Scholarly Journals & publications

ACPA is committed to sharing the most up-to-date scholarly research and practice through our three main journal and publication sources; the Journal of College Student Development, About Campus, and Developments. Click the link below to learn more about each publication and how to submit your research and scholarship for publishing.

ACPA Books

Since the early 1960s, the Books and Media Board has nurtured the development and publication of original content by authors with broad appeal to an interdisciplinary audience of researchers, scholars, and practitioners in the field of student affairs as well as the broader context of higher education. Publication themes ranged from history and systems, to theory, to practice applications.

Today, we continue to support authors who wish to publish books in collaboration with ACPA. New authors/editors working with ACPA Books receive significant guidance and assistance in the publishing process that is not available when working directly with a publisher. For more experienced authors/editors, publishing with ACPA Books is a great way to “give back” to the organization. As such, royalties from all books published through ACPA Books are returned to the association. Authors benefit by having their works published, which may enhance their professional reputations and lead to greater professional opportunities for such activities as consulting, keynote speaking, and invited presentations.

We welcome submissions of book proposals on topics related to, but not limited to the following: student growth and development, diversity in higher education, student access, success, and retention, mental health among college students, campus safety, and equity in higher education. 

Books & Thought Papers FAQ

Who can publish with ACPA?

Any ACPA member with an idea for publication is invited to submit a proposal. ACPA is particularly interested in receiving proposals from professionals motivated to complete a high-quality book or monograph, even if they do not have extensive prior publication records. The advantages of ACPA Publications Board publication are the rigorous standards used in the review process and the helpfulness of the Editor and Editorial Board reviewers.

What types of proposals are accepted by ACPA?

ACPA Publications Board has been producing books and monographs since the early 1960s for use by individual student affairs professionals, graduate courses, and student affairs divisions or departments. The publication themes range from history to theory to practice applications. The reviewers look for proposals indicating high quality treatment of a subject for a particular audience in a length appropriate to the topic and approach. The Editorial Board strives to publish “cutting edge” information that is not available elsewhere. ACPA is committed to issues related to student learning, human development, diversity and equity, human dignity, community, and professional renewal. If you have fresh approach to an old problem or a new approach that works, consider submitting your idea to the appropriate editor on the ACPA Publications Board!

What happens to my proposal after it is submitted?

After your proposal is received, the publications editor will send it out for masked review to a set of reviewers identified as appropriate for the topic and structure of the proposal.  Proposals are evaluated for author proficiency with the topic, rationale, and approach; soundness and organization of the contents; timeliness; readability; attention to equity and inclusion; and interest to ACPA members. The editor will synthesize the reviews and provide feedback to the authors, including a decision to accept, request revisions, or reject the proposal.

How long does the proposal review process take?

It takes approximately eight weeks from the time the Editor receives your proposal to have it reviewed. The time may vary depending on the number of proposals currently in the review process and variations among institutional calendars.

How much does it cost to submit to ACPA?

Nothing. ACPA does not charge individuals to submit or to publish. Manuscripts are accepted on the basis of quality, the prospect of adding to the knowledge of the profession, and a potential readership sufficient to cover production costs.

What kind of marketing does ACPA do for its products?

Each product has an individualized marketing plan, tailored to fit the specific needs and market of the individual product. The plan usually includes some combination of ads in the Journal of College Student Development, “ACPA Developments”, and other publications in the field; special mailings to our members and other student affairs and higher education professionals; and displays of the book or monograph at our own conferences and other conventions. All products published by ACPA are highlighted in an annual publication list and on the ACPA website.

Will I get rich publishing with ACPA?

No. ACPA authors are not paid royalties. ACPA Publications Board accepts new projects with the minimal financial expectation of breaking even with production costs, and a substantive portion of ACPA’s Publications Board budget comes from annual sales. However, you will be adding to the body of knowledge in the field, gaining professional credentials from a scholarly press, and helping your fellow professionals. ACPA holds the copyright to all materials published by ACPA.

The criteria used to evaluate your proposal will include:

  • The topic’s contribution to the field
  • The author’s ability to present new and significant information and observations about the topic
  • The contents must be derived from a solid knowledge base of theory, research, and/or practice
  • The proposed work should address as many dimensions of equity and diversity as is appropriate to the subject matter in a manner that reflects the best theory, research, or practice available to the profession regarding cultural concerns
  • Whether the focus is on current and emerging issues, or on historical perspectives, ACPA scholarly books must contribute to knowledge and action, and spell out the implications of findings or offer suggestions about what practitioners and faculty can do in relation to the topic.

Your proposal must include the following:

  • Title of the manuscript
  • Description, scope, content, and purpose of proposal
  • Description of the target audience
  • Discuss the need for your proposed book and how it meets the need of your intended audience. Moreover, this section should describe the contribution your book may make to research and practice
  • List competing and related works
  • Discuss qualifications of authors (and include resumes/CVs) as well as format and length of book
  • Table of contents: Briefly describe each chapter and delineate its title
  • Timetable: Give an estimate for completion of manuscript
  • A writing sample (preferably a draft chapter or introduction)

For more information or to submit proposals, please download our Publishing with ACPA Books document.
Please contact the co-editors, Mimi Benjamin and Jody Jessup-Anger with questions.

