ACPA and NASPA are the largest higher education associations for student affairs practitioners. With a total membership of almost 20,000 student affairs professionals, these two associations play a pivotal role in the future of the profession. The topic du jour for most association members has been the conversation taking place regarding the issue of consolidation. Taking two associations and turning them into one mega-student-affairs association is no small task. According to the latest consolidation proposal, unification has been an ongoing conversation topic for the past 30 years. However, this latest attempt at creating a single association has achieved a momentum that hasn’t occurred in prior years. It would appear that we are at the cusp of the creation of a brand new organization. With a tentative consolidation vote to take place in the spring of 2011, student affairs professionals are scrambling to find out information about the future of ACPA and NASPA.
Both associations have created centralized information portals for their members:
With so much information being presented on both association sites, it can be a bit overwhelming. I know that I have had a heck of a time keeping track of all of the various communication channels that have been used to disseminate information and to capture member feedback. As a friend and member of both associations, I am hesitant to critique the communication strategy of this process, but I think things need to be more streamlined. The conversation seems to be getting quite fragmented due to too many disparate channels. An upcoming webinar on consolidation (For ACPA members, Monday, December 13, 2010, 2pm–3:30pm EST, Registration is required) should hopefully clarify some of the recent proposals. I know that I will be “attending.”
Having said that, here are a few of the information pieces / feedback forums that I have found to be quite helpful as I formulate my own opinions regarding consolidation:
I think that consolidation will eventually happen. Both associations have served their members well and a newly formed association will continue the traditions and legacies of both organizations. I applaud all of the leaders involved in the process as most of them are employed at institutions throughout the country. Their service is inspiring as they help to transform the future of student affairs.
What do you think…is consolidation going to happen? Why? Why not?
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[Cross-posted from my Inside Higher Ed blog.]
Full disclosure: I am currently an academic advisor. It’s my first full-time academic advising experience. I actually was quite pro-active about avoiding academic advising experiences when I was in graduate school. I never thought that I would be an academic advisor. I’ve been in my current advising position for 3 years. It’s been an incredible experience. Having said that, this post is not about me. It’s for anyone who has ever been an academic advisor who has dealt with the subject matter of this post.
A friend of mine is an academic advisor. She’s currently looking for a new position within student affairs. Having applied for several positions that have not yielded an offer. She came to the conclusion that having “academic advisor” at the top of her most recent experiences on her resume was resulting in her application being ignored or devalued. We chatted about how her resume could be re-worked to be more of a skills-based document. While I wasn’t happy about the apparent devaluing of academic advising that seemed to be occurring, I could empathize with both my friend and prospective hiring departments.
The state of academic advising in higher education is that it is a field that is predominantly seen as being in academic affairs. What this means is that while academic advisors may do exactly the same kinds of work as their student affairs colleagues, they might not be recognized for this due to the “silo effect” in higher education.
Continue reading Academic Advisors and Versatility
One of my mentors once told me that mentors are everywhere and that all I needed to do was to seek them out. At the time, I had been struggling with finding experienced practitioners who were as into learning / using technology within student affairs as I was. It took me a while to realize that what I had been looking for was the ultimate mentor. I was seeking someone who matched up with every nuance, every interest area, in effect, the “perfect” mentor.
When I woke up this morning, I had a realization. A thought that I had never really allowed to materialize. I currently have multiple individuals who I call “mentor.” No single person. Not a lone individual. I have multiple mentors. Some of my mentors provide professional advice. Some of my mentors assist me in the “apprenticeship of life.” This cadre of mentors provides me with an amazing breadth and depth of learning, experiences, and guidance. A community of mentors who I look to for strength, insight, humor, and caring.
My mentors come from all over the place. They have been instrumental in where I am and where I want to be. Here are a few ideas that I have been pondering about mentoring:
- Sometimes mentors bring mentorship into your life without it being strategic or intentional. It just happens.
- Age does not always equal wisdom. Be open to mentoring from anyone. Wisdom can surprise you.
- If your mentors are well-known, be prepared to spend less time with them. Learn as much as you can when you have access. Maximize your time with them.
- Social media spans the globe. Your access to mentors has just increased…be ready.
- Sometimes mentors and mentees switch roles depending on circumstances, timing, and need. It’s okay.
Photo credit: quacktaculous
Career Services and Social Media: Todd really says it best ;-)
Let’s shift some paradigms: Introducing my new blog at Inside Higher Ed.
Challenge and Tech Support: Student Affairs practitioners and Tech Support departments…please let us be admins.
Do you YouTube? Don’t forget to add captions: Would you build a new building without an elevator? Nope… Then why would you ever create videos without captions?
George Orwell, Web Stats, and Your Site Visitors: Student Affairs + Web Stats….Nerdvana :-)
I am thrilled to announce that I’m going to be blogging about Student Affairs and Technology for Inside Higher Ed (IHE). As an avid reader of IHE, I am very excited to join the IHE blogging team. I think that my posts on student affairs + technology will complement Joshua Kim’s blog on Technology and Learning.
Recently, I held a contest via Twitter to name my new blog. The incentive — a $100 Amazon gift card — courtesy of Inside Higher Ed. Several folks came up with interesting/creative blog names. I think the #SAChat Community provided the majority of ideas. Student Affairs folks are uber creative.
Here are my 3 favorite submissions:
- Jeff Jackson: The Stoller Strikes Back, Return of the Blogosphere, Student Affairs….I am Your Blogger
- Zack Ford: Challenge and Tech Support
- ACUHO-I (sent via DM): Binary Code of Conduct
Choosing a winner from these 3 has been extremely challenging. Star Wars references, Sanford, and an entire Association…how cool is that?!! After more than a week of deliberate (intentional ;-) ) deliberating I have decided that the winner of the gift card is:
Zack Ford’s submission made me laugh. It’s subtle….and I love subtlety. The obvious nod / homage to Nevitt Sanford warms the heart. Challenge and Support is one of my all-time favorite, and oft-used, student development theories.
It should be noted that Julie Larsen was correct…the official name of my new blog is going to be: Student Affairs and Technology. The name needed to be something that would be simple enough that any IHE reader would know exactly what it was about. The blog also needed to be search engine friendly…”Students Affairs + Technology” is simple and searchable.
Stay tuned for my first official post on Inside Higher Ed!
Julie P-Kirchmeier: Stoller: Resistance is Futile
Niki Rudolph: Epic Stoller
Justine Carpenter: Tech Tips for SAPs
Christopher Conzen: The Stoller Coaster