Small Colleges and Universities Division

Small Colleges and Universities Division AVP or "Number Two" Mid-Level New Professional Senior Level VP for Student Affairs

The Small Colleges and Universities Division provides leadership in higher education to promote understanding of small college and university missions, challenges, and opportunities. The Division ensures that NASPA's programmatic and policy directions appropriately respond to small institutions – defined as those enrolling less than 5,000 students – and their unique needs.

Message from the Division Director


A BIG hello and welcome from the Small Colleges and Universities (SCU) Division!

The SCU Division is intended to be a supportive community for anyone working at a small college and university to engage in professional development, dialogue relevant to SCUs, and resource sharing.  

From the Early Career Development Institute, the bi-annual M. Ben Hogan Small Colleges and Universities Institute, the book Small and Mighty: Student Affairs at Small Colleges and Universities, to monthly spotlights recognizing exceptional staff;, the SCU Division is here for YOU!

The Small Colleges and Universities represent the largest constituency of institutions within NASPA. As the Vice President of Student Affairs at Goucher College, I understand the vast opportunities and complexities of being at a small college. Thereby, it is my humbled honor to serve as your division director.

Dr. Aarika C. Camp, Vice President of Student Affairs, Goucher College 


Aarika Camp headshot image

Advisory Board

NASPA's Small Colleges and Universities Division is led by an advisory board comprised of student affairs professionals from small colleges and universities located throughout all of NASPA's seven regions.  They are eager to hear from you and to get  you connected with the Division's membership and initiatives.

Early Career Development Institute

NASPA's Small Colleges and Universities (SCU) Division is proud to offer this low-cost and high-quality programming to professionals in the early stages of their career. SCUs have very unique needs and often have limited resources devoted to professional development for staff.

The Early Career Development Institute (ECDI) is a signature initiative to provide new, full-time professionals in their first three (3) years in the field an opportunity to connect with peers and senior staff members at SCUs and to explore specific competencies essential for practitioners.

The ECDI program will connect a cohort of professionals to attend monthly webinars to discuss issues, trends, and promising practices within the field. Participants will additionally be matched in a group with a senior-level staff member to serve as their coach. Each group will have time allotted in the monthly webinars to debrief and reflect on the topic at hand.

Institute Goals

  • To provide opportunities for new professionals to network via a virtual platform with early career professionals at small colleges and universities across the county.
  • To provide coaching opportunities for early-career professionals with senior-level student affairs professionals who have demonstrated a significant professional commitment to the field of student affairs.
  • To provide purposeful opportunities for personal goal setting and self-reflection.
  • To provide participants with online development offerings, which run from October to June. Each session will be focused on a specific content area and presented by a practitioner with expertise in that topic.

Institute Curriculum

Institute participants will attend online professional development sessions that address the following topics:

  • Communicating with different campus constituents
  • Managing, leading, and navigating institutional politics
  • Engaging faculty
  • Enrollment, persistence, and completion
  • Justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion
  • Fundraising and giving
  • And Much More!

ECDI Participant Requirements

ECDI participants must:

  • Be within their first three years in a full-time professional position in Student Affairs.
  • Work at a small college or university (defined as less than 5,000 FTE students)
  • Be a NASPA member
  • Provide a letter of support from their current supervisor in support of their participation in ECDI
  • Provide a current resume

Senior-level Coach Requirements

ECDI senior-level coaches must:

  • Hold a position at the director level or higher at a small college or university with fewer than 5,000 students.
  • Meet not less frequently than monthly by phone or videoconference with their assigned early career cohort member.
  • Complete the Early Career Development Institute Coach Interest Form (closed)

Institute Fee

The participation fee for the institute is $50.00. Selected participants will be directed to the online fee collection process after being selected. There is no fee to apply. (Coaches do not pay any fees.)


August 7, 2023 Applications Available
September 29, 2023 Application Deadline
October 3, 2023 Selection Notification
October 2023

Online Cohort Onboarding Session

Preparing for the ECDI Journey:

  • A Conversation with the SCU Director
  • An Introduction to NASPA & the Division
  • Comparing & Contrasting Small Colleges & Universities: Similarities & Differences
  • Meet the Coaches
November 2023

Online Professional Development Offering #1

Communicating with Different Campus Constituents

January 2024

Online Professional Development Offering #2

Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion at Small Colleges & Universities

February 2024

Online Professional Development Offering #3

Engaging Faculty at Small Colleges & Universities

March 2024

Online Professional Development Offering #4

Managing, Leading, & Navigating Politics at Small Colleges & Universities

April 2024

Online Professional Development Offering #5

Fundraising & Giving at Small Colleges & Universities

May 2024

Online Professional Development Offering #6

Enrollment, Persistence, & Retention at Small Colleges & Universities

June 2024

Online Cohort Closing Session

Reflecting on the ECDI Journey:

  • Continuing Your Involvement with NASPA and the SCU Division



Applications for the 2022-2023 ECDI cohort, are now closed.


