mid-level community of practice

Thank you for stopping by to learn more about the ACPA Mid-Level Community of Practice (MLCoP). 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

ACPA’s Mid-Level Community of Practice’s (MLCOP) Mission is to encourage, develop, and deliver programs and services focused on the needs of mid-level professionals in student affairs and higher education.

our purpose

The purposes for MLCOP are:

  1. To provide programs and services for the unique needs of mid-level professionals.
  2. To foster a community of practice that will sustain and enrich mid-level professionals throughout the year.
  3. To provide ongoing professional development opportunities through convention programs, leadership opportunities within ACPA, webinars, publications, and other forms of programming throughout the year designed for mid-level professionals.

MLCop History

During the 2012 ACPA July Leadership Meeting, the idea of creating an entity group to support mid-level professionals within ACPA began while Dr. Alice Mitchell was serving on the ACPA Governing Board as the member-at-large for mid-level professionals. Working along with Dr. Susan Sullivan, the member-at-large-elect for mid-level professionals, they began working with ACPA to establish the Mid-Level Community of Practice.

In March 2013, Mitchell drafted a proposal to the ACPA President Kathleen Kerr to establish an entity group for mid-level professionals. It was then approved by the ACPA Governing Board to establish a three year pilot entity called Mid-Level Community of Practice (MLCOP).

Over the next year Mitchell, Sullivan, and Dave Zamansky begin the work to formalize MLCOP as an established entity within ACPA. Dr. Nicky Damania was brought onto the team and worked on establishing an online presence and professional development opportunities.

In spring of 2013, the ACPA Governing Board revised its bylaws and recognized a Community of Practice as a standalone entity group. Finally on August 12, 2013, ACPA announced the establishment of Mid-Level Community of Practice to its membership.

Zamansky was appointed to serve as the first Chair, while Mitchell and Sullivan served as the representatives from the ACPA Governing Board.

Soon a group of 13 ACPA mid-level professionals were nominated, selected, and accepted to serve as the first directorate for ACPA’s first community of Practice, MLCOP (March 2014-March 2015). Those 13 individuals were: Alex Becking, Georgia Tech; Kristin Carpenter, University of New Hampshire; Jennifer Cox, Longwood University; Nicky Damania, University of Nevada, Reno; Kristin Dees, California Lutheran University; Lisa Evaneski, State University of New York at Oswego; Joe Halter, University of Colorado-Denver; Nate Hastings, University of New Hampshire; Beth John, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater; Kia Kuresman, National Labor College; Benjamin Meoz, California Polytechnic State University; Jen Rentschler, University of Georgia; Jeanne Sevigny, State University of New York at Oswego.

The directorate worked hard over the next year to establish itself through programs at convention, webinars, article discussions, and more.

how we define Mid-Level Professional

Recognizing that many definitions or conceptualizations exist, MLCOP defines mid-level professionals as those with more than five years of full-time experience in higher education who are not senior professionals. The mid-level is a broad categorization. Recognizing this breadth, within this mid-level it is possible that formal or informal subgroups might develop to represent those who are early, mid, or senior within the mid-level itself.  If such subgroups develop better to focus on programs and services designed for mid-level professionals, we welcome and encourage the formation of such subgroups.

For some professionals, mid-level is a position at which they wish to remain for their professional careers. The reasons for doing so are as unique as the individuals themselves and which may encompass not only professional concerns but personal concerns as well. Likewise, some professionals see the mid-level as a stepping-stone to senior level opportunities. It is for this broad group of mid-level professionals that the MLCOP wishes to offer programs and services designed to enrich their professional practice.

News & Updates

MLCOP Past Award Recipients
MLCOP Past Award Recipients

2024: Mid-Level Practitioner-Scholar Award: Kia Kuresman Distinguished Service to the Mid-Level Community of Practice: Alice A. Mitchell, Ph.D. Exceptional Mid-Level Professional Award: Mercedes Diaz Outstanding Commitment to the Strategic Imperative for Racial...

read more

upcoming MLCOP events

28 May 2024 May 28 - July 23

Summer 2024 Supervisor Strengths Institute

May 28 - July 23

ACPA is excited to partner with Strengths University for the 2024 Supervisor Strengths Institute! Learn to become a more effective supervisor and show up authentically in your leadership role. You'll gain skills around how to feel balanced, aligned, and able to genuinely enjoy your work while having the energy to do your best work. Strengths University understands the challenges, the frustrations, and the joys of leading a team. We want to help you manage the stress and chaos, so you can better lead your team, support your students, and have more balance in your life.

Find out more
14 June 2024 June 14 - July 19

2024 Phyllis L. Mable Emerging Leaders Institute™

June 14 - July 19

Approximately 30% of ACPA members currently identify as entry-level professionals with 1-3 years of experience in student affairs work. ACPA created the Phyllis L. Mable Emerging Leaders Institute (previously the New Professionals Institute) to support the development of emerging leaders as they collectively serve thousands of students on a daily basis. This Institute includes several mentoring opportunities and one-on-one interactions with several of today’s leaders in higher education and student affairs as resident faculty and small group facilitators.

