Student Affairs as A
We’ll start with a few slides from
Matthew Simmons’ presentation,
What is Student Affairs, Anyway?
What Is Student Affairs Anyway?
How do I explain it to others?
It’s like going to school without taking classes!
I enjoy working with college students and helping to
shape their lives
I get to see students grow and develop right before
my very eyes
I get to work with a diverse group of people and help
educate them about diversity and many other
What Can I Do in Student
Student Activities Career Services
Residence Life Student Union
Dean of Students
Health Education and
Public Occasions Wellness
Leadership Vice President
LGBT Programs Minority Student
What Do I Need to Know As a
Nothing less than the best – quality, do
Student and job satisfaction – as you
move further from the students, remember
that they are your primary satisfaction and
Your professionalism is showing – do what
you do BEST!
Is this endeavor,
which can’t be described to anybody,
which includes all these functions, and in
which you’re challenged to act
really a profession?
What’s ―professional‖ work?
Look at the following case
Respond to it as a ―professional‖ might
Respond to it as a ―technical‖ worker might
Are there any differences in your
If so, what are the differences and how do
these relate to your understanding of
The Libidinous Hall Director
The president of the university received a call
from the chair of the state senate’s finance
committee expressing outrage that his 21 year
old daughter has been spending the night in
the apartment of the residence hall director.
The president calls the VP for Student Affairs
to advise him that the university would be
better off without the services of the hall
director. When the VP talks to the head of
residence life, he learns that there have been
innuendoes, but no specific charges, to the
effect that this hall director has a history of
similar involvements over several years.
What’s a Profession?
Name a field that everyone would agree is
What are the attributes that distinguish it
as a profession?
All that the writers can agree on? that a profession is NOT
A business, a science, or a racket [Becker, 1956]
What is a Profession
Most theorists say that a profession
A systematic body of theory
Standards and sanctions
A professional culture
Does student affairs have these attributes?
A Systematic Body of Theory
Which requires a professional school for
Where should our theory be based?
The SPPOVs distinguished
• Student personnel work
• Student personnel point of view
• Student personnel
• Student affairs
• Student development
Are there real differences among the terms?
So, what is our theory?
Is it student development theory?
Is it administrative or organizational theory?
Is it an educational philosophy?
What education is necessary in these theories
and is our distinctive use of them enough to
make us a profession?
A corollary: would a university professor have to have
a theory of teaching or would the theory of her
discipline be enough to make her a professional?
Another: does a doctor have to take a course on
medical ethics to be truly a professional?
Authority Based on Superior
Again, a professional school and training would be
Did you really think that you needed a master’s degree when you
applied for student affairs jobs right out of undergraduate
Do you now?
Lingo vs. knowledge
What is real expert-ise and what is mere education-ese?
Application of knowledge v. housekeeping chores
Do you observe practitioners doing their most professional work?
Need for professional preparation
At senior administrative levels?
Implies a service motive for any profession
Individual v. Collective Ethics
Internal v. External Regulation
Who do we work for?
Can managers be professionals?
• What makes any administrator a professional or not?
• Are we any different?
The Ethics Statements of the Associations
How effective is this in reinforcing the professional
status of student affairs?
Is it enforceable?
Standards and Sanctions
The Major Associations are Responsible
Can you take seriously the professional merits
of a group that started off as the Association
of Appointment Secretaries?
The roles of CAS and CACREP
Standards for Practice and Preparation
• CAS both; CACREP preparation
More about CAS in a few minutes
Certification v. accreditation
Institutions and not Individuals and not
Legally in the public’s
Legally in the
criteria Minimal competence
Student affairs as a criteria
component of In some professions,
institutional process the opportunity for
Graduate programs third party payments
not part of NCATE
Some professions only allow certification through accredited programs
Motivations for Both
Legitimacy as a profession
Turf controlled and others cannot enter
Quality control for public
In times of limited resources, budget cuts,
drops in enrollment
A Professional Culture
Role of Associations
Inculcating a particular set of norms and values
A ―quasi religious commitment‖ for a ―calling‖
Problems of inclusion/exclusion
• Is NASPA an old boy’s network because of its historical roots
• What happened to NAWE?
