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Public Policy Agenda

Building on NASPA’s role as a leading advocate for federal and state public policy in support of students and the student affairs profession, and reflecting the Association’s continuing effort to develop members’ professional competencies to engage effectively in public policy conversations, NASPA’s Public Policy Division presents the following agenda to guide member and staff public policy engagement for 2017-2020.

NASPA’s Public Policy Agenda is grounded in a commitment to ensuring opportunity for all institutional members’ students and a belief that higher education is a great benefit to both individuals and society. NASPA members and staff will direct efforts toward the following key public policy issue areas.

Read NASPA's full  Public Policy Agenda here. For the latest statements from NASPA or current opportunities for student affairs professionals to add their voice in support of students and student success, please visit the Policy and Advocacy page.

NASPA’s Policy & Advocacy Team conducts free monthly live briefings with updates on state and federal policy pertinent to the NASPA Public Policy Agenda. Sign up for the November 2018 Briefing, Federal Administrative Update: Checking the Pulse on Immigration Policy, on Thursday, November 29, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. ET. From ongoing threats to the Deferred Action to Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to the implementation of multiple visa restrictions, 2018 has proved a tumultuous year for immigrant and international members of the higher education community. This briefing, presented by Assistant Director for Policy Research and Advocacy, Diana Ali, will review a timeline of federal immigration policy over the past year and draw implications of potential impacts to immigrant and international students as we move into the 116th Congress.

Sign up to receive NASPA RPI's free monthly Policy Update Email!

NASPA Public Policy Division Virtual Town Halls 

Members of the NASPA Public Policy Division host periodic virtual town hall discussions on topics of interest to NASPA members.

  • REGISTER TODAY! Public Policy Division Virtual Town Hall: What Will the Midterm Elections Mean for Student Affairs Professionals? Mark your calendars and register today for this upcoming 60min virtual town hall, November 15 at 2:00p.m. ET. The 2018 Midterm elections will include races for 35 senators, 435 members of the House of Representatives, 36 governors, and several thousand state legislators, all of which will undoubtedly impact the outlook for higher education institutions and professionals on campuses nationwide. Join NASPA’s Public Policy Division for a virtual Town Hall forum a week after the elections for a conversation about what’s changed, where there are still questions, what to expect as we head into a new Congress, the final year of preparations for the 2020 Census, and new state executive and legislative leadership. Town Hall participants are encouraged to engage in the conversation and discussion around what's happening on their campuses. Whether you have insights or examples to contribute and share with others or just want to listen in to hear how campuses are preparing and responding to these issues, we invite you to join us!
  • May 2018: Campus Safety and Guns on Campus, featuring Jeff Allison, Director of Government and External Relations, International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA), and Kevin Kraft, Director of Community Standards, Tufts University and Secretary, Association of Threat Assessment Professionals – New England
  • November 2017: Free Speech on College Campusesfeaturing Bobby Woodard, Vice President of Student Affairs at Auburn University, and Allen W. Groves, University Dean of Students at the University of Virginia.

Student Success and College Completion

NASPA is committed to supporting public and institutional policies that seek to expand access to and success in high-quality postsecondary education to all students, particularly those which close inequity gaps for historically under-represented in US higher education.

Recent RPI Resources and Publications:

Student Safety and Wellness

NASPA plays an important role in advocacy for student safety and wellness, including physical, emotional, intellectual, social, spiritual, occupational, and financial wellness, in public policy arenas, and also in helping student affairs professionals navigate compliance with related legislation, regulations, and governmental guidance on issues ranging from mental health, sexual assault prevention and response, financial stability and literacy, and civic engagement.

Recent RPI Resources and Publications:

Cost of Higher Education, Student Debt, and Borrower Protections

NASPA is committed to efforts that influence policies that facilitate the ability of students and families to make informed choices and those that increase college affordability, increase access and availability of financial aid, and decrease student indebtedness, particularly for students from backgrounds that have had fewer resources to support college preparation and access.

Recent RPI Resources and Publications:

Inclusive Opportunities for Access and Success in Higher Education

NASPA is committed to fostering increasingly more diverse and inclusive campuses including support for all students, including students historically under-represented in US higher education, especially amid heightened uncertainty regarding protections for international, immigrant, and trans students. 

Recent RPI Resources and Publications:

Civic Engagement and Freedom of Expression

NASPA is committed to supporting students, student affairs professionals, and others in expanding their capacity for civic engagement while simultaneously supporting individual rights to freedom of expression. Acknowledging the very real presence of historical, social, and political power dynamics which can neither be ignored nor become the sole consideration in navigating controversial topics and issues on campus is central to this tenet.

Recent RPI Resources and Publications: