New Professionals and Graduate Students

Supporting the Profession New Professionals and Graduate Students New Professional

The New Professionals and Graduate Students (NPGS) Steering Committee is your gateway into this 15,000+ member association! Our steering committee strives to provide support from graduate students (master's and doctoral) and new professionals (< 5 years of full-time experience). Explore ways to engage with us year-round. 

Message from the Co-Chairs

"NPGS has become a professional home for both of us over the past several years and we hope this knowledge community will provide you with a similar experience. As Co-Chairs, it is our intention to provide opportunities for our constituents to build confidence, connection, community, and skills for action and contribution. Our ultimate goal is to prepare new professionals and graduate students for the next by capitalizing on the now. New professionals and graduate students make up over 40% of the association, representing multiple perspectives, functional areas, and experiences. We are committed to better understanding and advancing the needs of new professionals and graduate students. We look forward to co-creating an unmatched level of encouragement and energy through our knowledge community. Connect with us on Instagram and Twitter @NPGS_SC for upcoming opportunities and events. We hope to meet you soon!"


We are excited to help you learn more about who we are, our focal areas and future plans.


The mission of the New Professionals and Graduate Students (NPGS) Steering Committee (SC) is to educate and disseminate information related to graduate students and new professionals in higher education and student affairs.

Additionally, the NPGS SC is committed to creating scholastic opportunities, developing community among members, and enhancing professional involvement within NASPA, student affairs, and higher education.

Strategic Plan

Our vision is to create a community where SC members can understand the potential and power that they have now as new professionals and graduate students to act, make change, and involve themselves in the work of student affairs. Further, we hope to advance the work of both the #AddValue (2016-2018) and #MakeYourMark (2018-2020) platforms to encourage SC members to critically consider how to leverage their current roles and experiences and #NavigateTheNow. 

Empowering our members to #NavigateTheNow will promote active engagement in the work across our functional areas and institutions. We find this also relates to the complexities of the larger national and world issues that enter our campus environments and shape how we as people make decisions. Our strategic plan for the NPGS SC is geared toward achieving this, drawing on goals and objectives rooted in our own philosophies as well inspired by the NASPA guiding principles of integrity, innovation, inclusion, and inquiry. They include: 


We will:

  • Provide opportunities to expand competency within the field of higher education.
  • Empower members to serve as change agents within their spheres of influence.
  • Create space to discuss and learn from missteps to enhance resiliency skills.


We will:

  • Develop and maintain curiosity of self, others, and our work.
  • Discover a deeper sense of purpose and meaning to each other and the field.
  • Sustain authentic conversation and civil discourse to retain belief in our shared humanity and diverse experiences.

Pillar #3: COMMUNITY

We will:

  • Facilitate forums for building community using online and in-person methods.
  • Highlight and celebrate the diversity each NPGS member brings to the KC.
  • Incite reflection around remaining individually authentic while aligning oneself to the work of a larger group.


We will:

  • Help members understand the practicality behind adding to the field.
  • Produce research and data that is driven by and for members of the KC.
  • Craft a legacy that is progressive and forward-thinking for future NPGS members.

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Get Involved

We are excited you are interested in joining the knowledge community!

There are multiple ways to get involved with NPGS: become a member and receive our monthly newsletter, connect with us on social media @NPGS_SC, listen to our podcast, or attend one of our events at the next annual conference. NPGS also has Region Reps who can help you get involved in the association on a regional level. If you would like to serve on our leadership team or one of our several committees, browse Volunteer Central for opportunities. More details below: 


Just because you are a member of NASPA does not mean you are getting updates from the New Professionals and Graduate Students Knowledge Community. You have to become a member of the Knowledge Community to receive announcements, opportunities, and information related to our community. Follow the instructions below to join. Also, know that NASPA members are welcome to join as many KCs as they’d like. The more you join, the more you may get out of your membership.

To join, follow these steps.

  • Step 1: Visit the NASPA website at and log-in
  • Step 2: Click on “Update Profile"
  • Step 3: Click on “Edit Information”
  • Step 4: Scroll down to the Knowledge Community section
  • Step 5: Highlight all KCs you want to join including the "New Professionals and Graduate Students" and click “Save”

Aside from being member, joining a committee with the Knowledge Community is a step for deepening your involvement with NASPA. Each committee varies in its focus, but all work is done to #NavigateTheNow with our constituents. When expressing interest in a committee, a few things to consider are:

  1. What are the time commitments and when are the busy periods? Committees have different “busy periods” and amount of time they require to fulfill the duties of the position.
  2. Do you want a year-round or short-term commitment? Some committees are year-round commitments while others are project based. Which type of commitment are you looking for?
  3. What skills or experience do you want to contribute or develop in? Do not only consider doing work you are already familiar with or have done. Consider the NASPA/ACPA Professional Competences to contemplate skills you would like to intentionally develop in while serving to the KC.