Based on your review of Kimmel’s slides about
professional associations and your own knowledge
• What do they seem to stand for?
• Which are most important?
• How do they differ?
• How many do we need?
American Association of Association of Colleges &
College Registrars and University Housing Officers
Admissions Officers - International (ACUHO-I)
(AACRAO) Association of Fraternity
American Association for Advisors (AFA)
Employment in Collegiate Information and
Education (AAEE) Visitor Services Association
American College (CIVSA)
Counseling Association National Academic Advising
(ACCA) Association (NACADA)
American College Health
Association (ACHA) National Association of
American College Campus Activities (NACA)
Personnel Association National Association of
(ACPA) Colleges and Employers
American Counseling (NACE)
Association (ACA) National Association of
Association for Student Student Personnel
Judicial Affairs (ASJA) Administrators (NASPA)
National Clearinghouse for
Commuter Programs (NCCP)
National Council for Educational
Opportunity Associations (NCEOA)
National Council on Student
Sports Association (NIRSA)
Network of Colleges and Universities
Committed to the Elimination of Drug
and Alcohol Abuse
Is Student Affairs a Profession?
Only four classic ones and a lot of semi-
Might never be accepted as one because the
perception is that we and other administrators
serve the institution rather than higher
Yet most of the practitioners in the field
believe that our field is a profession [91% in
An Emerging Profession?
Stages of Professionalization [Wilensky, Caplow, et al.]
People begin doing a necessary job
Professional associations form
• Identify the core of work and delegate other work to
• Preside over internal conflicts
• Change the name to create a sense of mystery
Political maneuvers to gain legal sanctions against
Establish an enforceable code of ethics
Carpenter, Miller, and Winston identified us as
an emerging profession years ago
The importance of a
―At some point each semester, perhaps at the moment this article is
being read, a group of graduate students will find itself reviewing the
professional status of student affairs. The group will be supplied
with classic polemics—‖A Profession Stillborn,‖ ―Progress Toward
Professionalism,‖ and others—by professors whose fervor about the
topic will be greeted with unstifled yawns. ―Who cares?‖ some will
ask, disputing the judgment of their professors, many practitioners,
and numerous journal editors that this subject is important to the
field. . .
―I myself am skeptical about some of the benefits of full-fledged
professional status for student affairs practitioners. I prefer to think
of the field as dynamic and professionalizing, rather than as static
and fully professionalized. A dynamic conception of student affairs
requires more than the assessment of its accomplishments.
Professionalization demands continuing improvement of the skills of
student affairs practitioners, regardless of their status. . .
―Professionalization is a concept which must be applied to all
occupations in a world of change. Status is not an end in itself, it is
earned by the good work of practitioners. Even then, it is not
permanent. The message to graduate students is simple: Your
education, like your work and like the students you will help, does
not end. They grow; you grow. That should be the fundamental
characteristic of the field you have chosen.‖
How does this concern
about profession relate to
the following charge?
―The long sought profession of college
student affairs has not been, is not, and will
not be recognized and accepted as a vital
aspect of the academic world‖
That we were housekeepers instead of people
basing work on a philosophy
There was no need to be identified as a
We are problem-oriented and not theory-
oriented in our literature
Are we generalists or specialists. . .of what?
The SPPOV was not philosophically limited to
student affairs work
If counseling is the thread of practice, it’s also
derivative and not uniquely ours
One of my major concerns
Whether the obsession with and
benefits of status are helpful or
harmful to our ability to serve
students and build synergy in
The Role of CAS
The Council for the Advancement of Standards
Most of the following slides are on the website
An essential part of the process of
accreditation, which has four steps
1. Standards must be agreed on
That’s the reason why CAS exists
2. Self study must take place
3. Evaluation using the standards on site
4. Decision to accredit/approve or not
All our programs in higher education are going through this sort of process right now
Council for the Advancement of
Standards in Higher Education
An Introduction to the CAS
Approach to Quality Assurance in
Educational Programs and
that you Know
Dr. Don Creamer served as President of ACPA in 1978-79, and he has been
a leader of the Student Affairs profession throughout his career. A prolific
writer and an ACPA Senior Scholar, Don serves as Professor and Program
Leader for the Higher Education and Student Affairs preparation program at
Virginia Tech. He has been a major advocate of quality assurance in
Student Affairs preparation and practice and has served on both the ACPA
Professional Issues Core Council and the Council for the Advancement of
Standards. Don received the ACPA Annuit Coeptis award in 1989. He was
instrumental in the establishment of the Educational Leadership Foundation
and he currently serves as its Vice-Chairperson.
