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Student Affairs Live – Episode 3 – #SAlive

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Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr., Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of Louisville and former President of ACPA, came on the show to discuss “#NASPACPA.” As many of you already know, I have had a lot to say about the proposed consolidation between ACPA and NASPA.


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Written by Eric Stoller

April 10th, 2011 at 10:17 pm

ACPA and NASPA Consolidation update

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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?

Do you tweet? Let’s connect. Follow me on Twitter.

[Cross-posted from my Inside Higher Ed blog.]

Written by Eric Stoller

November 29th, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Student Affairs + Jobs + RSS + Email

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Using RSS to conduct a student affairs job search

Conducting a successful student affairs job search requires patience, networking, and technology. That’s right, technology. One particular tech tool that is extremely useful for conducting a search is RSS. Job postings delivered to your feed reader via RSS means that new job announcements are efficiently delivered to your virtual doorstep.

If you aren’t familiar with using RSS, please watch this video for more information:

If you need an RSS feed reader, I would highly recommend using Google Reader:

There are a few student affairs websites that offer job postings via RSS feeds, including:

Remember to look for the RSS symbol – RSS Symbol – or for a link to RSS data. Ideally, all student affairs job sites will offer RSS feeds in the near future as this makes conducting a search ultra-convenient.

An alternative to RSS feeds for job postings is the “Email Alert.” Several sites offer email alerts based on a variety of search queries. ACPA, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Placement Exchange, and the Higher Education Recruitment Consortium all offer student affairs job search updates via email alerts.

In addition to the RSS and Email solutions mentioned above, most student affairs associations / higher education news sites offer job listings on their websites. Here are direct links to the student affairs job listings for the following associations / resource sites.

Student Affairs jobs via professional associations:

Student Affairs jobs via higher education publications / job sites:

Resources from our ACPA Social Media session

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About a week ago, I had the opportunity to co-present at the ACPA National Convention with Kenn Elmore, John Battaglino and Teri Bump. Fortunately for the four of us, we were able to secure a larger room as our session had about 60 people in attendance.

We didn’t give out handouts at our session. Our keynote slides had images on them and only a word or two. I’ve received emails from folks who attended, as well as from people who were following via the #ACPA10 Twitter backchannel, requesting a copy of our slides. While we were sans paper at our session, we were certainly not without a lot of bits of information.

Giving a presentation at ACPA in Boston

Our session was titled “Wise and Connected – Demystifying Social Media for SSAOs and Directors.” We had 2 screens/lcd projectors running simultaneously during the session. On one screen was our keynote slideshow…we combined our slides like Voltron just moments before our session. On the other screen was a live stream (via wifi) of everything that was being said via Twitter using the #ACPA10 and #ACPASSAO hashtags. (Note that the ACPASSAO hashtag provided ample fodder for attendees). We even used clickers from Turning Technologies (these were the same clickers that were used at the opening of the convention). Overall, it was a very high tech, high touch session.

We live streamed all of the Twitter commentary using Twitterfall. Twitterfall has an amazing “presentation mode” that is perfect for the live streaming of tweets. The streaming screen provided probably the funniest moment (for me at least) of our session when @ACPAConvention tried to distract me! It should be noted that I did not look down, not even once. However, one of us did use a 4 letter word at one point during our session.

A lot of people wanted the link for the “Leadership Video.” I’ve dubbed said video as “Who wants to watch EDS dance on a hill?”. I wasn’t really the “lone nut” in this video, but I like to think that I could have been:

A terrific leader in Student Affairs who is utilizing social media is Kenn Elmore, Dean of Students at Boston University. If you have not yet visited the Dean of Students website at BU, please check it out. The site is a wonderful example of how social media can be integrated into a higher ed student affairs site. The folks at BU use Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Blogs.

Did you know that you can get a lot out of Twitter without ever posting? Twitter can be a great resource for news, events and general information.

Here’s a terrific primer on “Twitter 101″ from the makers of Twitter.

Once you become an avid Twitter user, you may find that the functionality at Twitter.com doesn’t give you enough options. For “power twittering,” I would recommend that you use TweetDeck. TweetDeck is a free application that will become a staple in your Twitter diet. They even make a version of TweetDeck for the iPhone. What’s that you say? Don’t have an iPhone? Never fear, if you are a Blackberry user, I would recommend trying UberTwitter. You can even use Twitter using standard text messages via any mobile phone.

When I started talking about RSS, I noticed that folks went into an acronym sleep. For more information on RSS, Social Media, Twitter and a host of other online things, please check out Common Craft. The Common Craft videos break down complicated concepts into easily digestible informational videos.

One of my favorite uses of social media that we did not have a chance to talk about is #SAChat:

We talked a little bit about Facebook too…we packed a lot of info, entertainment, and education in our hour and fifteen. I can’t wait to do it again.

