posted on February 21, 2022 01:01
Kyle Ross, NACADA President
As we begin a new year, I have personally felt the conflict between feeling that I am getting closer to a place of normalcy and routine that I have missed since the onset of the pandemic and feeling that I am still a long way out from that place. A lot has changed for me since 2020, with having transitioned to a new institution and community. Through everything that has happened in the past two years, one of my constants and anchors has been this association and the colleagues and friends I surround myself with within it. I find revitalization from this association and excitement with where the Board of Directors is leading us.
I hope our membership feels the same sense of renewal by engaging with NACADA’s numerous opportunities for professional development and networking. Over the past few years, a frequent topic that I have talked about with members and presented about at conferences is how to get involved in NACADA and what first steps members can take toward leadership roles. It can feel overwhelming and confusing to figure out who to ask and where to start. So, I want to use this space to share my perspective and encourage members to consider these involvement opportunities.
NACADA’s structure is primarily organized by three divisions: the Administrative Division, the Advising Communities Division, and the Region Division. Each division ultimately serves our members by fostering opportunities for professional development and engagement and for advancing the overall work of the association toward accomplishing the strategic goals developed by the Board of Directors.
The Administrative Division collaborates with the Executive Office around events and services available to all members and key activities of the association directly linked with the strategic goals. This division consists of advisory boards (e.g. Annual Conference Advisory Board) and committees (e.g. Membership Recruitment & Retention Committee). Individuals interested in contributing to the work of these groups can seek appointment as formal members of committees and/or advisory boards for two years. Each group’s website contains a section on “How to Get Involved” that details experience needed for appointment and who to contact if interested. Members can then seek to serve as chair once they complete their initial two-year term. Committee Chairs are elected for a two-year term by their current members, and Advisory Board Chairs are appointed by the president, in consultation with the Administrative Division Representatives and with the Board of Directors.
Advising Communities Division
The Advising Communities Division is responsible for creating opportunities for members to network with colleagues and engage in professional development around topics of similar interest. Topics range from institution types (e.g. Historically Black Colleges and Universities) to academic areas (e.g. STEM) and student populations (e.g. Undecided and Exploratory Students). There are over 35 advising communities to connect with, and members can officially join up to four of them. They can also contact the respective Advising Community Chair to get involved with their steering committee. After a year as an official member of an advising community, members are eligible for election as chair for a two-year term.
The Region Division is responsible for programming events and opportunities for networking/professional development for members who are connected by geographical proximity. Members are assigned to one of the 10 regions within which they are located. For example, I am affiliated with Region 8 (8 is Great!). However, members can always participate and connect with other regions as well. Each region has a steering committee and opportunities to volunteer on conference planning committees. Members can contact their respective Region Chair to get involved. I always recommend serving on the steering committee before considering running for a chair position that is elected for a two-year term by the region’s membership.
Opportunities for involvement exist outside of these three divisions as well. Members can volunteer to review conference proposals; write for NACADA; participate in the elections process; and/or present at local, regional, annual, and international conferences.
I always am open to talking directly with members who want to discuss how and where to get started. I understand it is a tremendous ask for members to give their time and volunteer in whatever way they can and want to in this association during this time. However, I can easily say it is worth every second and investment of personal energy because I go back to my full-time role, my team, and my students recharged and reinvigorated.
Thank you and be well!
Kyle Ross, President, 2021–2022
NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising
Head Academic Advisor
College of Business
Oregon State University
Cite this article using APA style as: Ross, K. (2022, March). From the president: Getting involved in NACADA. Academic Advising Today, 45(1). [insert url here]