ACPA Call for Proposals:  Promising Practices Briefs
The ACPA Publications Board is seeking your inspiration, creativity, and ideas for publication in Promising Practice Briefs. Promising Practice Briefs is a peer reviewed, online publication more nimble than a journal, designed to disseminate your ideas relatively quickly.

Our profession would benefit from your pragmatic ideas, experiences and evidenced-based outcomes on promising practices in the student affairs profession.  A Promising Practice Brief provides background and action steps.


  • A Promising Practice Brief is written for busy student affairs professionals who need to understand a topic to better participate in institutional discussions and then create action on the topic. Your Promising Practice Brief should outline the topic, give a brief history, pose and respond to questions frequently asked by those new to the topic, and offer ideas about informed actions relative to that topic.
  • Promising Practice Briefs are focused on action. Provide your readers with specific actions they can take to address the topic. What are the emerging promising practices and approaches? In the actions you suggest, consider not only those at the institution but also stakeholders (such as community leaders in the geographic location of that institution).
  • Consider incorporating Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) and NASPA/ACPA Professional Competencies to guide your Best Practice Brief. Drawing upon professional standards will strengthen your argument for best practices on your topic.
  • A Promising Practice Brief is relatively short (up to 5,000 words, or 5-6 pages). The editors are particularly interested in reviewing the work of first time authors. The ACPA Publications Board is an excellent place for first time writers to receive coaching and support as they move through the writing process.
  • Promising Practice Briefs are a good publication outlet for commissions, standing committees, directorates, and other groups.

You are writing a Best Practice Brief for all student affairs professionals—your paper may be especially useful for those who want to remain current quickly, such as new professionals, students, senior student affairs officers, legislative staff members, and association executives. Best Practice Briefs published online offer easy access to your ideas. Your ideas expressed with clarity and focus offer easy access to readers.

Content of Promising Practice Briefs

Each issue on which you might write a paper is different and so the approach to that issue may differ across Promising Practice Briefs.

For those who find outlines helpful, one way to structure a Promising Practice Brief is as follows:

Provide a very brief “executive summary” of the issue including why this issue is important to student affairs and higher education. An executive summary provides an overview of the topic. Subsequent sections of the brief provide more details beyond the brief overview and summary.

Overview of the issue and promising practices addressing the issue
Your Promising Practice Brief might lay out the landscape of the issue and offer historical context on practices used. Think to yourself “what will help the reader understand this important issue and approaches used in the past?” Finally, consider offering further context for the issue using student affairs history, theory, and current practice.

Suggested approach to the issue and promising practices by you or your entity as part of the larger association.
Write your brief as though you are offering ACPA and student affairs the promising professional guidance that you (or your group) know. Be especially mindful of the challenges you have outlined in the previous section. How do your suggestions address those issues?

Include citations as well as suggested resources for further assistance. Help the readers to pursue the promising practice knowledgeably, perhaps by adapting the practice to their own campus context.

Guidelines for Authors

To expedite your review, please:

  • Adhere to the APA 6th edition style guide
  • Write up to 5,000 words (5-6 pages)
  • Use Microsoft Word
  • Include name, e-mail address, and institutional affiliation/location for all co-authors on a separate title page
  • Mask your document for peer review (remove author names using the Microsoft Word function File-Inspect Document)

Author Responsibilities

Original Work
Authors should submit work that is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. If, after submission, the work is accepted for publication or self-published elsewhere, authors must notify ACPA in writing. By submitting, the authors certify that they have written consent for use of any recognizable photographs, images, or any other non-text representations.

Human Subjects
When research involves human subjects, the author must ensure, and indicate on submission, that the study has IRB approval. In the case that authors did not obtain IRB approval, they should provide a detailed explanation.

Plagiarism is serious. Editors review all manuscripts for plagiarized passages prior to acceptance. Please ensure that you properly cite all information taken from outside sources, and that you compose your thoughts in your own words. ACPA will return all plagiarism to the authors for correction and may remove the manuscript from consideration.

Please proofread your manuscript carefully, and ask others to proofread for you—it is common for authors to miss our own errors. Please submit your manuscript after you consider it in final form and ready for review.

Editors accept documents for review on a rolling basis.

Please submit your manuscript to ACPA using this form.

If you have questions about Promising Practice Briefs, or ideas for a Thought Paper, please contact Susan Longerbeam at or Alicia Fedelina Chávez at