We are committed to posting all involvement opportunities via NASPA Volunteer Central. This ensures transparency and equal access to opportunities available to members. 


To be considered for a Leadership Team and/or Regional Representative position, you must be a NASPA New Professionals and Graduate Students KC member and be willing to devote time towards the betterment of the KC.

These positions are developed and selected by newly-elected KC Chair(s). Sometimes position offerings change from term to term. Currently all positions are filled for the 2020-2022 term. As opportunities arise, we will post them via NASPA Volunteer Central, including committee roles and one-time experiences, such as sponsored session program reviewers. 


The Knowledge Community Chair position provides leadership for the community. These positons are available on a two-year rotating basis. We encourage all involved NASPA members to consider applying for this amazing opportunity available for you to get actively involved with the NPGS KC.

The chair(s) serve the KC by: (1) developing, recruiting and selecting a Leadership Team, (2) developing a platform and strategic plan for the KC, and (3) engaging in communication between KC members, leadership, and NASPA Headquarters.


Knowledge Community Chair/Co-Chair candidates should:

  • Be committed to developing and implementing the KC vision, mission, and goals.
  • Be able to make a 3-year commitment to KC leadership (1 year as Chair/Co-Chair Elect and 2 years as Chair/Co-Chair.
  • Be able to attend NASPA Annual Conferences and KC leadership events and conference calls. 
  • Possess strong organizational and communication skills. 

In order to run for the chair position, be on the lookout for the Nomination Process held in even number years (2020, 2022, 2024, etc.). Nominations are by members of the KC or we encourage self-nominations as well. 

Awards & Grants



1,275 Total Members

New Members This Quarter- 245

Breakdown by Month-

January: 78

February: 120

March: 47

Regional Breakdown- 
Region I Region II Region III Region IV-E Region IV-W Region V Region VI
10.3% 17.3% 26.5% 13.8% 7.5% 6.4% 17.7%
Professional Level Breakdown- 
Graduate Students New Professionals Mid-Level Senior-Level and Above Faculty
23% 28.2% 30.1% 12.5% 4.2%

Last updated: 5/13/21


Finding Job Postings:

  • Consider signing up for a higher education job fair or interview event → Most are free or low-cost with a student discount

  • Check Facebook and LinkedIn groups related to higher education to look for posts about job openings

  • Sign up for mailing lists for higher education organizations specific to the functional areas you’re interested in, as sometimes openings will be emailed through the lists

  • Utilize job boards/databases and set up automated email alerts for new postings in your target location/functional area

    • Bookmark the career websites for your top universities as well and be sure to check them regularly or set up job alerts to your email so you can be the first to submit an application for new openings


  • Request informational interviews yourself or ask people in your network if they would be willing to connect you with others they know

    • The Muse offers a template you can use for informational interview requests

    • UC Berkeley’s Career Center offers sample questions to ask at an informational interview

    • Remember to send a thank-you note after the meeting! An email or LinkedIn message is fine, and there are many free online sites you can use to create and send virtual cards (ex. Paperless Post)

  • Ask your network if they know of any current or upcoming job openings at their companies - you could find out about a job before it’s even posted publicly

  • Use your college alumni network as a tool

    • If your college has a company page on LinkedIn, navigate to the Alumni section to search alumni by title, keyword, or company. The results that come up for each individual will also list any shared connections you have, if any. You can then ask your shared connections to facilitate an introduction!

  • Create and maintain a database of your personal & professional network with updated contact information. Reach out to your network regularly and take notes on when you’ve been in contact

  • Luke’s Circle offers a networking tracker template you can copy and customize for your needs

    • The Muse offers some common reasons to reach out to your network along with email templates

  • Get involved in professional organizations to help you grow your network!

