As we prepare for the 90th Anniversary of ACPA-College Student Educators International in 2014 and as we begin the transition process to envision the 100th Anniversary in 2024, our Association is looking not only at the Association but also into the future of higher and tertiary education. Given that particular focus, we share with you the six priorities that will guide the Association’s activities and create opportunities for ACPA to stimulate global interest in the results of executing these priorities in a timely and effective manner.

The expectation is that all entities of ACPA (Standing Committees, Commissions, State and International Divisions) and the ACPA Foundation will join to ensure that these priorities are achieved. While the plan, and these six priorities move us forward to 2016, we must continually ask ourselves, when the year is 2024, where would we like to be?  

The six priorities of the Association are:

  1. Career Development
    ACPA will enhance opportunities for its members to make intentional and informed career transitions and advancements to best lead their constituents and the profession.

    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.

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

    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.

  3. 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.

    As a comprehensive student affairs organization, ACPA is positioned to offer powerful and influential leadership in 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.

  4. Social Justice
    ACPA will lead in advancing social justice, equity, and inclusion across higher education worldwide.

    Issues of equity and inclusion in our field continue to be a dominant part of the discourse. 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. ACPA will help professionals and campuses expand on practices that promote inclusion and ease of opportunity for access to higher education.

  5. Research & Scholarship
    ACPA will lead the student affairs profession in the generation and timely provision of cutting edge research and practice-related professional development resources.

    Building on a foundation of research excellence, 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 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.

  6. Association Performance and Excellence
    ACPA will invest in the Association’s resources, business processes, and workforce to ensure growth and performance improvement.

    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.

Possibilities that would enhance the reality of these priorities:

  1. Career Development
    1. Enhance the C3 career services operation, including consistent technology standards
    2. Explore alternative methods of delivering year-round career services
    3. Articulate pathways and opportunities for members at all levels, to develop professional competencies and advance their careers
  2. Professional Development
    1. Maximize the utilization of the professional competencies and emerging issues to offer high quality year-round professional development curricula for each level of staff
    2. Expand the naming opportunities for institutes, symposiums and colloquiums
    3. Identify resources to ensure accessible and affordable professional development for all ACPA members
    4. Act on changing trends for delivery of professional development and the convention to ensure powerful, engaging, vibrant, and distinctive educational opportunities
  3. Leadership in Higher Education
    1. Create resources to market innovative ideas currently underway for the profession
    2. Shape the response to critical issues by supporting and initiating regular opportunities for information exchange and dialog
    3. Utilize the External Relations Advisory Board to identify strategies for policy advocacy and to engage in public policy opportunities
  4. Social Justice
    1. Increase scholarly contributions related to social justice, equity, and inclusion
    2. Expand international and domestic structures and practices to meet member needs in this area
    3. Create partnerships that advance ACPA’s core value through governmental, educational and corporate approaches
  5. Research and Scholarship
    1. Increase the Association’s capacity to lead in the dissemination of high quality scholarship and research in areas related to student affairs practice and theory and emerging issues
    2. Increase scholarship reflecting global issues
    3. Examine and act on publishing trends to continue to be cutting edge, accessible, affordable, and relevant
  6. Association Performance and Excellence
    1. Identify resources and efficiencies that will result in Association growth and continued strength
    2. Implement an Association-wide sustainability plan

The ACPA Governing Board began the strategic planning process almost immediately following the results of the failed Consolidation of ACPA and NASPA (April, 2011). Once the decision was final that the two major student affairs associations would not be consolidating, it was clear that the membership of ACPA expected a renewed focus on our “place” in higher education and our “niche” in student affairs for the future.

The initial strategic process began in spring, 2011 and continued throughout the summer leadership meetings, assembly meetings/town hall meetings, retreats of the Governing Board, convention 2012 discussions and refinement opportunities and final review and approval fall, 2012.

All levels of members were involved either through the annual Assembly meetings (Town Hall), the virtual Meetups in locations around the United States and outside the USA. The information gathered formed the foundation on which the Governing Board used to ultimately reduce the many suggested priorities for the future, down to the most important six at this time.

As a result of reviewing feedback from the membership, it was evident that six key areas surfaced for ACPA to focus on for our growth and our future.

More details will be forthcoming at the annual Convention in Las Vegas and our summer leadership meetings in Indianapolis in June/July.

If you have specific questions, please share them with any member of the Governing Board.

Updated March 13, 2013