Ways to Order ACPA Books

Stylus Publishing

Rowman & Littlefield

Purchase directly through ACPA

A Bold Vision forward book cover
Developmental Pathways to Trans Inclusion on College Campuses book cover
Using the CAS Professional Standards book cover
Accreditation and the Role of the Student Affairs Educator
Professional Competency Areas for Student Affairs Administrators book cover
Maybe I should book cover
Learning Reconsidered cover
Student Conduct Board Manual and Reference
Beyond Compliance book cover


Current Papers

Professional Preparation of New Student Affairs Professionals: The Shared Responsibility between HE/SA Faculty and Senior Student Affairs Professionals

written by: Peggy Holzweiss and Steven Tolman

Graduate International Teaching Assistants’ Social and Cultural Navigation of the U.S. University Classroom

written by: Hoang D. Pham, Nicholas J. Knopf, Ph. D. and Hairong Shang-Butler, Ph. D.​

Shifting Language from Multicultural Competence to Consciousness
written by: Shannon Dean-Scott

Reconsidering Intercultural Competence Development through Study Abroad
written by: Lauren Collins

Call for Proposals: Thought Papers

The ACPA Publications Board is seeking your inspiration, creativity, and ideas for publication in Thought PapersThought Papers is a peer reviewed, online publication more nimble than a journal, designed to disseminate your ideas relatively quickly.


Our profession would benefit from your cutting-edge ideas and thoughts about strengthening, challenging, and clarifying our profession. There are many ways to think about topics for Thought Papers. Papers might include:

  • Leading edge issues that are challenging and interesting to those in student affairs and higher education.
  • Guidance for the student affairs community on an issue — often a “hot topic” kind of issue — that has met with some controversy, lack of direction, or concern.
  • Consideration of an issue from new voices, lenses, or perspectives.
  • Background information about a current issue so that professionals can approach the issue in a more informed manner.
  • Blending of theory and practice, or application of theory to practice.
  • Attention to an issue that our profession has yet to address sufficiently, or at all.

Thought Paper is a relatively brief work (up to 5,000 words, or 5-6 pages). The editors are particularly interested in reviewing the work of first time authors. The ACPA Publications Board is an excellent place for first time writers to receive coaching and support as they move through the writing process.

Thought Papers are a good publication outlet for commissions, standing committees, directorates, and other groups.


You are writing a Thought Paper for all student affairs professionals—your paper may be especially useful for those who want to remain current quickly, such as new professionals, preparation program faculty, students, senior student affairs officers, legislative staff members, and association executives. Thought Papers published online offer easy access to your ideas. Your ideas expressed with clarity and focus offer easy access to readers.

Content of Thought Papers

Each issue on which you might write a paper is different and so the approach to that issue may differ across Thought Papers.

We encourage you to consider many formats in addition to text. These may include drawings, poetry, symbols, artwork, music, photographs, photovoice, and other formats that express and communicate your thoughts about student affairs and higher education.

For those who find outlines helpful, one way to structure a Thought Paper might be as follows:


Provide a very brief “executive summary” of the issue including why this issue is important to student affairs and higher education. An executive summary provides an overview of the topic. Subsequent sections of the paper provide more details beyond the brief overview and summary.

Overview of the issue and of controversies associated with the issue

Your Thought Paper might lay out the landscape of the issue and most especially help the reader through the controversial or challenging parts of the issue. Think to yourself “what will help the reader understand this important issue? Would a story, example, or quoted narrative assist the reader to imagine or feel the issue or controversy more deeply?” Finally, offer context for the issue using student affairs history, theory, and/or current practice.

Suggested approach to the issue by you or your entity as part of the larger association.

Write your paper as though you are offering ACPA and student affairs the helpful professional guidance or ideas you (or your group) wish to put forth. Be especially mindful of the challenges you have outlined in the previous section. How do your suggestions address those issues?


Include citations when appropriate as well as suggested resources for further assistance. Help the reader to pursue the issue knowledgeably.

Guidelines for Authors

To expedite your review, please:

  • Adhere to the APA 6th edition style guide as closely as possible. Provide clear rationale if thereis a need to deviate from APA; for example, to show cultural respect, evolving language, creativeexpression, and other reasons.
  • Write up to 5,000 words (5-6 pages)
  • Use Microsoft Word
  • Include name, e-mail address, and institutional affiliation/location for all co-authors on a separate title page
  • Mask your document for peer review (remove author names using the Microsoft Word function File-Inspect Document)

Author Responsibilities

Original Work
Authors should submit work that is not under consideration for publication elsewhere. If, after submission, the work is accepted for publication or self-published elsewhere, authors must notify ACPA in writing. By submitting, the authors certify that they have written consent for use of any recognizable photographs, images, or any other non-text representations.

Human Subjects
When research involves human subjects, the author must ensure, and indicate on submission, that the study has IRB approval. In the case that authors did not obtain IRB approval, they should provide a detailed explanation.

Plagiarism is serious. All manuscripts are reviewed for plagiarized passages prior to acceptance. Please ensure that you properly cite all information taken from outside sources, and that you compose your thoughts in your own words. All instances of plagiarism will be returned to the authors for correction and may be cause for removal of the manuscript from consideration.

Please proofread your manuscript carefully, and ask others to proofread for you—it is common for authors to miss our own errors. Please submit your manuscript after you consider it in final form and ready for review.

Submission & Contact

If you have questions about Thought Papers, or wish to discuss your ideas for a Thought Paper, please contact [email protected]