Applying to Jobs:

  • Pull out the keywords from the job posting and use them in your resume/cover letter to ensure that your application will be pushed forward by any automated HR software

  • Create one master copy of your resume along with multiple other versions that showcase your experience specific to different functional areas/types of jobs

    • You can also list all of your past/current roles in a spreadsheet and group by theme to easily copy and paste into different versions of your resume

  • Create different cover letter templates that are tailored to each of the functional areas/types of positions you are applying for. Highlight which information needs to be changed each time you apply for a position (ex. addressee, job title, institution title)

  • Upload all application documents as PDFs instead of Word documents to ensure that the formatting stays consistent

  • Maintain a spreadsheet of all the jobs you’ve applied for along with dates, job posting numbers and links, and interview information to stay organized in your search

  • If you are invited to come to campus for an interview, you can ask if the institution will cover your travel/housing expenses if it’s far away

  • Keep your LinkedIn profile updated and use it as a vehicle for showcasing your personal brand (ex. sharing articles, commenting on others’ posts, writing blogs, etc.). Customize your LinkedIn profile URL and include it in your resume/cover letter heading

Preparing for Interviews:

  • Utilize your university’s career office if possible for career coaching appointments, resume/cover letter review, and mock interviews

    • You can also practice your responses to common interview questions using LinkedIn’s Interview Prep tool (must have a LinkedIn account to access)

  • Check higher education news sites, journals, and professional organization websites regularly to stay on top of current trends and best practices in the field

  • Google “common interview questions for [type of role]” to help you prepare

  • Look for the interviewers on LinkedIn ahead of time to see if you have anything in common with them that you can mention at the interview

  • Prepare a list of questions that you want to ask of the interviewers as well

  • In addition to reviewing the office’s website, look at their social media profiles to gain more information about the culture and types of programs/services they offer

  • Prepare an elevator pitch to respond to the “Tell me about yourself” question

    • Oak Tree Staffing offers a guide to creating an elevator pitch along with sample pitches

Understanding/Negotiating Salary and Other Benefits:

  • If the salary range for the position is not listed in the posting, check if there is a salary grade listed. Google “[Institution Name] Salary Grade” or “[Institution Name] Pay Grade” to find a chart on the institution’s website, or search similar institutions in the same city/state to look at their charts for an estimate of what you could expect to earn

    • Some states publish all salary data for their employees online. This data includes salaries of staff at public higher education institutions. So you can also search “[State Name] State Employee Salaries” to find this information

    • If you can’t find the salary range or grade, you can also try calling the institution’s Human Resources office to ask if they can provide it. You don’t have to provide your name if you don’t feel comfortable doing so, or you can request that the call remain confidential

    • There are also a number of free websites you can use to look at general salary data by job title and location

  • If a job application asks you to write your desired salary or if you are asked this question in a first-round interview, you can say that you’re “negotiable” instead of providing a number right away. It is often beneficial to let the institution provide a number first so you don’t inadvertently undersell yourself

  • Do your research ahead of time to see if there is the potential for salary negotiation. It is common for some unionized positions to have non-negotiable salaries, since the wages are set by the union’s collective bargaining agreements

  • If starting salary is non-negotiable, you can also try negotiating other benefits, such as:

    • Vacation and sick days

    • Relocation assistance

    • Professional development funding

    • Flexible work policies (i.e. hybrid/remote formats)

    • Salary increase after each year of service (more commonly negotiated for mid- and senior-level positions)

    • Tuition remission

    • Insurance premiums

      • The Muse offers an overview of common health insurance terms and definitions

    • Parking passes and other commuter benefits, such as tax-free public transit passes

    • Retirement plan options/employer contribution matching

      • NerdWallet offers an overview of different types of retirement plan options

    • Waiving the waiting periods before health benefits, employer matching, and/or tuition remission benefits become available to you

  • If you are considering relocating for a job, you can use cost of living calculators to compare how far your salary will go in one place vs. another

    • There are also free online calculators you can use see what your take-home pay will be after taxes


The Placement Exchange Job fair
Southern Placement Exchange Job fair
Oshkosh Placement Exchange Job fair
HigherEd Jobs Job board/database
Job Hakr Job board/database
ACPA Career Center Job board/database
LGBTQ+ Consortium Job Board Job board/database
International Jobs Job board/database
Monster Job board/database
Indeed Job board/database
LinkedIn Job board/database
Millennials in Student Affairs Facebook group
Student Affairs Professionals Facebook group
Job Openings in Higher Education Facebook group
BLKSAP (Black Student Affairs Professionals) Facebook group
Latinx in Student Affairs Facebook group
Women of Color in Student Affairs Facebook group
Community College Student Affairs Professionals Facebook group
The Jobs Board: The Student Affairs Networking Group Facebook group


Salary Tools: 

