acpa position on Development of Student Leaders and the Student Development Profession

One of the greatest challenges of being a student educator or student affairs professional has to do with the encouragement of students to be strong advocates, scholars, and leaders. Indeed being tasked with this cause is also one of the greatest privileges this profession has to offer. There are a great many obstacles both institutional and societal to the environment needed to facilitate student development. We recognize several types of student leadership development, including professional and scholarly, advocacy, and personal development.

Encouraging freedom of speech and expression as well as an open environment where students can share concerns and ideas is a great first step. And it is also true that freedom of speech does not equal freedom from consequence of that speech. It is  essential that we continue to actively seek education on the current climate affecting campus leaders and prepare them for creating change inside and outside of institutions of higher education.

Students can offer great insight and perspective to the profession of student affairs and the field of higher education. Too often, student voices remain unheard by college and university administrators. As an association representing student affairs professionals, faculty, and students alike, ACPA vows to continue to be a platform for student leaders. Keeping students engaged, informed, and inspired will continue to be a goal of the Association.

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