Find out more
23 July 2024 July 23 - July 25

2024 NINLHE Summer Institute

July 23 - July 25

The NINLHE Institute is a time for professional development, networking with other educators, and personal renewal. Through this residential institute, educators with expertise in policies and practices vital to Native student success develop through our training sessions.

Find out more
27 September 2024 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

2024 ACPA Doctoral Institute in Partnership with Heartful Editor

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

ACPA and Heartful Editor invite all doctoral students in student affairs, higher education, and related disciplines to join in a meaningful and enriching opportunity to create community, learn from and with each other, and leave inspired to leap forward in your doctoral program with new insights, clarified intentions, and a commitment to finishing strong.

Find out more
06 October 2024 October 6 - October 9

2024 Institute on the Curricular Approach™

October 6 - October 9
Westin Rosemont O’Hare, 6100 N River Rd
Rosemont, IL 60018
+ Google Map

Join student affairs and higher education colleagues on a journey toward implementing a curricular approach on your campus at the Institute on the Curricular Approach (ICA)! This learning experience is dynamic and valuable, as you will have access to concrete examples of how institutions with similar institutional values have developed and implemented their Curricular Approach in residence life, student leadership, or student conduct. Showcase Institutions will share how they used the 10 Essential Elements, their lessons learned, and implementation successes. This event is a straight-forward way to obtain clear direction from higher education and student affairs professionals who have done the work.

Find out more
09 October 2024 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Book Club 2024 Meeting #2

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Join CFI to discuss the chapter 3 & 4 of Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness by Da'Shaun L. Harrison.

Find out more
11 October 2024 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

2024 ACPA/ASHE Presidential Symposium

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

The 2022 ACPA-ASHE Presidential Symposium will provide attendees with an understanding of how joy is cultivated, why joy is an act of resistance and healing, and how joy can be fostered through communities of care. In this space, our hope is to bring together graduate students, faculty members, student affairs staff members, and senior student affairs leaders to reimagine our work to center care and community.

Find out more
21 October 2024 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

ACPA Day 100th Anniversary Dinner

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Union Station, Washington, DC, 50 Massachussets Ave NE
Washington, DC 20002 United States
+ Google Map

In honor of ACPA Day and our 100th Anniversary Celebration, please join us in Washington D.C. for our ACPA Day Dinner event on Monday, October 21, 2024.

Find out more
12 November 2024 November 12 - November 13

Program Design School

November 12 - November 13

Join The Leadership and Training Studio and Erin Fischer for a two-day, hands-on, engaging and entertaining seminar. Erin will share how she wrote 90 programs in four and a half years and still has more ideas. (As a matter of fact, she has written eight new courses in three months.) You will learn how to write participant guides, facilitator guides, identify 40 learning methods and understand why you can’t write learning objectives until the end of your course! By the end of the two days, you will have a template for writing consistently and engaging material with ease. We are excited to continue to offer this outstanding professional development opportunity in a live virtual format using Zoom Video Conferencing.

Find out more
13 November 2024 November 13 - November 16

2024 Paul Shang Institute for Aspiring Executive Officers™

November 13 - November 16

ACPA is proud to offer this exciting professional development event for those who are considering a Senior Student Affairs Officer (SSAO) role as a future career goal. The ACPA Institute for Aspiring SSAOs: Exploring Underrepresented Identities and Career Paths will explore ways in which our diverse backgrounds (such as gender identity and presentation, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and physical/cognitive qualities) impact our move to and experience within an SSAO role. A faculty team of seasoned and diverse SSAOs from various types of institutions will lead participants in an introspective and intimate journey.

Find out more

Meet the Directorate

DALE O'NEILL, PHD

DALE O'NEILL, PHD

Chair

she/her/hers

Loyola University New Orleans

[email protected]

JASON MOCKFORD

JASON MOCKFORD

Chair Elect

he/him/his

California Polytechnic State University

[email protected]

ALEX MATIASH

ALEX MATIASH

Past Chair

he/him/his

University of Oregon

[email protected] 

BRANDEE NICHOLSON

BRANDEE NICHOLSON

Directorate Member (Newsletter)

she/her/hers

Cornell University

[email protected]

ABBY PRIEHS

ABBY PRIEHS

Directorate Member (Professional Development)

she/her/hers

Cornell University

[email protected]

Brittnie Daugherty

Brittnie Daugherty

Directorate Member (Digital Marketing)

she/her/hers

Central Michigan University

[email protected]

PRISCILLA JU

PRISCILLA JU

Directorate Member (Membership)

she/ her/

University of California, San Diego

[email protected]

DON-MARIE HOLDER, PSYD

DON-MARIE HOLDER, PSYD

Directorate Member (Membership)

she/her/hers

The University of the West Indies

[email protected]

Andrew Ives, PhD

Andrew Ives, PhD

Directorate Member (Partnerships)

he/him

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

[email protected]

Shavon Hutchinson

Shavon Hutchinson

Directorate Member (Partnerships)

he, him, his 

The University of the West Indies Mona

[email protected] 

ZACHARY SMITH

ZACHARY SMITH

Directorate Member (Professional Development)

Jess Shapiro

Jess Shapiro

Directorate Member (Partnerships)

she/her/hers

Ithaca College

[email protected]

Dian Bailey

Dian Bailey

Directorate Member (Digital Marketing)

she/her/hers

University of the West Indies

[email protected]

Mike Kutnak

Mike Kutnak

Directorate Member (Assessment)

he/him/his

Queens University of Charlotte

[email protected]

Brian Lackman

Brian Lackman

Directorate (Membership)

he/him/his

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

[email protected]

Get Involved in mlcop

Become a member of the Mid-Level Community of Practice! Actively participate in opportunities that provide resources and support to members, both personally and professionally, with care, respect, and encouragement.