HigherEd Jobs - Salary Data Database of average salaries for common higher education jobs, categorized by institutional type
Glassdoor Search engine to look at average salaries by job title or company + location Search engine to look at average salaries by job title or keyword + location
PayScale A tool to search average salaries by job title or browse by industry
American Association of University Women - Start Smart Free online course to build salary negotiation skills
SmartAsset Federal Paycheck Calculator A tool to calculate your take-home pay per paycheck for both salary and hourly jobs after taking federal, state, and local taxes into account
NerdWallet Cost of Living Calculator Compare the cost of living in two cities


Networking Resources: 

The Muse - Informational Interviews Template for informational interview requests
UC Berkeley Career Center Sample informational interview questions
Paperless Post A free website you can use to send virtual thank-you cards after informational interviews
The Muse - Networking A list of common reasons to reach out to your network, with email templates
Luke's Circle - Networking tracker template A spreadsheet that you can copy and customize to list everyone in your network and track your communication with them


Professional Organizations: 

NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education All
ACPA College Student Educators International All
JASPA Jesuit Student Affairs All
Young Nonprofit Professionals Network All
American Council on Education (ACE) All
Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) All
Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) All
National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Academic advising
National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) Admissions
American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) Admissions
Student Affairs Assessment Leaders Assessment
National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Athletics
National Collegiate Athletic Association Athletics
National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Career Services
National Student Employment Association Career Services
American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Community Colleges
American Counseling Association Counseling
American College Counseling Association Counseling
National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) Financial Aid
Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors Fraternity & Sorority Life
National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) Fraternity & Sorority Life
Fraternity Communications Association Fraternity & Sorority Life
Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) Graduate Education
NAGAP: The Association for Graduate Enrollment Management Graduate Education
Australian, New Zealand Student Services Association (ANZSSA) International Education
NAFSA Association of International Educators International Education
UK Council for International Student Affairs International Education
Institute of International Education (IIE) International Education
Council on International Educational Exchange International Education
California Colleges for International Education International Education
The National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs Leadership Education
National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) Multicultural Affairs
National Association for Multicultural Education Multicultural Affairs
National Society for Hispanic Professionals Multicultural Affairs
National Consortium of Directors of LGBT Resources in Higher Education Multicultural Affairs
NODA Association for Orientation, Transition, & Retention in Higher Education Orientation Programs
Association of College and University Housing Officers - International (ACUHO-I) Residence Life & Housing
National Association of College and University Residence Halls (NACURH) Residence Life & Housing
National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) Residence Life & Housing
Corporation for National Service Service Learning
International Partnership for Service Learning Service Learning
National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) Student Activities
Association for Student Conduct Administration (ASCA) Student Conduct
Association of College Unions International (ACUI) Student Unions


Higher Ed News Sites: 

Inside Higher Ed
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Diverse Issues in Higher Education
Times Higher Education
The Hechinger Report




 *Please note that these are listed with the grants' previous descriptions. For the most up-to-date information (e.g., deadlines and requirements), please visit the specific pages hyperlinked below.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          NASPA-Wide Awards

NASPA Innovation Grants Program

Innovation: Continuously seeking improvement through new and creative approaches.

How often have you had a new and creative idea for your campus, but the funds are not there? NASPA, in partnership with the NASPA Foundation, is excited to announce the Innovation Grants Program for just this reason. Conferred twice a year and to be used immediately, the Innovation Grants provide awards to support innovation, exploration, and development for NASPA members, regardless of campus membership affiliation. With three levels of grants of application round, ranging from up to $1,000, $1,000 - $3,000, and $3,000 - $5,000, these funds are intended to provide the scaffolding for NASPA members to implement innovative ideas that lead to student learning and success.

NASPA strives to be a champion and role model of innovation for higher education and student affairs associations. As such, this program is informed by NASPA's Strategic Plan, as well as our four guiding principles of integrity, innovation, inclusion, and inquiry. All submissions, regardless of funding level, should relate to the NASPA Strategic Plan. The 2019-2024 Strategic Plan will be released in March, but rhe 2015-2018 objectives still are relevant:

  • 1.2 Implement and expand the integration of student affairs professional competencies.
  • 1.3 Expand and strengthen capacities related to equity, inclusion, and intercultural competencies.
  • 1.6 Identify collaborative partnerships with higher education and other organizations to broaden knowledge and the student affairs profession.
  • 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.
  • 5.4 Implement global opportunities that promote culturally relevant practice and professional development.

