Advancing Leadership, Shaping Change

NASPA is the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. We serve a full range of professionals who provide programs, experiences, and services that cultivate student learning and success in concert with the mission of our colleges and universities. Established in 1918 and founded in 1919, NASPA is comprised of over 15,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries, and 8 U.S. Territories. 

Through high-quality professional development, strong policy advocacy, and substantive research to inform practice, NASPA meets the diverse needs and invests in realizing the potential of all its members under the guiding principles of integrity, innovation, inclusion, and inquiry. NASPA members serve a variety of functions and roles, including the vice president and dean for student life, as well as professionals working within housing and residence life, student unions, student activities, counseling, career development, orientation, enrollment management, racial and ethnic minority support services, and retention and assessment.

Our Mission

To be the principal source of leadership, scholarship, professional development, and advocacy for student affairs.

Our Vision

NASPA is the leading voice for the student affairs profession worldwide.

Guiding Principles

  • Integrity

    Committed to high moral principles exhibiting authentic, honest, just, and ethical behavior.

  • Innovation

    Continuously seeking improvement through new and creative approaches.

  • Inclusion

    Seeking ways to ensure access, voice, acknowledgement, opportunity, and participation at all levels.

  • Inquiry

    Supporting research and scholarship to add to the knowledge base of the profession and ensure that data informs practice.

Our Strategic Plan

Goal 1
Deliver dynamic, innovative, and timely professional development and volunteer engagement opportunities to build the leadership capacities and effectiveness of student affairs professionals.
1.1  Enhance and increase member engagement and volunteer pathways in leadership and governance throughout the association.
1.2  Implement and expand the integration of student affairs professional competencies within all professional development experiences.
1.3  Expand and strengthen capacities related to equity, inclusion, and intercultural competencies throughout all professional levels and volunteer roles.
1.4  Develop, implement, and assess professional development and networking opportunities that address current and emerging issues for all career levels.
1.5  Partner with graduate preparation programs and student affairs faculty to advance research, knowledge, and practice to inform continuing professional education.
1.6  Identify collaborative partnerships with higher education and other organizations to broaden knowledge and the student affairs profession.

Goal 2
Generate scholarship and disseminate knowledge that supports evidence-based, innovative, inclusive, and socially just student affairs practices.

2.1  Generate and communicate data regarding the impact of the student affairs profession on student access, learning, and success.
2.2  Provide leadership in advancing and aligning theory, research, and practice within the student affairs profession.
2.3  Increase the capacity of student affairs professionals to generate knowledge regarding equity, access, and inclusion.
2.4  Provide tools and platforms for continuous improvement opportunities to assess, evaluate, and research the effectiveness of practice.
2.5  Use data to forecast trends, develop innovations, and highlight effective student affairs practice.
2.6  Provide leadership in supporting scholarship by student affairs faculty, researchers, practitioners, and students through grant programs, publication opportunities, and professional development.

Goal 3
Lead public policy and advocacy efforts that shape the changing landscape of student affairs within higher education.

3.1  Expand NASPA’s leadership role in critical issues of public policy affecting students and higher education.
3.2  Identify, advocate, and communicate a public stance on critical policy issues in higher education.
3.3  Build capacity among members to understand, adapt to, and influence public policy within their institutional roles.
3.4  Advance and strengthen partnerships to effectively influence public policy.
3.5  Generate strategies and advocate for policies that address barriers to student success.

Goal 4
Provide leadership for student affairs in integrating existing and emerging technologies.

4.1  Develop knowledge of technologies that enhance the student experience, increase quality, and create administrative efficiencies in student affairs.
4.2  Increase capacity and develop programs to create meaningful engagement and learning about emerging and existing technologies in student affairs.
4.3  Cultivate strategic alliances to advance technological solutions and enhancements that support excellence in practice.
4.4  Implement technologies to increase member engagement, learning, and association effectiveness.

Goal 5
Develop and promote NASPA’s identity as a global student affairs association.

5.1  Advance intercultural competencies of student affairs professionals.
5.2  Define and implement an organizational structure that enables NASPA to engage with student affairs professionals worldwide.
5.3  Build partnerships to collaborate within the global student affairs profession.
5.4  Implement global opportunities that promote culturally relevant practice and professional development.
5.5  Build NASPA’s global membership and volunteer base to strengthen the association.

Download a PDF copy of the 2015-18 NASPA Strategic Plan. 

Our Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Equality

NASPA recognizes and appreciates diversity in relation to, and across the intersections of, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, veteran status, age, socioeconomic status, and disability. Believing in inclusive environments, we emphasize the importance of understanding, approaching, and owning diversity and equity from a personal, interpersonal, institutional, and global level.

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Networking and Growth for All Professional Levels

A NASPA membership isn’t just for attending conferences and for getting the latest student affairs news, it’s also about access to the largest association of professionals in your field. Our members span the globe and are ready to answer your call. Looking to collaborate on an idea? Interested to import a successful initiative? Or maybe you’re ready to take the next step in your career?

With members filling roles at every level in the profession, your NASPA membership is the key to world of student affairs.

Join Us: Become a Member Today

Become a part of the leading association for student affairs with a NASPA membership and take the next step in your student affairs career today!