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?
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:
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:
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.
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…
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“.