#NASPA14: Is Student Affairs a Profession?


I attended a session on exploring if Student Affairs is a profession. It wasn’t an us vs. them conversation, it was a group of professionals from different fields and view points discussing if student affairs is a profession according to their lens. There was someone from NASPA to give the association standpoint, someone who looked at SA through an anthropological lens, another through an historical lens. It was really interesting. One person in the Q&A portion mentioned that this type of session continues the us vs them mentality, and I respectfully disagree. We should be critical of ourselves and our profession. Here are some of the things this session made me think about:

  • Do we need grad programs?
    • Perhaps we should start picking up outside professionals and gear professional development toward theory and professional practice to bring in diversity and cutting back on the reliance on Student Affairs Masters Degrees
  • CAS standards
    • How to move more programs to following suggestions
    • Are they necessary?
  • Grad programs and jobs
    • Are we educating more people than we have jobs for?
    • Are we being responsible to our profession and colleagues?
    • Are our grad programs building transferable skills and discussing how to use education outside of working on/for a campus?

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