Evaluation Criteria

The intent of this grant program is to help successfully implement new ideas. However, we understand that not every innovative idea becomes an innovation. Many fail. That’s the nature of experimentation. Therefore, while our goal is innovation, what we’re really looking for is innovative ideas — along with a plan to apply those ideas. We’re encouraging campuses and individuals to try new things.

If you are wondering whether your new program or process qualifies as an “innovative idea,” consider these questions:

1. Does it seem innovative to you?

2. Do you hope it will create new opportunities or significantly improve ways of operating?

3. Is it new for you or your campus — and also not standard practice in the student affairs and higher education community? (If others have tried something similar, with any degree of success, that’s okay with us, as long as it’s new and not commonplace. In fact, you might build on the concepts of innovative project you’re observing elsewhere.)

If your answer to all three questions is yes, your idea will probably sound innovative to our review committee as well. As you can see, we’re not defining this narrowly because we don’t want to limit your creativity.

When reviewing applications, we also consider:

  • Significance
  • Project Design and Practicality
  • Applicability and Transferability
  • Impact

In addition to the above major criteria, reviewers also look at the project’s objectives, the applicant’s potential and commitment to innovation, the clarity of the application, the project management plan and budget, and the organizational commitment and resources.

Ruth Strang Research Award

The Ruth Strang Research Award recognizes individuals for outstanding contributions to the body of literature concerning women in higher education. This award encourages high-quality research related to women in higher education and seeks to promote research by, for, and about women. Submissions may be published or unpublished articles, academic papers, book chapters, or portfolios that show strong scholarship and address topics relevant to the education of women and their personal and professional development.

Applicants will be assessed on:

  • Originality: The author has developed content that is original. The reader is challenged to think about the topic in a new way.
  • Relevance to Literature/Women in Higher Education: The document not only supplements, but advances prior research and literature about women in higher education.
  • Clarity of Ideas and Structural Organization: The author clearly expresses his/her thoughts and maintaining the reader's interest. The order and flow of the information contributes to a well-developed manuscript.
  • Data: Data are appropriately and accurately derived and presented.

Entrants must be:

  • Current members of NASPA;
  • Currently enrolled undergraduate, graduate and post-doctoral students, college faculty, or professionals working in student affairs or related fields.

Note: Applications typically due in early December

Region Awards


Region I Research Grant

The NASPA Region I Advisory Board invites applications from Student Affairs practitioners, faculty and graduate students for Region I Research Grants.  Grants are supported by money from the NASPA Foundation for the Region’s fundraising success in reaching both the donor and dollar goals.  The Advisory Board is interested in funding research which advances our understanding of student development, student success, student learning and the student affairs profession.  An individual or research team may receive up to $2,000 to fund software for data analysis/equipment/transcription services, travel/transportation, mailing/postage/supplies, printing/marketing, supplies and food.

NOTE: Deadline is typically in February of each year. Award given at NASPA annual conference.

*PDF with application information in the shared drive.


Region III Research and Assessment Grant Proposal Invitation

NASPA Region III again offers its annual call for research proposals for the 2018–2019 research and assessment grant awards. Region III contributes $5,000 annually in research assessment grants for Region III members. An individual or research group may receive up to $1,000 for the 2018–2019 academic year. Prospective grant recipients must electronically submit applications by Friday, May 4, 2018 by 11:59 pm. For more information and to apply, visit: Preference will be given to applicants who submit proposals focused on the following NASPA Region III strategic areas: Social Justice and Inclusion, Internationalization of Student Affairs, Community Colleges, HBCUs, Faculty Research Interests, and Graduate Students.

NOTE: In most years, this is posted in January, with a submission deadline in early February. Awards are given at NASPA conference in March OR at the annual summer symposium in June.


Region IV-East Community Colleges Research and Scholarship Award

By the conferral of this award NASPA continues its traditions of both honoring prominent research and scholarship in Higher Education and Student Affairs and supporting the community colleges sector. In order to support the goals of a strong research-based practice, this annual award is presented to an individual or team who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing research and scholarship on the topic of student affairs in the community college.

  • Exceptional contributions to student affairs practice in community colleges through sustained research and scholarship. (Impact of research must have implications for higher education at the national or international level)
  • Outstanding individual contribution in innovative and responsive services and programs that address varied and emerging needs of student
  • A minimum of five years’ experience in student affairs.
  • Resume(s) or vita(e)
  • Active individual NASPA membership
  • Self Nominations will be accepted.

Winners will be notified in October and the presentation of the awards will take place at the Region IV-East Conference in November in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Award winners should make every attempt to attend the Region IV-East Conference.