ACPA + Twitter on the BreakDrink podcast

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The main topic for today’s BreakDrink podcast was the potential unification of ACPA and NASPA. ACPA President, Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr. was on the podcast to talk about his thought’s regarding the unification process.

I had asked a question on the BreakDrink blog in preparation for today’s conversation. Jeff Jackson, host of the show, asked my question about how/if Dr. Jackson had plans for using Twitter at next month’s ACPA Annual Convention. I decided to call in to the show and was able to use the Skype link on Blog Talk Radio to call into the show.

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I begin talking about the Social Media session that I’m co-presenting at ACPA 2010, Twitter, #ACPA10, the ACPA 2010 TweetUp, and #SAChat at about 28:25 in the podcast.

Please follow @ACPAPrez. Dr. Jackson readily agreed to use Twitter during the ACPA Annual Convention and I think that it would be great if he had a huge following of Student Affairs Twitterati.

ACPA wants us to Mingle

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ACPA wants us to use a MingleStick at the Annual Convention in Boston in 2010

Slightly hidden, due to a minuscule font size, within the recent ACPA eCommunity email update was an interesting question: “Are You Ready To Mingle?” Intrigued, I read the rest of the “mingle” text:

Are You Ready To Mingle?
Engage in real life social networking at the Boston 2010 Annual Convention. This new and innovative technology enables attendees to simply ‘click to connect’ at the event and then share their online profiles after the event.

With over 4,500 ACPA members expected to attend the Annual Convention in Boston, the MingleStick may provide an interesting means for folks to exchange contact information. Instead of business cards, attendees can use the MingleStick to exchange electronic profiles. This is slightly similar to the iPhone Bump app. I predict that there will be a lot of digital mingling at ACPA.

The MingleStick plugs in via USB to your computer, uploads its data to the MingleStick website and allows you to browse your recent connections. An individual’s profile information is dependent on what they have included in their public MingleStick profile.

MingleStick digital mingling at ACPA Annual Convention in Boston 2010

I’m co-presenting a session titled “Wise and Connected – Demystifying Social Media for SSAOs and Directors.” I have a feeling that we will end up polling the room to see who is using a MingleStick and whether or not they are including their Facebook and Twitter accounts on their public MingleStick profiles.

What do you think? Will you engage in digital mingling at ACPA via a MingleStick?

ACPA + NASPA + Student Affairs Technology

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ACPA and NASPA and Student Affairs Technology

ACPA recently sent out an email announcement calling for applications for the ACPA Technology Advisory Committee:

The ACPA Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) is a member-driven advisory committee charged by the Executive Director of ACPA with developing the association’s long term Information Technology strategic plan and evaluating and recommending technology initiatives aimed at furthering the association’s strategic initiatives. In addition, the TAC is tasked with evaluating large-scale IT project requests to determine their applicability to long- and short-term association goals and, when necessary, to priority rank IT initiatives.

The TAC description made me feel quite hopeful about the state of student affairs technology…and then I read the following:

You don’t have to be a technology expert to apply. We are looking for committed ACPA members with an interest in technology who are not afraid to voice their thoughts.”

Why, oh why, does membership in the TAC, which will drive the long term information technology strategic plan for ACPA, not require that someone be a technology expert? How can you evaluate IT projects, further strategic initiatives, and recommend technologies if you are not an expert? Is ACPA saying that there are not student affairs practitioners who are technology experts?

Not to be outdone by the ACPA Technology Advisory Committee notice, NASPA Tech Tools recently posted a word-for-word copy of a 2 month-old article about Google Wave from the Chronicle of Higher Education without really attributing the article. The NASPA Tech Tools site was created to “bridge the gap between student affairs and technology.” Unfortunately, it seems like a chasm at the moment…

What is going on with the state of student affairs and technology? 3 years have passed since I last wrote about ACPA, NASPA, and technology and it’s hard to tell if anything substantial has happened.

NASPA National Conference

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NASPA National Conference in Seattle Washington

The NASPA National Conference is finally coming back to the west coast! Woohoo! Washington DC was nice, Orlando was saved by Al Gore’s keynote, and I didn’t make it to Boston due to a lack of funds.

The 2009 NASPA National Conference is going to be held in Seattle, Washington. This is fantastic news for west coast student affairs practitioners who may have wanted to travel east but were unable to afford the costs of traveling across the country. I’ve actually never been to Seattle. Methinks that a trip prior to 2009 is in order.

Note: NASPA is the acronym for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. Most of the higher education association acronyms sound like a sneeze. NASPA, ACUHO-I, NACADA, ACPA, ASJA et. al. Their names make me want to say “gesundheit“.

Written by Eric Stoller

April 15th, 2008 at 9:49 pm