If you have questions about this program or the process, please contact Kerry Greenstein, Dean of Student Life at Sweet Briar College ([email protected]), and Darnell Parker, Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students at Wheaton College ([email protected]).



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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.

Subscribe to our Listserv

The NASPA Small Colleges and Universities Division has an active listserv that allows student affairs professionals to ask questions, request information, and share effective practices. Sign up using the form below:

Join the SCU Division

Interested in joining the Small Colleges and Universitites Division?

Check out the open positions below!

  1. Early Career Development Institute Co-coordinator
  • Apply here
  • Open until filled
Early Career Development Institute Co-coordinator

The Co-coordinators for the Early Career Development Institute (ECDI) oversee the implementation and development of this signature program for the NASPA Small Colleges and Universities Division. ECDI is a year-long program taking place in the spring that provides practitioners within their first three years of professional work an opportunity for affordable professional development, mentorship, and networking in a virtual format. ECDI is comprised of a cohort of 20-30 participants that attend monthly webinars on a topical area related to NASPA professional competencies, participate in monthly roundtable discussions with smaller clusters from within the cohort, and engage in monthly conversations with a senior-level coach that has been paired with them. The co-coordinator(s) ensure the implementation of this from conception to completion.

Responsibilities include:

  • Develop a curriculum of topical areas to be presented during monthly webinars
  • Identify engaging speakers to present these areas
  • Coordinate logistics with the NASPA office for the presentation of these webinars
  • Recruit, train, and follow with coaches at the senior level (8 or more years of experience at the Director-level or above) to be paired with participants.
  • Recruit and select participants that meet the qualifications to be accepted into the cohort every year
  • Assign cluster groupings of 5-6 participants for the cohort
  • Intentionally pair selected participants to coaches based on areas of personal and professional interest
  • Conduct pre- and post-assessment of participant competency levels using the NASPA/ACPA competency rubric
  • Conduct monthly assessments, measuring cluster engagement, webinar participation, and completion of monthly coaching calls
  • Assess overall institute experience and utilize data to make changes for upcoming years of the institute.
  • Serve on the SCU advisory board, attending monthly meetings and providing updates to the SCU Director and NASPA office.


  • Be a current NASPA member
  • Currently work at a small college or university
  • Be creative-thinking, well-organized, and be able to work collaboratively in developing a meaningful leading initiatives that includes the identification of critical issues, best practices, and potential resources that will lead to an exceptional professional development experience
  • Be knowledgeable about trends and current issues within the student affairs field, in general, and in particular, issues related to small colleges and universitites and entry-level administrators.

NOTE: You will be required to upload (1) a current resume and (2) a brief letter of interest.

  • Number of positions available: 1
  • Deadline: Until filled
  • Commitment: March 2024- March 2026
  • Time commitment: 2-3 hours per month
  • Travel Commitment: the Small Colleges and Universities Division will meet during the NASPA Annual Conferences, but traveling to the annual conference is not a requirement for this position.

NASPA Small Colleges and Universities Professional Award

We are no longer accepting nominations for the 2024 NASPA SCU Professional Award.


This award is presented to an individual who has demonstrated leadership and a commitment to NASPA and/or the profession specifically at small colleges and universities (enrollment less than 5,000 students). Student Affairs professionals in all positions are eligible for this award. 

Eligibility requirements: 

  • Demonstrates active involvement with the profession and the small colleges and universities division

  • Contributed to creating a campus environment that promotes student learning and personal development

  • Outstanding individual contribution in innovative and responsive services and programs that address varied and emerging needs of students at a small college or university

  • A minimum of five (5) years of experience in student affairs

  • All professional positions are eligible for this award 

  • Active individual NASPA membership

  • Current employment at, or recently retired from, a small college or university in a NASPA Region

How to nominate someone:

  1. Please visit the NASPA Awards Portal:
  2. Under the 2024 Division Awards section, choose the "2024 NASPA Small Colleges and Universities Professional Award" from the drop down menu
  3. Click "go"

2024 Nomination Deadline EXTENDED: November 15, 2023



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