2023 NASPA Annual Conference

Conference Focus Areas


The 2023 Conference Leadership Committee invites you to explore how our profession is evolving. As learners and educators, we must create spaces where we can explore, inquire, take risks, dream big, and rethink what we may know to unleash the next better iteration of ourselves and our profession. Further, we may have to unlearn what we have been taught to have an authentic conversation about how we can improve the profession moving forward.

Through historical perspective, scholarship and practitioners, and working to “make meaning” of the student affairs profession, we must create space where we can have thoughtful, intentional, and honest conversations around our past, our present, and our future as educators. This discourse would create pathways that could set in motion implementation strategies toward creating a sustainable future.

2023 NASPA Conference FOCUS AREAS

The 2023 Conference Leadership Committee seeks conference proposals focusing on the three core content areas:

  • Centering Student Affairs in an Institutional Context
  • Infusing Scholarship into Practice
  • Embracing the Future of the Profession

The specific prompts for each core content area are listed under the questions below.

Please ensure that you read the prompts in full and select the question to which your program relates. Conference proposals will be reviewed and scored based on your responses.

Click on the plus signs below to expand the conference core content areas and view the questions under each area. These are an important part of your submission(s).

  • Centering Student Affairs in an Institutional Context

    Recognizing, valuing, and respecting various types of higher education institutions requires an understanding of an institution's climate and culture. We must explore the original purpose and outcomes of higher education from its earliest beginnings to fully understand how the structures that exist create conditions (both barriers and pathways) for students to learn, thrive and succeed. We must dismantle the barriers and amplify the pathways at varied institutions to center student affairs work in the contexts that allow students to thrive.  Centering our work in the environmental context will allow us to explore the questions - How did we get to this point? And why haven’t we arrived yet?

    • How have institutional types (i.e., Tribal Colleges, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions, Women's Colleges, etc) changed and continue to impact the trajectory of access and excellence in higher education?
    • What opportunities have community colleges, institutes of technology, art and design schools, and other institutions with specific missions established within the higher education landscape? 

    • What strategies have evolved to navigate the perceived and experienced tensions between the academic and the student affairs units on campus? What is working and what continues to remain challenging?

    • What programs and services have been established through student affairs units to serve the needs of underserved students? How have we captured and documented their success?

  • Infusing Scholarship into Practice

    Creating promising practices around the application of scholarship practice allows us to learn from each other on how to develop and scale programs/services that meet the needs of our particular campus communities and the societal changes that influence our work. As our scholarship evolves alongside our profession, the phenomenons we observe in our work result in questions explored by scholars and practitioners to further understand what conditions hinder or improve student success. Those results are intended to be applied to our practice to continually improve how our students learn, engage and make meaning of their experiences. How do we intentionally and meaningfully apply scholarship to practice? How are we creating structures for professionals to continue to grow and gain competencies?

    • How has the definition of student success evolved? Share examples of how student success is communicated and measured inside and outside of the classroom.
    • What are ways that we infuse current societal events into our campus environments to respond to emerging student needs? 
    • Identify practices for ensuring that emerging scholarship informs our work as practitioners. How are student affairs units intentionally infusing theory to practice in a meaningful and impactful way? 
    • Explore the ways in which interdisciplinary research influences our work on campus focusing on issues of social justice, cultural understanding, sustainability, leadership and policy. 
    • How can we amplify new pathways within our profession while still honoring the legacy and history of our accomplishments as a profession?
  • Embracing the Future of the Profession

    The student affairs profession has evolved over the last half century in response to the ever-changing landscape of higher education. Now is the time to review current practices and craft an appropriate vision for the near- and long-term future. For our students, we need to make meaning of the student affairs profession in the context of enhancing student learning, the student experience, and increasing our positive impact on student persistence and degree attainment. For our colleagues, we need to truly understand how the recent pandemics have changed the student affairs profession and the higher education environment.

    • How do we structure student affairs organizations for a sustainable and adaptable compassionate work environment? What are the specific activities that can be implemented?
    • How do we address the gap in supervision skills across the profession? What is being done on your campus to improve student affairs educators’ ability to supervise?
    • What are promising practices for documenting and creating opportunities for competency development among student affairs professionals?
    • Recognizing that both staff and students do not have equitable access to resources and opportunities within our higher education institutions, what structural changes have been established to address these inequities? 
    • What are specific structural changes, promising practices and innovative approaches to our work that can be retained as we continue to navigate beyond the last few years? How can we bring joy back to our work?

NASPA Guiding Principles

In addition to the core content above, the Conference Leadership Committee wants to ensure that your programs have a focus on the principles below:

  • Integrity

    Committed to high moral principles exhibiting authentic, honest, just, and ethical behavior.

  • Inclusion

    Seeking ways to ensure access, voice, acknowledgement, opportunity, and participation at all levels.

  • Inquiry

    Supporting research and scholarship to add to the knowledge base of the profession and ensure that data informs practice.

  • Innovation

    Continuously seeking improvement through new and creative approaches.

Meeting Spaces

Meeting and events at the Annual Conference will be the best time to join your colleagues in planning the year, reconnecting with colleagues, and networking. The Meeting and Request process is now closed. 

Meeting & Event Space Requests - Closed