Roberta 'Bobbie' Flaherty, NACADA Executive Director
The Executive Office is often asked to explain the “benefits” of NACADA membership and it is easy to enumerate the various resources that the association provides – from conferences to monographs, but it is more difficult to explain the “rest of the story”.
Let’s say your institution has already purchased all of NACADA’s written resources and the videos, and you are unable to attend any of the professional development events this next year. Why should you part with $50? My response would be “Why do you buy Girl Scout cookies?” and “Why do you give to the American Cancer Society?” Could it be to support the underlying work of those organizations? After all, are the cookies alone worth what you pay and will your donation to the Cancer Society make you cancer free? So, what will your $50 NACADA dues do for you?
Would you like for advising to be more highly valued on your campus? Would you like to be recognized on your campus as a “professional” and rewarded accordingly? As a faculty member, would you like to be recognized for good advising as well as good teaching and would you like to be recognized for the time you spend advising students? Would you like for the administration to better understand the value of “effective advising”? Would you like to maintain your financial support in times of budget cuts? Would you like for there to be more research on advising issues? Then NACADA dues are how you can help. Not only does NACADA provide resources for your direct individual support, but it also works to build awareness and respect for the profession as a whole.
In addition, involvement in your profession can be one of the most rewarding aspects of your career. It provides an opportunity for you to contribute to the research and literature of the field, to impact decisions regarding the type of resources needed and to be developed in the field, to promote the growing recognition of the field, and to make lifelong friendships with those who share your values from across North America and throughout the world!
NACADA strives to provide a forum for discussion, debate, and the exchange of ideas pertaining to academic advising through a growing number of events (national conference, regional conferences, Academic Advising Summer Institute, and the Administrators’ Institute) and resources. Be sure to watch the NACADA web site for an ever growing compilation of advising information and resources.
So, the next time you are wondering what you get for that $50 (one of the lowest dues amounts among higher education associations), I encourage you to think beyond the obvious and continue to support the work of the association as it strives to impact the positive development of students through the support of academic advising. I invite you to please join us at any or all of our events and get involved with the work of the association. I promise you that the more you give to your association, the more you will receive!
Roberta “Bobbie” Flaherty
NACADA Executive Director
Cite this article using APA style as: Flaherty, R. (2003, June). From the executive office. Academic Advising Today, 26(2). [insert url here]