The focus of the Commission is students in colleges and universities and their environments. Efforts of the Commission are directed toward a deeper understanding of the students, their characteristics, purposes, attitudes, behavior, mores, campus activities, and community life as a basis for more effective planning of relevant programs for students. A major emphasis of the Commission’s work is on the integration of out of class activities of students on the campus and in the larger community with the formal academic curriculum. The college student’s total educational experience is seen as a potent force for student development. The Commission fulfills its function not only through convention programming but also through research and ongoing task force efforts aimed at advancing and advocating the development of more visible student organizations and activities programs. Within the Association, the Commission provides an avenue for involvement of anyone working with and/or interested in student activities at post-secondary institutions.
The current topics in the field are:
- Within the ACPA Commission for Student Involvement, conversations continue about how (as practitioners) we continue to make sure that we are doing evidenced based practices. Effective ways to conduct assessment, various methods to collecting data and report results to key constituents are all subjects that we have covered recently.
- Currently we are hosting a book club on the book Brotherhood by ACPA Bronze Partner and Campus Pride Founder Shane Windemeyer. The book examines the coming out experiences of gay men in fraternities during their college years. The book is serving as an impetus to many conversations around how we continue to engage our communities in inclusive ways based on sexual orientation.
- With support from our friends at the National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs and the NASPA Knowledge Community on Leadership Programs we are continue to advance the conversations and scholarship surrounding leadership.
- Another ongoing conversation in the ACPA Commission on Student Involvement is looking at the ways we continue to mentor graduate students and new professionals in the field. Recently we launched a mentoring program to help pair emerging professionals with more seasoned practitioners in an effort to help support the culture of mentoring.
- With the advancement of social media, we continue to be invited to look at new and innovative ways to connect students to our programs as well as ways in which we engage our practitioners.
- Budgets continue to be a source of scarcity for many practitioners. We are currently seeing greater conversation about program sponsorships from private corporations and non-profits to help offset budget cuts.