In addition to the regional recognition that accompanies this award, the recipient will also be considered for the National NASPA Community College Professional Award.

NOTE: Deadline is during the fall semester (typically the beginning of October)

Region IV-East Research and Assessment Grant

NASPA Region IV-East is proud to support research and assessment by offering a call for research and assessment grant proposals. Grants will be awarded at the Region IV-East conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in November 2018.

In support of NASPA’s strategic plan, the Region is interested in funding research and assessment completed by NASPA members from Region IV-East that furthers our understanding of student access, learning, and success as well as the effectiveness of practice. 

There are four awards available this cycle - ($4,000 total):

2 Grants - Individual or Research Team Award - each worth $1,500


2 Grants – *Graduate Student Research Award - each worth $500

For any grant application, at least one recipient must be a NASPA Member from Region IV-E. Graduate students are eligible to apply for both levels of grants using a single application. Graduate student research grant dollars are available ONLY to a currently enrolled graduate student.

  • Overall proposal including originality and creativity, response to current trends and issues, clarity, value, understanding of student development and learning outcomes, application of theory to practice, writing style, and the degree to which it is based on research literature and theory
  • Research design
  • Proposed budget.
  • A rubric is used by reviewers and is available upon request.

Grant applications should be submitted via the online application form and include the following:

  • A cover page identifying the research proposal title, desired grant award category, the primary investigator’s name, NASPA membership number (at least one member of the research team is required to be a Region IV-E NASPA member), address, institution, telephone number, email address, additional team member names, NASPA membership numbers of any research team members, and a statement indicating:

“I/We agree to acknowledge Region IV-E funding support in all phases of research; I/We will not use any portion of the project for commercial purposes (i.e. selling an instrument for profit); I/We will deposit the grant funds into an institutional account; and I/We will provide NASPA Region IV-E Board of Directors with a written summary of my findings and a detailed account of how the funds were expended no later than 18 months after the receipt of this grant. I/We will also present findings at a future NASPA IV-E Regional Conference.”

  • Complete grant proposals are limited to 5 pages of content (excluding cover page and references), double spaced and should including:

o         Statement of research purpose/question

o         Brief description of literature addressing the research purpose/question

o         Description of the research or assessment methods to be used including:

§  Description of the population and sample

§  Description of any instrument(s) to be used in the study

§  Description of the data collection techniques

  • Description of the proposed analysis
  • Description of the intended audience for completed research
  • An indication of how the results will be disseminated to Region IV-E and NASPA membership
  • Description of the credentials of the researchers
  • Detailed budget (including support requested or received from other sources)
  • Graduate student applications must also include a memo of support from a faculty member.

NOTE: Deadline is during the summer (typically the beginning of August)


NASPA IV-W has access to $500 for research grants for 2017-18. To capitalize on this funding, we must make the award(s) in July. NASPA IV-W is committed to supporting research in the region. Members are invited to apply for the NASPA IV-W research grant online at

Applications will be reviewed by the Research Coordinator, Regional Director, SSAO liaison, and the Assessment, Evaluation, & Research Knowledge Community Region Representative. Funds may be awarded to one or several research projects based upon a review of the applications.

Questions? Please contact Amy Pennington, NASPA IV-W Research Coordinator

NOTE: applications are due in the summer (typically the end of June)

KC Awards


Adult Learners and Students with Children Research Grant

Adult learners and students with children are important but relatively unstudied populations within higher education research.  Studies indicate that students with children could represent over 25% of students (Gault, Reichlin, and Reynolds, 2014), and growth of non-traditional or adult students is expected to continue: the highest growth expected in 25-34 year old category at 25% growth compared to 20% growth in over 35 and 10% growth in under 25 according to the National Center for Educational Statistics through 2021.

The Knowledge Community for Adult Learners and Students with Children wishes to support further research into our populations and highlight that research in a meaningful manner by providing this annual grant.

NOTE: Grant is typically due at the End of October, and is awarded at the Annual NASPA meeting. Grants are up to $200 per study.


AOD KC Research Grant

The purpose of the AOD KC Research Grant is to support the creation of new knowledge focused on the intersection of alcohol and other drug issues and Student Affairs and assist in the dissemination of this research to the NASPA and Higher Education community. This award is intended to support either professional or graduate-level scholarly research. To learn more and to apply, download the AOD KC grant application. To learn more please contact one of our co-chairs.

