Commission for Admission, Orientation & First-Year Experience logo with a compass

Thank you for stopping by to learn more about the Commission for Admissions, Orientation & First-Year Experience. Take some time to look through our content and don’t hesitate to share how you’d like to get involved. Use the menu below to jump to a section of interest.

Please contact us at [email protected] or connect with the members of our Directorate Body with questions or ideas.

Our Mission

The ACPA Commission for Admissions, Orientation, and First-Year Experience (AOFYE) provides superior resources for scholarship, recognition, and networking for all association members whose work is engaged in the management of student enrollment and adjustment.  AOFYE is able to do this through its network of professionals whose expertise and understanding that college and university transition programs function best as integrated, intentionally-connected, and comprehensive processes.

strategic objectives

Professional Development

  • Distribute a monthly written piece via newsletter, blog or other source that shares developments in the field and provides a forum for members to share best practices.
  • Organize and host webcasts or other engaging content annually that showcase relevant topics and best practices in the field.
  • Sponsor no fewer than 4 programs, which collectively cover a variety of topics related to the mission of AOFYE, at the ACPA annual convention.
  • Regularly update the AOFYE blog that provides an additional forum for Commission members to discuss trends within the field.
  • When necessary, advocate and consult ACPA Leadership for issues related to the mission of AOFYE.

Recognition

  • Present annual awards to exemplary students, professionals, and programs that contribute to the mission of AOFYE.
  • Co-sponsor an annual grant with the National Resource Center for innovative research related to the mission of AOFYE.

Networking

  • Provide networking opportunities at the ACPA annual convention for AOFYE professionals.
  • Provide opportunities for members to share information on job openings related to the mission of AOFYE.
  • Regularly update and engage members via social media outlets (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).
AOFYE group photo

News & Updates

upcoming events

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Meet the Directorate

Brad Pulcini
Brad Pulcini

Chair

Ohio Wesleyan University

[email protected]

Eric Carnaje
Eric Carnaje

Co-Chair, Convention Engagement Director

Aims Community College

eric.carnaje
@aims.edu

Bryson Purcell
Bryson Purcell

Co-Chair, Convention Engagement

Lock Haven University

bryson.purcell
@lockhaven.edu

Dani Bestfelt
Dani Bestfelt

Co-Chair; Learning & Development

Nashville State Community College

danielle.bestfelt
@nscc.edu

Tessa Smith
Tessa Smith

Co-Chair, Learning & Development

Ohio State University
 
Erik Cederholm
Erik Cederholm

Co-Chair, Community Engagement

D’Youville College

cederholm
@dyc.edu

Charmaine Troy
Charmaine Troy

Co-Chair, Community Engagement

Casey Dubina

Co-Chair, Communications & Social Media

Lake Michigan College – South Haven Campus

CDubina
@lakemichigancollege.edu

Get Involved

The sharing of resources, materials, and ideas keeps our Commission on the cutting edge of work in our fields. CASHE welcomes involvement through membership in the Commission, participation with special projects or on the Directorate, and communication through listserv conversation, Facebook, LinkedIn, newsletter articles, webinars, and other writing contribution. A number of important committee and/or leadership position assignments, either resulting from appointments made by the Commission Chair or by the Directorate, perform many of the essential duties of this Commission. These assignments vary widely in the time commitment they involved and, of course, in the functions they fulfill.  We encourage you to consider these formal and informal leadership positions In CASHE.

Ready to join?

Joining an Entity through the ACPA Member Portal automatically identifies you as a member of that Entity! You will begin to receive Entity communications through their respective email listserv and have access to any resources they share!

  1. Login to your ACPA Member Account
  2. Click on Community Groups (Chatter)
  3. Click Groups
  4. Click Active Groups
  5. Find the entity you want to join and within that group, click +Join

Contact one of the CAA co-chairs, Amanda Parkman ([email protected]) or Julie Lynch ([email protected]), to learn more about ACPA’s Commission for Academic Support in Higher Education.

Any ACPA member can become involved and there are varying levels of involvement:

  • Join our listserv (sign up under “my profile” in the ACPA membership area)
  • Attend our open business meeting at the annual ACPA convention
  • Review conference programs for the annual convention
  • Submit a sponsored program proposal for the annual convention
  • Host a webinar
  • Submit a proposal for a paper to be published on our website
  • Tell us how CASHE can help you in your professional journey

AOFYE Awards

Outstanding Mentor Award:

The Outstanding Mentor Award is designed to give special recognition to those professionals who provide outstanding mentorship and guidance to graduate students who aid in orientation, transition, and retention programs with our Association and on your campuses.

