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 14,000 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

Our strategic plan, Advancing Leadership, Shaping Change, approved in 2011, is the product of feedback gathered from over 1,200 member survey responses; our regions, divisions, knowledge communities, and other constituent groups. It is both aspirational and sustainable with a long-term strategic view and relevant goals for NASPA to achieve over the three year timeframe.

Goal 1
Build the capacity to create knowledge and use data to provide evidence that will support excellence in practice.
1.1  Be the primary source of data on the experience of college and university students
1.2  Demonstrate the impact of student affairs on student learning, persistence, and success through scholarship, assessment, evaluation, and research.
1.3  Tighten and align the connections among theory, research, and practice.
1.4  Enhance skills and provide tools to conduct student affairs program reviews in support of best practice and institutional effectiveness.

Goal 2    
Lead advocacy efforts that shape the changing landscape of higher education.

2.1  Assert NASPA's leadership role in critical issues of public policy regarding higher education.
2.2  Define, adopt, and communicate a public stance on critical policy issues in higher education.
2.3  Build capacity among membership in order to effectively influence public policy.
2.4  Track state and regional issues that might significantly affect students, practitioners, and/or campuses.

Goal 3
Launch an Initiative to collaborate with student affairs worldwide.

3.1  Conduct a needs assessment to guide and prioritize NASPA's international efforts.
3.2  Clarify NASPA's niche in international student affairs.
3.3  Provide context-appropriate professional development activities to improve knowledge and skills of student affairs professionals both domestic and abroad.

Goal 4
Strengthen NASPA by making it a more responsive, vital, and sustainable organization.

4.1  Diversify and strengthen the sources of NASPA's revenue.                 
4.2  Increase collaboration and partnerships with higher education and other organizations.
4.3  Review and redefine the roles and responsibilities of the NASPA President, Executive Director, Regional Vice Presidents, and Board structure and composition.     
4.4  Increase opportunities for innovation through technology.
4.5  Strengthen NASPA's contributions to student affairs graduate preparation programs.
4.6  Ensure the participation and inclusion of NASPA's members in leadership and governance.
4.7  Examine resources and staffing to ensure alignment with strategic planning goals.

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!