Overview of CAS
Founded in 1979 in response to efforts to
establish specialized accreditation for
student affairs preparation programs
CAS is a consortium of 34 professional
It started off with 16, encouraged by NASPA
and ACPA to attend a series of meetings
Twenty-nine standards and guidelines
have been promulgated (and sometimes
revised) by fall 2001
The evolution of alphabet soup
APA to ACES 
Standards and certification for counselors to
match the status afforded psychologists
ACES to APGA 
Adopted and applied to student personnel as
well as counselors with ACES as agent
APGA to ACPA 
Ad hoc committee formed and rejected
CAS begun w/16 agencies and 4 meetings
APGA becomes AACD and establishes
CACREP in 1985
CAS publishes 16 practice standards in 1986
When ACPA breaks away, AACD becomes
Promulgate standards and guidelines for
practice and preparation
Promote assessment in educational
Promote the use of standards in practice
Promote quality assurance within higher
CAS Principles: Students and
Student is considered as a unique, whole
Institutional environments shape learning
Responsibility for learning rests with the
Institutions provide opportunities for
Institutions reflect society and its diversity
CAS Principles: Diversity and
Institutionsembrace diversity and
eliminate barriers that impede student
Justice and respect for differences bond
individuals to community
CAS Principles: Organization,
Leadership, and Human Resources
Leadership is essential for institutional
Institutional success is related to clarity
Qualification of staff members is tied
directly to quality of educational
programs and services
Leaders possess sound educational
preparation and experience
CAS Principles: Health
Educationalprograms and services
prosper in benevolent environments that
provide students with appropriate levels of
challenge and support.
CAS Principles: Ethics
Educationalservice providers provide
impeccable ethical behavior in their
professional and personal lives.
Beliefs about excellence require that all
programs and services in institutions of higher
education function at optimum levels
Beliefs about collaboration require that all
programs and services be accomplished in
concert by students and educators
Beliefs about ethics require that all programs
and services be carried out in an environment
of integrity and high ideals.
CAS Purpose, Slide 2
Beliefsabout student development require
that the student be considered as a whole
person in the context of a diverse
population and a diversity of institutions,
that outcomes of education be
comprehensive, and that the total
environment be structured to create
opportunities for student involvement and
CAS Purpose, Slide 3
Beliefs about responsibility require that the
institution recognize the rights and
responsibilities of students as its citizens
and that it provide an array of resources
and learning opportunities that enable
students to exercise their responsibility to
take full advantage of them.
The CAS Approach to Self-
Regulation and Self-Assessment
The essential elements of self-regulation include:
Institutional culture that values
involvement of all its members in decision
Quality indicators that are determined by
Use of standards and guidelines in quality
The CAS Approach to Self-Regulation
and Self-Assessment, Slide 2
Collection and analysis of data on
Commitment to continuing improvement
that presupposes freedom to explore and
develop alternative directions for the future
Putting the CAS Standards to
Establish and prepare the self-study team
Conduct the self-study
Identify and summarize evidence
Determine appropriate corrective action
Recommend action for program enhancement
Prepare an action plan
Other Uses of CAS Standards
Now let’s take a look at
TheSelf Assessment Guidelines for
You’ve read that we try to abide by them
Why should we?
Differentiate standards and guidelines
What are our strengths and areas of needed
improvement? [break into groups to look at
Ted Miller said
A standard implies
A criterion for judgment
Which implies change
Which implies a threat to
the status quo
In fact, they offer
a challenge to be met
Decisions to be made
And opportunities for
He was the first president of CAS