College Student Affairs

Professional Associations

Why join a professional association?

Membership in professional associations develops and enhances the administrative and professional skills necessary for effective student affairs practice. They provide opportunities to:

  • Build networks with colleagues
  • Gain new perspectives and insights on student affairs work and college students
  • Engage in professional development activities
  • Stay current with research and knowledge in the field
  • Contribute to the health and growth of student affairs as a profession
  • Identify and respond to emerging issues in postsecondary education.

Similar, but with some distinct difference, scholarly associations in postsecondary education focus specifically on the publication and dissemination of research and scholarship to inform and improve educational theory, models, policies, and practices. The link between effective student affairs work and research is an important focus of graduate preparation programs and we encourage students to join and contribute to both kinds of associations.

Most professional and scholarly associations offer journals, newsletters, regional or state-level workshops, webinars, and annual conferences to members. We encourage students to present papers and program sessions — alone, with student affairs colleagues, and/or with faculty as part of the scholarly practitioner journey.

Below is a list of Student Affairs related professional and scholarly organizations.

Student Affairs Professional and Scholarly Organizations
Acronym Full Name
ACPA American College Personnel Association
ACUHO-I Association of College & University Housing Officers - International
ACUI Association of College Unions International
AERA American Educational Research Association
AFA Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors
ASCA Association of Student Conduct Administration
ASHE Association for the Study of Higher Education
FLACE Florida Association of College and Employers
NACADA National Academic Advising Association
NACA National Association of Campus Activities
NACE National Association of Colleges and Employers
NASPA National Association of Student Personnel Administrators
NIRSA National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association
NODA National Orientation Directors Association
SACSA Southern Association for College Student Affairs
SoACE Southern Association of College and Employers