Ready to join?

Joining an Entity through the ACPA Member Portal automatically identifies you as a member of that Entity! After you update your profile denoting MLCoP entity involvement, you will begin to receive Entity communications and have access to any resources MLCoP shares.  This is the first step to involvement with MLCoP!

  1. Click here to log into the ACPA member portal
  2. Navigate to “My Account” in the upper right corner
  3. On the dropdown, click “My Profile”
  4. Update your Personal Information and use the tabs across the top to update your Entity Involvement Profile

Contact MLCOP via email at [email protected] to learn more about ACPA’s Mid-Level Community of Practice.

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

  • Apply to serve on the Directorate! MLCOP is currently accepting applications to fill vacant Directorate positions.  To apply, please submit a cover letter, detailing your experience and why you are interested, as well as your resume to Dale O’Neill, Past Chair, at [email protected]
  • Contribute to the Monthly MLCoP Newsletter. Each month, the MLCoP publishes a newsletter which includes articles about best practices in student affairs/services, current trends in higher education, research opportunities, as well as Mid-Level Professional Spotlights.  
  • Attend a program.  Throughout the upcoming year, we will host an array of professional development opportunities for you to engage in.  Many of these webinars and roundtables are free to you as an ACPA member. In addition, if you are unable to attend, there will be a recording that can be provided to you.
  • Serve as a reviewer. Each year, MLCoP asks for volunteers to review our Mid-Level Management Institute scholarship applications, annual awards, and convention endorsed programs.
  • Submit to be an endorsed program for Convention.
  • Attend our open business meeting at the annual ACPA convention.

Mlcop Awards and Scholarships

The depth and quality of work by student affairs educators, higher education scholars, and faculty colleagues too often goes unrecognized. Get involved with MLCoP by recognizing and nominating a colleague, supervisor or supervisee, mentor, or other leader for an Award or Scholarship.

Start gathering information today and get ready to recognize colleague!

Donna M. Bourassa Mid-Level Management Institute Scholarship

ACPA’s Mid-Level Community of Practice (MLCOP) mission is to encourage, develop, and deliver programs and services focused on the needs of mid-level professionals in student affairs and higher education. MLCOP will be providing a scholarship to an individual to attend ACPA’s Donna M. Bourassa’s Mid-Level Management Institute (MMI). The Donna M. Bourassa Mid-Level Management Institute is an ACPA educational program for those who have been in the student affairs field for five or more years or are a departmental director. The institute guides those desiring to grow their authentic leadership, strengthen their capacities and understand self and organizational dynamics in order to lead well.  The application timeline is now closed.  Please visit us again in September 2024.  

MLCOP Annual Awards

Award nominations are now open for MLCOP’s 2024 annual awards. Please consider recognizing an incredible mid-level professional you know for one of the awards below. Submit your nominations by clicking the link below the award descriptions!

EXCEPTIONAL MID-LEVEL PROFESSIONAL AWARD

This award recognizes contributions made by an individual mid-level professional to the field of student affairs or higher education. Mid-Level Professionals are those who have been in the field for more than five years and are not a Senior Student Affairs Officer.

MID-LEVEL PRACTITIONER-SCHOLAR AWARD

This award recognizes contributions made by an individual or group currently active in MLCOP. The recipient(s) of this award will have created a body of work throughout the year that further expands the mission of MLCOP.

OUTSTANDING COMMITMENT TO THE STRATEGIC IMPERATIVE FOR RACIAL JUSTICE AND DECOLONIZATION (SIRJD)

This award recognizes outstanding contributions to the Strategic Imperative for Social Justice and Decolonization. The nominee should be a mid-level professional.  Mid-Level Professionals are those who have been in the field for more than five years and are not a Senior Student Affairs Officer.

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE TO THE MID-LEVEL COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE

This award recognizes contributions made by an individual or group currently active in MLCOP. The recipient(s) of this award will have created a body of work throughout the year that further expands the mission of MLCOP. 

NOTABLE ENTITY PARTNER AWARD

This award recognizes the contributions of an ACPA Entity Group or an individual working within another ACPA Entity Group.  Individuals or groups who have made a significant contribution to the Mid-Level Community of Practice should be nominated for this award.

Award submissions are now closed.  Please visit again in October 2024.

The owner of this website has made a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, please report any problems that you encounter using the contact form on this website. This site uses the WP ADA Compliance Check plugin to enhance accessibility.