Crumbling Foundations and Fraying Nets: Intersections of Public Policy & Mental Health on Campus
While mental health is arguably one of the most prominent issues student affairs professionals engage with on a day-to-day basis, ranging from student needs to maintain or manage existing mental illness or stress to providing outlets and avenues for promotion of mental wellness, it is almost invisible in state and federal policymaking. In this post by Teri Lyn Hinds, NASPA's Director of Policy Research and Advocacy discusses how state and federal policy conversations can add to the mental distress and strain for many students. Despite this, it is rare to see legislation specifically address the growing mental health demands (or the costs of those demands) facing campuses. Policies implemented or being considered nationally in the past year would reverse the gains made to strengthen our general public health and mental health safety nets afforded by the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion in many states. This erosion comes at a time when students are bombarded on all dimensions of health and wellness: physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, occupational, and financial.
Lend your voice to something bigger than yourself
The 2018 Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement Meeting (CLDE18), being held June 6-9, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Orange County, in Anaheim, California, offers an opportunity for student affairs professionals, faculty, community partners, and students, to participate in discourse around the fundamentals of democracy and gain inspiration from our featured speakers to take back to your campus community. #CLDE18 will rejuvenate your passion for activating your students to be the change they want to see in the world.
Season’s Grievances: The PPD Celebrates Festivus
For members of the Public Policy Division the month of December meant keeping a watchful eye on two important pieces of legislation in addition to taking time to celebrate the merriment of seasonal holidays such as Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa. The first bill was H.R. 4508 “Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform Act” or ”PROSPER Act.“ This 472-page bill was introduced to the House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce on December 1st and marked-up and passed out of the committee less than two weeks later on December 12th. The second bill was the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed by President Trumped on December 22nd, which was just in time for anyone who celebrates the December 23rd Festivus holiday.
Engaging New Professionals and Graduate Students in Policy
As the Region II Public Policy Representative to the NASPA Public Policy Division, Krista Saleet gives a number of presentations at conferences and on campuses addressing policy and its impact on higher education. She is noticing a sharp increase in the number of new professionals and graduate students who attend these sessions and asking how they can be more knowledgeable and get involved in policy conversations. To that end, NASPA is working hard to engage all members in policy awareness, advocacy and activism. In this post, she shares resources and strategies for new professionals and graduate students to increase their involvement in policy affecting their work.
PROSPER Act: The House Higher Education Act Reauthorization Bill
Representative Virginia Foxx, Chair of the House Committee on Education and Workforce (Ed and Workforce), introduced a comprehensive revision to the Higher Education Act on December 1, 2017: the “Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform Act” (PROSPER Act). Though the Ed and Workforce Committee, and its Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee, held a number of hearings and passed several smaller pieces of legislation in previous Congressional sessions, the PROSPER Act represents a wide-ranging re-write of the legislation governing higher education including many provisions that will directly affect student affairs and student success. At nearly 600 pages, it is impossible to summarize all aspects of the legislation, though this post by NASPA Director of Policy Research and Advocacy Teri Lyn Hinds will highlight many of those most likely to be of interest to student affairs professionals, review the unconventionally fast process by which the bill was referred to the full House floor, and provide an expected timeline for a companion bill in the Senate.
Policies that Connect Adult Learners to Postsecondary Education
Adult learner/Non-traditional student post-secondary enrollment and success are essential to the national economic and college completion agenda. At the state policy level, enrolling (and graduating) additional adults, sometimes referred to as non-traditional students, enables states to have a more educated population, increasing state economic prosperity and competitiveness, and enhancing social mobility overall. In this post, Public Policy Division Region III Representative Heidi Leming, discusses the role of state policy on the issue area of adult learners.