The origins of the Commission for Commuter Students and Adult Learners trace back to the growing interest in commuter students and their special needs that emerged during the early 1970’s. While the University of Maryland at College Park created the first Office of Commuter Affairs and the National Clearinghouse for Commuter Programs in 1972, it was clear to professionals working with commuters that a resource network was also needed. ACPA’s Commission II (Admissions and Orientation) agreed to host the young Commuter Task Force in 1975. The Association officially created Commission XVII (Commuter Programs) at the 1978 Detroit ACPA National Convention. At the 1988 ACPA National Convention in St. Louis, the Commission name was officially changed to Commission XVII (Commuter Students and Adult Learners.) This action clearly indicated that adult learners, a significant constituency within the overall commuter student population, are an integral and vital part of the Commission’s overall advocacy, networking and education efforts. Following the 2002 Convention in Long Beach, ACPA voted to drop the Roman numeral designation for each Commission. During the summer of that same year the current name, Commission for Commuter Students and Adult Learners, was formally adopted.

Mission Statement

  • Providing a network of contacts and support for those serving commuter student and adult learners;
  • Providing a forum for discussing and advocating commuter and adult student needs and concerns; and
  • Promoting the generation and sharing of data, research, services, and programs which effectively enhance commuter and adult students' development.


GOAL 1.0 - Monitor current developments, trends, and creative approaches regarding commuter students and adult learners; and communicate findings to commission members and significant others.

Objective 1.1 Publish information on programs, research, and services through the newsletter
and other ACPA media.

Objective 1.2 Maintain a liaison role with the National Clearinghouse for Commuter Programs,
the NASPA National Network for Adult Learners/Commuter Students and Distance Learning and any other organization with a commuter and/or adult student focus component, publishing this information in a newsletter format.

Objective 1.3 Act in a consulting role to a variety of significant others, including preparation
centers and professional associations.

GOAL 2.0 - Encourage research and disseminate findings regarding the nature of the complex and diversified commuter and adult student population through the newsletter.

Objective 2.1 Publish in the newsletter a listing and review of current research projects.

Objective 2.2 Issue a call for research projects through the newsletter and other ACPA media to
commission members, other commissions, and preparation centers.

GOAL 3.0 - Plan, organize, and implement program proposals for the Association’s annual conventions both from within the commission membership and in cooperation with other commissions and associations.

Objective 3.1 Formalize the call for programs, procedures, and timetables for the Commission
for Commuter Students and Adult Learners.

Objective 3.2 Select programs annually which help to accomplish Goal #5.

GOAL 4.0 - Strengthen the resource potential of the commission by promoting state and regional activities for communication, education, and networking.

Objective 4.1 Provide structured guidelines for new and existing state and regional coordinators,
which create a working relationship with state CPA presidents that, will result in state and regional workshops and state newsletter articles on commuter students and adult learners.

Objective 4.2 Provide guidelines for state coordinators to build communication among state and
regional professionals working with commuter students and adult learners and the commission membership.

Objective 4.3 Support and develop commission membership created through network contacts.

GOAL 5.0 - Maintain and expand working relationships with individuals and groups within ACPA and with other significant groups and organizations.

Objective 5.1 Work in conjunction with other commissions and committees to assess their
understanding and response to commuter students and adult learners by targeting a minimum of two groups annually for joint programs, projects, or researches.

Objective 5.2 Advocate a commuter student and/or adult learner perspective to other
commissions and committees through liaison positions.

Objective 5.3 Target one external group or organization annually for joint programs, researches,
or publications.

GOAL 6.0 - Encourage and recognize outstanding achievement, service, and contributions by faculty members, professional staff, and graduate students to the development of the commuter and adult student perspectives in student personnel programs.

Objective 6.1 Issue a call for award nominations through the newsletter and other ACPA media.

Objective 6.2 Select winners annually who meet the outlined awards criteria.

Objectives 6.3 Present awards during the annual ACPA conference and notify appropriate press.

GOAL 7.0 - Evaluate commission progress annually including modifying goals, relationships, activities, and definitional statements so that the commission remains responsive to the needs of ACPA members and association direction.

Objective 7.1 Review the goals and objectives at the annual Commission business meeting.

Objective 7.2 Assign responsibility at the annual meeting for implementation of the
Commission's goals and objectives