ACPA17: The Development of a Transformational Experience

Without a doubt, one of the parts of Convention planning that we will remember the most vividly will be the process of developing a vision as a part of a cohesive and dedicated team. While that process started for us well over a year ago, we can’t help thinking that the vision the ACPA17 Convention team put forward could not be more relevant today within our context as an international association and in response to the events and issues that resonate within our work and the world. Our team sincerely believes that the intentional and comprehensive ACPA17 curriculum will inspire those that attend to take action.

The foundation of our vision has become our Experience Goals. We landed on experience goals instead of outcomes because we know that for so many, the ACPA Annual Convention encompasses so much more than just a transactional learning process that shows up differently for each attendee. For us it is a family reunion, a place that challenges us to think, dream, and envision a better self and a better higher education landscape.

In this blog, we lay out some of the ways we anticipate that these goals, which we hope will become your convention goals too, can translate into action for ACPA17.

Connect. Just like the students we work with, we grow and develop through dialogue and through new and enduring relationships. At ACPA17, attendees will authentically connect with each other and with the international association that is ACPA.

  • Connect with a new Coalition, Network, Commission, Chapter or International Division, or Community of Practice at CelebrACPA!
  • Attend an open meeting or reception for a group you are interested in getting involved with
  • Attend either Convention Colleagues or the New Attendee Meet-and-Greet
  • Learn about how to get involved in convention planning at the ACPA18 table in the Marketplace!
  • Connect with other ACPA members, both on-site and remotely, by posting with the hashtag #ACPA17 on twitter, facebook, and instagram, ACPA has a new Snapchat, follow @MyACPA
  • Attend the Town Hall or Annual Business meeting to learn about the current and future goals of ACPA
  • Take part in the many ACPA Convention traditions, some of which include  Culturefest, Cabaret, Pecha Kucha powered by ACPA, and Genius Labs
  • Make a commitment to continue the conversation from a session by following up with a presenter that really impacted your learning
  • Connect with an old colleague or mentor at one of the many local restaurants, cafes, or within the beautiful convention center and hotels

Experience. At ACPA17, attendees will be exposed to new, cutting-edge ideas within higher education. They will be able to experience Columbus, Ohio, a unique and exciting city with an important historical context.

  • Take part in the service-on-the-go initiative to spend some time investing in the local community
  • Attend a variety of Educational Sessions to maximize your learning – make sure to check out a General Session, Extended Session, Competency Session, Spotlight Session, and Sponsored or Constituent Session!
  • Stop by to view the practice and research posters and take time to meet the poster presenters Monday and Tuesday at 12:00 P.M.
  • Check out the new literature, research, and technology available in the field at the Marketplace
  • Learn something helpful about your career “next steps” at Career Central
  • Get lunch or dinner in one of the many districts adjacent to the Convention Center
  • Consider attending a pre-convention session to delve deeper into one area of learning
  • Make sure to attend the Opening and Closing sessions to hear from global and local experts about important concepts impacting higher education today
  • Attend the #HIGHEREDLIVE: Contested Issues debate to be exposed to different perspectives on critical issues within the field

Reflect. The world of higher education is constantly changing and shifting. Attendees at ACPA17 will have an opportunity to reflect, both individually and collectively, on the challenges, policies, and perspectives impacting our field and world and the role each attendee plays in that process.

  • Complete session evaluations and the convention assessment as both a way to reflect on your own learning as well as to provide feedback to presenters
  • Take time to process what you have learned in a session through a conversation with a colleague
  • Set aside time to journal, blog, or sketch what you have learned at the end of each day
  • Take notes in sessions to return to at a later date when you are back at home!
  • Utilize the myPROfolio system to think intentionally about your development along the ACPA/NASPA Professional Competencies
  • Share insights and engage in conversation with colleagues across the world using the hashtag #ACPA17 on twitter, facebook, and instagram
  • Utilize the Prayer, Meditation, and Reflection room in Convention Center B244/B245
  • Reflect while investing in your own wellness at the 5K, Yoga, or Zumba experiences hosted by different entity groups
  • Post on the community reflection board
  • Analyze how power, privilege, and oppression impact our work

Invest. We are owners in our own learning and professional development. By committing to everything the ACPA17 experience has to offer, attendees are investing in their long-term learning and growth as professionals, faculty members, and practitioners in higher education.

  • Get involved in a leadership role with ACPA by applying to be on an entity group directorate, signing up to volunteer, or learning how to get involved with ACPA18
  • Attend one of the Strategic Imperative on Racial Justice Collective Imagining Sessions to help ACPA collectively imagine the possibilities for ACPA, higher education and student affairs, and student learning and development if we focus on racial justice.
  • Submit your resume to be critiqued at Career Central (or volunteer to help review them!)
  • Attend a Career-focused Spotlight Session within Career Central to learn critical information about deepening and advancing your career.
  • Get a free headshot taken at Career Central on Tuesday, March 28th
  • Experience the Graduate Preparation resources within Career Central to think about the next step in your own education
  • Have a conversation with the ACPA Foundation to learn about how the organization contributes to your ACPA experience
  • Choose educational sessions that challenge your current view of the world and allow you to interact with the global, diverse, ACPA membership
  • Get out of your comfort zone – learn from challenging conversations you may experience

Transform. It is time for ACPA and higher education to convert all of the learning, potential, and inquiry that happens at the annual meeting into action. Whether on their own campus, regionally, or at a national level, attendees at ACPA17 will have the opportunity to convert their learning into action that benefits our students, institutions, and society

  • Attend a writers or research retreat
  • Post on social media about how you will utilize your #ACPA17 learning within your organization or on your campus
  • Advocate for any ideas you have to improve ACPA at the Town Hall Meeting
  • If you are a graduate student or new professional, consider joining the ACPA Ambassador Program!
  • Connect with a presenter and ask them a question that will help you better bring back information to your campus
  • Experience the ACPA17 featured speakers (Derreck Kayongo, Freeman Hrabowski III, Bettina Love, and Daisy Hernandez)  as they offer unique perspectives on moving our knowledge to action within Higher Education
  • Host a professional development opportunity for your colleagues on campus who did not have the chance to attend ACPA17
  • Share ideas and action items with your supervisor for implementation on your campus
  • Plan to present at ACPA18 or to attend an ACPA Institute to further your learning this year!

We are beyond excited to help you actualize these goals at ACPA17, and can’t wait to connect with you!

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