Unfortunately, the NASPA Board of Directors regrets to announce the cancellation of the 2020 NASPA Annual Conference due to the ongoing threat posed by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The City of Austin deemed it necessary to cancel all conferences that are over 2,500 individuals and the World Health Organization has identified COVID-19 as a global pandemic. The Placement Exchange will be shifting to a virtual experience to occur during the same time period as the original onsite event: March 25 - March 28, 2020. The Association’s first priority is to the health, safety, and well-being of our participants, our staff, our corporate sponsors, and exhibitors. With individuals attending the conference from all over the world, we know that this is both disappointing and challenging from a planning perspective.
Plan Your Trip
We’re very excited to see you next year in Austin. At the same time, we recognize that many of our California colleagues will not be able to join us in Texas. NASPA is thrilled to share that we will have a “Connected Conference” in California to simultaneously engage our NASPA family in California with those who will be in Austin! Please stay tuned for more information about how you can engage with the Connected Conference next year.
Here is your #firstgen guide to #NASPA2020!
Core Content Areas
(Re)Constructing the Community Climate
The contemporary socio-political and organizational climate has (re)disrupted trust in systems and processes, including in higher education and student affairs. College campuses have a responsibility and opportunity to (re)construct trust, and to better support students and their collegiate experiences. The possibility exists for communities where relationships, systems, and processes are productive and relevant. The 2021 Conference encourages proposals that will help us move toward possibilities motivated to (re)construct trust:
- What is the student affairs practitioner-educator role in creating a campus community climate that is welcoming and inclusive to all?
- What is the institution’s social responsibility in creating an inclusive environment that contributes to students’ development and growth for engagement in a diverse global community?
- In what ways does the program contribute to how student affairs professionals engage, communicate, and dialogue with students on issues of free speech and campus, local, state, and federal politics?
- How does the program contribute an enhanced understanding of the political climate, and how student affairs educators can have an impact on students’ learning and development?
- How can health and well-being be (re)constructed on college campuses? What does a healthy student life look like? How can we talk about the ways in which unhealthy habits exist and are perpetuated on college campuses? And how do we mitigate them? (i.e., healthy friendships, healthy relationships, healthy conversation, healthy time management, healthy habits, etc.)
- How do members of our communities learn, practice, and value expression? How do we (re)value idea of understanding vs. winning (sides, opposition, reinforced power structures) in our ways of communicating?
Supporting the Professional Life Cycle
The student affairs field represents an expansive professional life-cycle including undergraduate student, graduate student, emerging/new, mid-level, director-level, senior leadership, student affairs-related support roles, etc. We advocate for life-long learning and professional development throughout this life-cycle. In a field that champions student development, success, and persistence towards graduation, we must also prioritize supporting today’s student affairs professional to thrive throughout their career. This focus area includes creating accessible mentorship pipelines, applying and evaluating competencies to practice, and building communities that support and inform practice and development.
- How does the profession stimulate life-long learning and develop competencies for different points in the student affairs professional life-cycle? (i.e., undergraduate student leader, graduate student, new professional, mid-level, director-level, VP, etc.)
- What are the skills needed for day-to-day strategy and management in higher education administration (ie. supervision, interfacing with campus constituencies, managing budget, etc)? How do we prioritize and train on these fundamentals, along with evaluate successful mastery?
- How do professionals navigate retention in the field while negotiating realities of personal life and career? (i.e., family priorities, financial planning, regional preferences, job opportunities, first-generation career professional, welcoming individuals to the industry, etc.)
- What is the diversity of professional path options and what informs decisions in career trajectory?
Responding to Students’ Changing Needs
Student affairs educators play a pivotal role in the holistic development and success of all students. Leaders in institutions of higher education are stewards of student success and have a responsibility/duty to contribute and influence retention and degree completion efforts. As a result, we must champion inclusive excellence and initiate intentional efforts to address the unique and changing needs of various student populations.
- What high-impact, evidence-based practices are being implemented at your institution to aid in student success?
- How do you involve parents/families in the college student experience?
- What ways do partnerships exist within your community that bolster and contribute to student success?
