack and a bottle of water. Wear comfortable shoes especially if you are walking back and forth in placement.
  8. Make the Most of Each SessionKnow which sessions you plan to attend ahead of time. Map out sessions of personal and professional interest. What are the goals and objectives you hope to take away from the session? Make sure you are aware of your own goals, as well as your institutions/organizations goals before the session. Come ready to explore possibilities and new ideas while focusing on how to apply those strategies in your own practice. Enter each session prepared to share your own experiences, but also to listen to others’. Even experienced professionals can learn new ideas. And yes, ask questions! Finally, stay until the end of the session and complete an evaluation.
  9. Meet the Cruise DirectorWhile thought-provoking and educational, the Convention is also always enjoyable. Take time to explore Indianapolis. Check out all of the resources and products in the Exhibit Hall and walk away with some cool give-aways! Learn more about other opportunities ACPA has to offer at the Convention Carnival and take time to experience art, music, and dance of the Cultural Fest. Plus, all those fun receptions! So much to do, so little time!
  10. It’s not Over when It’s Over.The closing speaker has spoken, you have checked out of your room, and the Convention is over. Upon your return to campus, think about what you will do next. How you will implement what you learned? Ask follow up questions to session presenters through email. Show appreciation and take time to thank presenters and new business contacts. Relay information and new knowledge to your staff at you institution/organization. Decide which new possibilities are worth exploring. Within your own professional development, might it be time to get more involved within the Association? Consider getting involved with a standing committee or volunteering as a member of the planning committee for next year’s Annual Convention. After all, it is never too early to start preparing for 2007 in Orlando!

This is a reprint of an article in the winter 2005 edition of Developments. Dates and other minor changes were made to reflect 2006 Convention.

The Donna M. Bourassa Mid-Level Management Institute Experience

Mid-Managers. Are you one? Do you aspire to be one? If you answered “yes,” then ACPA’s Mid-Level Management Institute is just what you need!

This past January I had the opportunity to attend the Mid-Level Management Institute. I greatly anticipated what I would learn and whom I would meet, but I could not have predicted what I would take with me when I completed the experience. ACPA’s Mid-Level Management Institute is an excellent opportunity provided to help those mid-level professionals who want to strengthen their administrative skills and understand the ever-changing dynamics of our campuses and the profession. The Institute was renamed this year in honor of former ACPA Associate Executive Director Dr. Donna Bourassa, who established the Institute in 1999 as a way to ‘promote a more advanced understanding of the principles of student affairs and provide effective management tools to excel.’ This was the first institute that Donna did not physically attend as she had passed away the previous September. However, after hearing shared experiences by the long-time faculty in residence at the Institute, Donna was certainly there in spirit.

The Institute is grounded on several key areas: Building Foundations, Setting the Stage, Personnel and Professional Issues, Strategies for Enacting Change, and Continued Professional Development. In addition to classroom time, social time provided opportunities to interact with many of the approximately 35 nationwide participants. (Even Alaska!) What I enjoyed most about this experience was seeing that challenges affecting housing and residence life professionals also affect other student affairs professionals. Our faculty in residence was also a highly valuable programmatic component. These consummate professionals shared their experiences and wisdom with us as colleagues and mentors. Dr. Jill Carnaghi, Dr. Tom Jackson, Dr. Tim Pierson, Dr. Dawn Person, Dr. Vasti Torres, and Dr. Jacqueline Skinner helped our group navigate through subjects such as financial responsibility and management, the doctoral degree decision, keeping current with professional development opportunities, and avoiding burnout in the field.

The small groups were one of the most beneficial parts of the Institute. Each participant was placed into a small group which was facilitated by a faculty in residence. These small groups were vital in processing the day’s events and discussions and with analyzing where each of us was in our own career paths. The culmination of the Institute and small group work was the creation of a personalized career development plan designed to assess our strengths and deficiencies and seek out opportunities to better our skills and abilities in the profession.

The Donna Bourassa Mid-Level Management Institute is an excellent investment in your career development as a student affairs professional. The friendships and connections you make through this Institute will stay with you and will continue to support you long after the Institute ends. For more information, check out and feel free to ask me any questions you may have about participation in the Institute as well.

