In July, we hosted a video call to talk about NASPA’s transition in leadership of the Student Affairs Collective. Weren’t able to join our community conversation? Here are three big questions we addressed within our conversation below!
Why did NASPA assume leadership of the Student Affairs Collective?
The Student Affairs Collective has grown exponentially since its inception. The growth of SAC happened alongside Tom Krieglstein’s company, SwiftKick. Sabina De Matteo and Tom were splitting their time to heavily between trainings under SwiftKick while also trying to support and grow the SAC community.
Tom reached out to multiple organizations, both non-profits and for-profits, to see if any organization had interest in growing and sustaining the vision of the Student Affairs Collective. The conversation between NASPA and SAC started last year when Tom reached out to NASPA about the community. NASPA was willing to provide the resources necessary to further the community’s vision and mission.
So, what changes can we expect within the community?
NASPA is committed to keeping the ethos of SAC community-driven. SAC is a successful online peer-to-peer learning environment because of the members who give their time, talent, and resources to the community. Weekly SAChats, the SAC blog, and the podcast will continue to be offered alongside other elements of the Student Affairs Collective. Changes in how these components are administered (think processes) may shift to increase efficiency from a community management perspective.
NASPA staff are working with the SwiftKick team to learn the ins and outs of managing the community. We want to better understand the community, and its needs, prior to making any large changes that we perceive to be beneficial to the larger community. Being community-driven also means that we’re going to ask for consistent feedback throughout this process, where appropriate.
And compared to a formal professional organization, SAC has the ability to be more nimble and responsive. Anyone in the community can voice their opinion, seek assistance, or share a resource at any time. This spirit is integral to SAC and will remain at the center of our leadership within the community.
Is SAC going to devolve into one large advertisement for NASPA?
We certainly hope not! The draw of SAC for some members of the community was that it wasn’t directly connected to a professional association. But, it’s always been connected to a company. SwiftKick was able to integrate their offerings in a way that didn’t feel intrusive and was respectful to the community.
We intend to prioritize free NASPA offerings within the SAChat community vs. member-only benefits or paid programming from NASPA. For example, we’ve already been approached by a constituent group within NASPA to host a #SAChat as a way to boost applications for a NASPA members-only initiative. It was easy for us explain to that group why we didn’t that it was the most appropriate and offered to help find alternative ways to spread the word about their program. Alternatively, over the summer NASPA worked with Dr. Kathy O’Bear to host a free book club for her latest book, “But I’m NOT Racist!: Tools for Well-Meaning Whites.” This is something we would absolutely share with the SAC community via the @The_SA_Blog handle or a blog post.
In many ways, we’d love for SAC to become a clearinghouse of sorts for free initiatives happening across professional associations and related community organizations. Current partnerships, like the #SACareer blog series with ACPA, will remain intact. We look forward to utilizing collective resources (across associations, institutions, colleagues in the field) to strengthen the field overall.
Still have questions? Tweet @The_SA_Blog or comment below! You can also read a full transcript of the conversation here.