NOTE: Contact co-chairs with questions about typical timeline for this grant


Gender and Sexuality KC Awards Research Award(s)

The Gender and Sexuality Knowledge Community provides avenues for both social and professional involvement. We allow for personal and professional growth, increased awareness and acceptance of professionals and students, and promote understanding of professional and student needs.

Our community recognizes individuals, programs, and research that have made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of sexual and gender minorities inclusivity and education at the highest and broadest level. The awards aid to exhibit excellence and/or innovations that have added to the profession of Student Affairs and Higher Education and enhance the lives of their communities.

The Gender and Sexuality KC is currently seeking nominations for the 2019 Research Award(s).

Individuals selected for their award will be notified in November and are expected to submit a current resume or CV to the Awards & Scholarships Co-Chairs at that time.

The Gender & Sexuality KC Research Award is awarded annually to two graduate students.

The purpose of this award is:

  1. To recognize outstanding graduate student(s) research (master or doctoral) that contributes to the knowledge of Gender & Sexuality topics in Student Affairs and Higher Education
  2. To support the creation of new knowledge through Gender & Sexuality research, and
  3. To support the distribution of new knowledge to NASPA members and the Higher Education community.

Recipients of this award will:

  • Be named a 2018 NASPA Gender & Sexuality KC Scholar
  • Be recognized at the 2019 NASPA National Conference
  • Receive a $200 research grant
  • Have their work considered for distribution through the NASPA Gender and Sexuality KC
  • Have the opportunity for further professional development through mentoring from NASPA Gender and Sexuality Knowledge Community members who are GLBT scholars or scholar-practitioners


  • Applicants must be NASPA members
  • Applicants must be currently enrolled in a master’s or doctoral program
  • This award is to recognize and support the research process, not to recognize research that has already been completed
  • Research projects must be completed by December 31, 2018
  • Research must pertain to Gender & Sexuality topics in Student Affairs & Higher Education
  • Upon completion, submit an article for the G&S Knowledge Community Newsletter

Entries should be prepared as follows:

  1. A title page with ONLY the title of your paper and the award for which you are applying (e.g., LGBT Identity Development, submitted as an entry for the research grant). Do not put your name or institution on the title page or anywhere in the document itself.
  2. A description of your study that includes the research purpose and/or questions, significance to theory and/or practice.
    • Clearly stated purpose and objectives
    • Should be no more than 500 words and should make clear how the study relates to LGBTQ+ issues in student affairs, higher education, or both.
    • Include a reference list if applicable; the list itself DOES NOT count toward your 500 word total.
  3. Save as a PDF document, with your name as the document name (e.g., smithj.pdf). Your name SHOULD NOT APPEAR anywhere else on the document. Entries will be reviewed without names.

NOTE: This award application is typically due in early November.


Outstanding Research Award

The purpose of this award is to support the creation of new knowledge focusing on the area of Indigenous higher education. This award is intended to support professional, doctoral, and Masters-level scholarly research.  The recipient will submit an article about their research to the Indigenous Peoples Knowledge Community newsletter in order to disseminate their findings to the KC membership and beyond.

NOTE: This award application is typically due in early November,


Parent and Family Relations KC Research Grant

The Parent and Family Relations Knowledge Community Research Grant supports the discovery of new knowledge, new applications of theory to practice and innovation as it relates to the relationship between universities and parents/families of undergraduate students.

Individuals seeking this grant should demonstrate how their research aligns with the mission of the PFRKC and/or improves the relationship between colleges and parents or families. Nominations for the award must provide evidence for why the individual should be considered. Research must be completed by December of the same year as the award being granted. A brief description of the research goals, timeline, and intended purposes of the research, as well as optional letters of support will be used to nominate worthy individuals for this award. Self-nominations will be accepted. An IRB approval document, a statement of why waived/not necessary, or a plan for IRB approval must be submitted, as applicable.

Recipients of this award will be recognized at the PFRKC Open Business Meeting, which is held during the annual NASPA conference. The award may be accompanied by a cash grant of up to $250.

NOTE: Grant submission deadlines tends to be in November, with award given at the following national conference


Socioeconomic and Class Issues in Higher Education KC Outstanding Research Grant

The Socioeconomic & Class Issues in Higher Education Knowledge Community is excited to fund the Outstanding Research Grant award with the purpose of providing a research grant supporting the mission of the Knowledge Community and furthering the contribution of research.

This grant will be awarded at the 2019 NASPA Annual Conference for the amount of up to $250. Solicitations will be sought through late-October with a review committee within the Knowledge Community screening submissions.

