Developing the 2019 - 2022 NASPA Strategic Plan

Phase 1: June 2018

Thank you for participating in Phase 1 of the development of the 2019 - 2022 strategic plan! Phase 1 included focus groups, town halls, and a survey that went out to the NASPA membership and various constituent groups. The survey was also public on the NASPA website. The big questions the Board asked of our membership included:

  1. What has the student affairs profession done well in the last 5 years?
  2. What are the most pressing concerns regarding student access, persistence, and completion in higher education?
    • Participants will be given 10 spaces to offer the most pressing concerns.
    • You will be asked to rank these concerns and answer a follow-up question:
    • In what ways do you see the student affairs profession addressing this/these pressing issue(s)?
  3. How can the student affairs profession prepare current and future leaders to meet the challenges of a sometimes volatile and turbulent higher education environment?
  4. Given the varied cultural, political, and/or ideological perspectives in higher education, how can NASPA continue to support all student affairs educators, ensuring that all viewpoints are included, valued, and engaged?
  5. There are enormous challenges and opportunities on the horizon in higher education that will need us to think bigger and disrupt the status quo. What are the big ideas that will change the way we do business?
    • What are the ways the student affairs profession must evolve to support student success in this new model?
    • What is NASPA’s role in this/these change(s)?

Phase 2: October 2018 - November 2018

The NASPA Board of Directors met July 9 - 11, 2018 and used the feedback from Phase 1 in the development of the strategic goals and draft objectives for the Association. Below are the approved Goals for the Association's strategic plan and the draft objectives. This month, we ask for feedback from the membership and others commited to student success in higher education. Below are the approved goals and the draft objectives:

Goals Statements and Objectives

Goal 1  Advocacy for Student Success
Advocate to support student learning and success.

NASPA will…
1.1 Position student success as a core outcome of higher education and engage all institutional types to center student learning and success.

1.2 Encourage the creation of an active citizenry and foster community and democratic engagement.

1.3 Lead and advocate at the local, state, and national levels in support of legislation, policies, and practices that advance the mission and goals of its member institutions.

1.4 Collaborate with national and global partners to support student learning and success in an internationalized higher education environment.

Goal 2 Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice
Invest in and advocate for equitable and inclusive practices that promote  socially just communities.

NASPA will…
2.1 Lead and partner with institutions, foundations, and educational organizations to surface and address systemic barriers to post-secondary educational access and degree attainment.

2.2 Expand professional development activities, publications, resources, and tools for student affairs educators, in all professional levels to strengthen capacities to support all students and to enhance equity and inclusion in post-secondary education.

2.3 Generate scholarship and promulgate knowledge and strategies that support evidence-based, innovative, inclusive, and socially just student affairs practices.

2.4 Build pathways into and throughout the Association and the student affairs profession through volunteer leadership and engagement opportunities for equity-seeking, historically minoritized, and/or marginalized communities.

Goal 3 Research and Scholarship
Generate research and scholarship that advance evidence-based, emergent,  and equitable practices.

NASPA will…
3.1 Advance a data-informed culture to support effective practice in student affairs.

3.2 Promote the scholar-practitioner role in the student affairs profession.

3.3 Develop new models to support the production of research and scholarship.

3.4 Create and foster research partnerships that advance a student success research agenda.

Goal 4 Professional Development and Engagement
Provide exceptional education and volunteer engagement that prepare members to lead on current and future issues in higher education.

NASPA will…
4.1 Develop, implement, and assess professional development and networking opportunities that address current and emerging issues for all career levels.

4.2 Enhance and increase member engagement and volunteer pathways in leadership and governance throughout the Association.

4.3 Enhance membership recruitment activities and retention initiatives for both institutional and individual members.

Below is the open survey to provide feedback on the draft objectives. The survey will be open until Monday, November 19, 2018. The survey is now closed.

We look forward to your participation in this important planning process for the Association. The Board will meet at the end of November to review the feedback from Phase 2 to discuss and finalize the objectives and the 2019 - 2022 NASPA Strategic Plan.

For questions regarding the NASPA Strategic Planning Process, please contact:

Penny Rue
NASPA Board Chair
Vice President for Campus Life, Wake Forest University

William Franklin
NASPA Member at Large
Vice President for Student Affairs, California State University, Dominguez Hills


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 scholars and educators working within housing and residence life, student unions, student activities, counseling, career development, orientation, enrollment management, graduate preparation, 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.

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 affirms the importance and centrality of the values of equity, inclusion, and social justice to student affairs professionals, both in their daily lives and in their work on behalf of and with students and other constituents. NASPA believes that equity, inclusion, and social justice require continual pursuits to ensure that members from all identities, backgrounds, abilities, and belief systems have access, voice, acknowledgement, and opportunities to participate at all levels within the Association and the profession. Additionally, NASPA strives to ensure that our membership, leadership, scholarship, and programming are reflective of these values, and through our standards of professional practice we hold our members and the Association accountable to these principles in our work on behalf of the profession.

Read full statement →

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!