Student Affairs Study Tour to Australia

From Washington, DC, Australia is over 10,000 miles away; from Los Angeles, it’s only a mere 7,800 miles. No matter the point of departure, the trek to Australia, affectionately know as “The Land Down Under,” by 40 participants and 5 faculty members was well worth the time and effort. From May 16-31, 2005 ACPA, ACUI and NASPA co-sponsored a student affairs study tour for the first time. The participants represented close to thirty different colleges and universities; most were graduate students while others were full-time student affairs professionals.

With a curricular focus, the study tour was designed to do several things:

  1. Develop an understanding of the structure and practice of Australian higher education;
  2. Learn about the structure and practice of student services in the context of Australian higher education; and
  3. Gain insight into the issues and strategic directions for Australian higher education and student services.

Participants had the option to earn three semester hours of course credit or receive a program study certificate from the University of Arizona Center for the Study of Higher Education. All participants were required to participate in large and small group discussions and do readings of articles published on Australian higher education. Dr. Doug Woodard, faculty member at the University of Arizona and past president of NASPA, created the study tour curriculum and conducted lectures throughout the two-week visit.

The study tour included visits to eight Australian universities: University of Sydney, University of Newcastle, University of Wollongong, LaTrobe University, University of Melbourne, Monash University, Victoria University, and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (RMIT). Student services representatives at each university conducted presentations to the study tour group about their programs and services for students. There were also many opportunities to network with Australian colleagues and compare and contrast student services in the U.S. and Australia, as well as national higher education policies. While there were similarities in a few typical functional areas associated with student services, the study tour group also discovered fundamental differences.

The group learned that there are no professional preparation programs for those who wish to pursue a career in student services. Instead, most entered the field through the faculty ranks, from other academic offices, or did related work in social service or non-profit organizations. Unlike the U.S. where graduate preparation programs teach student development theory and this theory is applied in the work setting, the Australian counterparts were not very familiar with psychosocial development for college students, although a few knew the U.S. student affairs field widely used developmental theory in their work with students. Even the names of particular functional areas did not always reflect the same intent or focus in the U.S. For example, instead of using “Housing/Residence Life,” this service is known as “Accommodations.” And in Australia, the staff primarily assist students with finding housing, with little or no attention given to residence education.

A much larger issue for Australian universities is the recruitment and retention of indigenous students or those of Aboriginal ancestry. Most of the institutions visited had a program designated to the academic and personal/social support of this student population. When asked about overall retention and graduation rates, representatives admitted that the rates were poor (e.g. retention at one university was less than 50%). Relations between the indigenous and non-indigenous peoples remain somewhat constrained; however, leaders are working towards national reconciliation to better group relations and enhance the quality of life for Aboriginal peoples. Known as the “Traditional Welcome,” it is expected that higher education institutions officially acknowledge to campus visitors that the grounds on which the university is located must be attributed to its original Aboriginal owners.

The Australian higher education policies for federal support and student fees were very much in the forefront of national news during the group’s visit. Over the last ten years or so, the Australian government has dramatically reduced its funding of higher education institutions. In the past, education was basically free for those who were privileged to be accepted into one of the 32 Australian universities, but today most students must pay for most of their educational costs. Students can apply for a payment program which will allow them to defer the costs; however, following graduation, the student is required to pay back the government. An unusual twist to this arrangement is the student must make at least $32,000 (USD) to be required to make these payments.

Another fiercely divisive issue is the federal government’s plan to dissolve mandatory student fees for student unions. These fees are a major source for staffing, both professionals and student staff wages and organizational activities and services funding. Pegged by the government as “voluntary student unions,” staff at all of the universities visited expressed great anxiety about the significant implications the fee removal could have if the policy is adopted by the government. Many student union leaders and student services staff feared that programs and services would be dramatically reduced, if not disappear, due to lack of adequate funding.

Beyond the campus visits, hosted receptions and dinners, and formal group discussions the group participated in tours to various historic and scenic sites including beaches and mountains and a visit to Parliament to observe the House representatives’ Q&A session with the Prime Minister. Kangaroos hopping through the wild during the group’s sojourn from Sydney to Melbourne; and learning the “Aussie lingo” made the trip wondrous, exciting, and intellectually stimulating.

ACPA plans to continue sponsoring future student affairs study tours and will explore other international opportunities for its members including global internships and colloquia.