NOTE: This award application is typically due in October.


TKC Small Research Grant

The NASPA Technology Knowledge Community is pleased to continue offering a small grant to promote and encourage research focused on technology-related topics and concerns. Aligned with the TKC’s Pillar of Research and Scholarship, the Small Research Grant is designed to assist in the execution of promising technology-related research that has the potential to inform the practice of student affairs administrators.

NOTE Contact KC with questions about deadlines for the award

Division/Group Awards 

Community College Division

Community College Research and Scholarship Award

By the conferral of this award NASPA continues its traditions of both honoring prominent research and scholarship in higher education and student affairs and supporting the community colleges sector. In order to support the goals of a strong research-based practice, this annual award is presented to an individual or team who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing research and scholarship on the topic of student affairs in the community college.


Below are the criteria that will be used to evaluate the nominees. Please note that only one letter of nomination is required and up to three additional letters of support will be considered but not required. Self-nominations will be accepted.

  • Exceptional contributions to student affairs practice in community colleges through sustained research and scholarship
  • Issues addressed in research and scholarship must be important and substantial issues related to student affairs practice in community colleges
  • Impact of research must have implications for higher education at the national or international level
  • One letter of nomination that references the research and/or scholarship of the individual or team (self-nominations are accepted) and up to three additional letters of support
  • Resume(s) or vita(e) of the nominee(s)
  • Active individual NASPA membership

NOTE: See the Division page on NASPA website for when award application will open.


One of the best resources available to you is the wide range of professional development opportunities. This list contains both our “Hosted Events,” workshops and webinars that we plan and manage, and some “Related Events,” hosted by the NASPA Central Office or other NASPA Constituent Groups. To see a full listing of NASPA events, please see the Events page.

Leadership Team

Get Connected

Stay connected with us. We offer year-round opportunities for networking and professional development. 

Regional & Area Social Media 

Take a look at the active social media channels for the New Professionals & Graduate Students Steering Committee that offer reigonal or area level content. Don't know your region/area? Find out where you fit in NASPA.

Region I NPGS Region I NPGS Region I  
Region II NPGS Region II --  
Regional III NPGS Region III -- Instagram
Region IV - E NPGS Region IV - E --  
Region IV - W NPGS Region IV - W --  
Region V NPGS Region V --  
Region VI NPGS Region VI --  
MENASA -- --  
LAC -- --  

Steering Committee Social Media

Take a look at the NASPA-wide social media channels for the Steering Committee below. 

Signature Initiatives

Each year, the NASPA New Professionals and Graduate Students Steering Committee present a number of events that are geared to stimulate intellectual and personal engagement on a variety of topics relevant to our members.

These signature events and initiatives address some of the most pressing issues of our time, and they are designed to have a powerful impact on all participants and attendees. To learn more about our scheduled programs and events, please visit the Events listing page. 

NPGS Symposium/Pre-Conference

The NASPA Graduate and New Professionals Symposium is an opportunity for participants to learn, share, network, and develop both personally and professionally. The symposium is hosted at the Annual Conference during a full-day Pre-Conference Session. The agenda and focus for the symposium changes annually to address the needs of our members.

You can register for the symposium when you sign up for your Annual Conference registration. 

Conference Consortium 

The Consortium was founded in 2012 by Stephen Deaderick out of a desire to engage new professionals and graduate students in conversations about the present state and future of the student affairs profession. Participants meet four times during the NASPA Annual Conference to dialogue about topics chosen by the Conference Coordinator Chair, in consultation with the NPGS SC Leadership Team. The topic is also connected to an area of the ACPA/NASPA Areas of Professional Competencies for Student Affairs Educators. 

NASPA NOW Recognition Program 

NASPA NOW recognizes graduate and new professionals who are making positive contributions to the profession and to NASPA along five values: Innovation, Inquiry, Inclusion, Impact, and Integrity.  NASPA NOW is a partnership through NPGS and NASPA and will be first awarded at the 2018 National Conference in Philadelphia.  All current New Professionals (less than 5 years full time experience) and Graduate Students (Master's and Doctoral) are encouraged to apply during the annual call for nominations.

Sponsored Program Sessions 

With thousands of program submissions to the NASPA Annual Conference each year it can be difficult to select which programs to attend. Thus, the NPGS Leadership Team works to select three programs to sponsor or spotlight that are high-quality and meet critical needs for member’s professional development. Be sure to check your email as anual conference approaches for additional information.