  • Excellence in overall job performance.
  • Initiative or creativity displaying that the nominee has gone above and beyond normal expectations.
  • Outstanding service to graduate students who aid in orientation, transition, and retention programs within his/her own system and/or in the larger higher education community.
  • Involvement in professional organizations and/or community service.
  • Experiences in fostering inclusiveness and appreciation of differences.
  • Nominee must be an ACPA member.
Outstanding Graduate Student Award:

This award is presented to a full-time graduate student/graduate assistant studying at the master’s or doctoral degree level in any program who has greatly contributed to the admissions, orientation, or first-year experience programs at his/her institution; to the research and scholarship of these areas; and/or to professional practice in these areas. Nomination must include a letter of support from a faculty member or graduate assistantship/internship supervisor, which conveys academic success (i.e., GPA, satisfactory progress toward degree), verifies the nominee’s primary role at the institution as a graduate student/graduate assistant, and describes the student’s contributions in, but not limited to, any of the following areas:

  • Significant contributions to the academic study of admissions, orientation, and first-year experience through papers (e.g., thesis, dissertation), research and assessment projects, and publication.
  • Outstanding service/special contributions to admissions, orientation, or first-year experience programs within his/her own system through graduate assistantships, internships, and practicums.
  • Contributions made above and beyond normal expectations to the institution or the profession (i.e., committee membership, participation in professional organizations, community service)
  • Experiences in fostering inclusiveness and appreciation of differences.
  • Student need not be an ACPA member to be nominated.
Outstanding New Professional Award: 

This award is presented to a new professional in the admissions, orientation, or first-year experience functional areas. A new professional is defined as a person with no more than four years of full-time professional experience. Nomination must include a letter of support from someone who has worked with the nominee, preferably in a supervisory capacity, describing the individual’s contributions, which include but are not limited to:

  • Excellence in overall job performance.
  • Initiative or creativity displaying that the nominee has gone above and beyond normal expectations.
  • Outstanding service to the admissions, orientation, or first-year experience program within his/her own system and/or in the larger higher education community.
  • Involvement in professional organizations and/or community service.
  • Experiences in fostering inclusiveness and appreciation of differences.
  • Nominee must be an ACPA member.
Outstanding Experienced Professional Award:

This award is for a professional with 5+ years of full-time experience working in or overseeing admissions, orientation, or first-year experience programs. Suggested criteria include but are not limited to:

  • Significant contributions to the admissions, orientation, or first-year experience programs at the nominee’s institution through program leadership and/or advocacy.
  • Contributions to scholarship on and practice in the admissions, orientation, or first-year experience areas through conference presentations, publications, innovative project implementation, research, and/or grant writing.
  • Active membership in professional organizations.
  • Willingness to support and promote their profession through mentoring and positive role modeling for other professionals.
  • Experiences in fostering inclusiveness and appreciation of differences.
  • Nominee must be an ACPA member.
Outstanding Program/Initiative Award:

This award is presented to recognize and share an outstanding program, project, or initiative developed by a four-year or two-year institution for its campus community. The project must be situated in an admissions, orientation, or first-year experience setting. The nomination must include nominator information (see above), the name of the program, project, or initiative, target population, number of people participating in project, number of people needed to organize, time needed to organize, time span and/or length of project, cost of project, and list of resources used for the project. The nomination narrative (maximum of 7 pages; approximately 1,500–2,500 words) should provide the rationale for the program/project/initiative, a description of the program/project/initiative, and a discussion of how it was assessed/evaluated and the results of that program assessment. Selection criteria are based on the following:

  • Program/Project/Initiative implemented during the previous academic year (August 1-July 31).
  • Program/Project/Initiative is inventive and provides a creative solution to problems or issues faced by the institution, yet significant to other higher education institutions.
  • Program/Project/Initiative will be assessed based on its adaptability, creativity, cost efficiency, educational value, goals, quality, resource utilization, thoroughness of program evaluation, and ability to meet the needs of a diverse population and/or special campus needs.
  • At least one member of the program/project/initiative team must be an ACPA member.