- What systemic approach has proven effective when addressing the needs of trans* and gender non-conforming students?
- How do you ensure students a sense of belonging among students from under-represented populations (ATOM, first-generation, LGBTQIA+, foster care, students with disabilities)?
- What high-impact/innovative practices do you employ to engage accessibility beyond a reactive/responsive/mandated approach to one that is proactive in nature?
- What type of programs are proving effective when addressing the unique needs of low-ses international students? How do we best integrate international students and their experience into the fabric of our institutions?
Prioritizing an Innovative and Sustainable Future
As student affairs professionals, we cannot thrive if we do not succeed personally, professionally, and within our institutions. And at the same time, the reality of “doing more with less” while the higher education industry expects all programs and services to meet students’ needs first. We must be proactive versus reactive in a time of budget constraints, by prioritizing innovative, forward-thinking, and sustainable practices through technology by mining and using the data we already possess. Currently, internal and external funding climates are challenging and unpredictable. Many organizations have understaffed resources and limited professional development funding, but they still possess a continued need to commit to life-long learning as the higher ed environment and students' needs constantly evolve. The following questions should guide your presentations in this focus area for 2021:
- How do we, as student affairs professionals, create a holistic and supportive environment in a manner that resonates with our professionals today, and empower them to navigate the myriad of issues threatening to disrupt student success in the current and future social and political environment?
- What are some innovative and emerging practices that your leadership has developed to raise higher ed staffing practices to the next level (i.e. avoid staff burn-out, retention of staff/belonging, view higher ed with a new lens)?
- How is your institution preparing professionals for the future of higher education and for the student demographic 2025 drop? What programs and initiatives have data-driven focus on these topics?
- How are you using technology and data metrics to better serve, understand, and address the needs of our students; and accessible to the programs/software within higher ed for all institutions?
- What are the ways that we use data to analyze the services we provide that are non-academic based, including but not limited to, housing and food insecurity, child care needs, unemployment, and sustain given budgetary constraints, etc. And how does this affect the community in which our institutions occupy?
- How can we better align with advancement/foundations to seek out resources to grow and develop in an innovative way, to grow offices, buildings, services? (i.e., Google appeal/Invisible Tapestry)
Call For Programs
The Call for Programs for the 2020 NASPA Annual Conference is closed! Get connected with colleagues now and prepare your proposal. The deadline to submit is September 3, 2019. Don't wait until the last minute!
The Conference Leadership Committee invites you to submit a program for the NASPA Annual Conference to be held in Austin, March 28 - April 1, 2020. From “Keep Austin Weird” to the revolution that is South By Southwest (SXSW), Austin is not your typical Texas city! Join your colleagues in the “Live Music Capital of the World” to develop a vision for the future of higher education and student success.
View the #Firstgen Guide to #NASPA2020 and begin shaping your #firstgen experience.
Pre-conference Workshops are full- or half-day learning sessions which take place on Saturday and Sunday before the conference.
First-gen Pre-Conference Workshop: Access Granted: Removing Barriers and Creating Opportunities for First-generation Students
Saturday, March 28, 2020 from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm, in Austin Grand - Salon F Hilton
As first-generation college students are increasingly present across higher education, completion rates for this population lag behind continuing-generation peers. This achievement gap is due to systemic barriers preventing success coupled with too few intentional opportunities to support this population. This workshop will partner national data and evidence-based practices with approaches being used at multiple institutional types to shift high impact practices into tailored first-generation solutions that result in improved student outcomes.
Led by Whitnee Boyd, Coordinator of Special Projects, Texas Christian University; Dawn Bruner, Director of Parent & Family Relations, University of Rochester; Jessica Bowers Chukwu, Assistant Director of Student Success Initiatives Rice University; and Carli Rosati, Assistant Director of Student Success Initiatives, Rice University
*Additional registration required; simply add PC 08 to your cart.
Join colleagues and experts for an opportunity to discuss the guiding principles of the 2020 NASPA Annual Conference in depth. These sessions cost an additional fee, and are not included in the Annual Conference registration. You must be registered for the 2020 NASPA Annual Conference in order to attend a pre-conference workshop.*