FALL 2017

TACUSPA President's Message

BIG Impacts in Trying Times 

The last few weeks have been anything but normal for many of our colleagues across the great state of Texas.  Hurricane Harvey left a path of destruction impacting tens of thousands of our fellow Texans.  We all have families, friends and students who have experienced such vast and devastating losses.  So many of our colleagues who were in the direct path of Harvey not only had to worry about their own family and homes but had to serve as essential staff during the crisis to ensure their students and campuses were safe.  Your service to your students in the face of such tragic circumstances is to be commended. 

Even though Harvey has come and gone, the challenges ahead are just beginning.  It will take years to rebuild what took Harvey five days to destroy.  But in times when our faith is tested it is the spirit of humanity that overwhelms me with hope and gives me inspiration. Our differences in race, religion, politics, and socio-economics no longer divide us.  We are brought together to help one another and to pick each other up when disaster hits so close to home. 

Many of our campuses have been able to implement programs that provide aid and assistance to victims.  This aid includes counseling support, housing, food, personal items, transportation, course adjustments, assignment extensions, waivers for tuition and late fees, emergency aid, and the list goes on.  Donations have been collected and distributed to many local, regional, and natural disaster relief organizations.  The rebuilding has just begun and TACUSPA is here for our members and the students they serve.   

During these difficult times, connecting with colleagues can be rejuvenating and inspiring.  Our annual conference is just around the corner where we will have the opportunity to come together to reconnect and support one another.  This year’s theme, It’s Gonna Be BIG, seeks to inspire innovation and showcase the strength of our organization and the BIG impact we all have on student success.   I hope you will have the opportunity to join us for the conference.  

Lisa Nagy

TACUSPA President

TACUSPA Foundation

Have you made the pledge?

The TACUSPA Foundation is excited to continue the new Century Club campaign!  This campaign is designed to start the party early by prompting each TACUSPA member to set a goal of giving a total of at least $1000 between now and our 100th Anniversary Celebration in 2025. 

TACUSPA has contributed to the profession and professionals engaged in Student Affairs work since 1925. 

There are a variety of flexible payment plans to fit your needs.  You may decide to give $111 a year for the next 9 years (the difference of $1 to be covered by an anonymous donor) or start with a smaller amount and increase it over time.  Pick the plan that works best for you. 

Participants making the pledge will be recognized on our wall of honor at annual conferences in October of each year.  Upon completion of a $1000 total gift, donors will be recognized as members of the Century Club.

For more information on the TACUSPA Foundation, go to http://www.tacuspa.net/Foundation.  

To make a pledge f ill out a Century Pledge Campaign form and email to Amanda Drum at Amanda.Drum@tamucc.edu

TACUSPA Foundation Silent Auction

It’s never too late to donate!

The TACUSPA Foundation is seeking items for our silent auction to be held in conjunction with the annual conference in October.  Proceeds from the auction help support our TACUSPA graduate student scholarships and Fellows program. 

Past donations have included baby gifts, jewelry, gift cards, and sportswear.  There are no limits to what you may contribute.  In fact, we encourage you to team up with your friends to create a themed basket. Let your imagination be your guide.  Consider donating items that have the widest audience appeal. Though we certainly appreciate college/university specific contributions, we understand that these may appeal to a limited number of people. 

For those who may need a little creative boost, I would suggest Googling “silent auction donation ideas.”  There are 1000s of examples.

In addition to the traditional silent auction, our goal this year is to solicit 2-3 “big ticket” items that would be used in a raffle.  Participants will purchase raffle tickets and distribute them among these items based upon your interest.  For example, if you purchase five raffle tickets, you can distribute them among all, some or only one of the raffle items.  You decide. So far for the raffle, we have secured a weekend stay at the Renaissance Hotel in Richardson and $250 worth of Kendra Scott jewelry.

Thank you in advance for your contributions to the Silent Auction and remember, all donations are tax deductible. Watch the TACUSPA Facebook page for updates. For questions, please contact:

Gene Fitch


Job Postings

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin - Director of Student Activities

Lamar State College – Port Arthur, Director of Student Activities

Tarleton State University - Student Development Specialist III-Assistant Director for Student Conduct

Read more…

Assessment in Action

Assessment ≠ Survey and Other Important Terms

Have you ever heard someone say “I sent out that assessment” when they meant “I sent out that survey”? This assessment corner is to help take some mystery out of assessment lingo.  To clarify, a survey is an assessment tool; not assessment itself.  Other assessment tools include pre/post-tests, rubrics, quizzes, observations, interviews, etc.  Below is a helpful summary of some of the language of assessment.

Assessment, Evaluation, and Research – Oh My!

There is a difference between these terms, and in this case, semantics matter.  Assessment can be remembered as the collection and use of data/information to improve something. Evaluation can be thought of as the collection of data/information to judge the quality of something. Evaluation could lead to an improvement based on the results of the judgment, but that is not the original intent. Research is the collection and use of data/information to inform and learn. Research helps create new knowledge or confirm a theory, but is not meant for continuous improvement or judgment.

To be Direct or Indirect?

Data we collect is necessary to inform work, to improve practice, and to assist in understanding the contributions made to student success. But, do we know what kind of data we are using? Indirect data is the result of an assessment process which asks subjects to reflect upon their knowledge, behavior, or thought processes. Ex: How useful was the training? Direct data is a result of an assessment process which requires subjects to display their knowledge, behavior, or thought processes (i.e. name 3 resources available in our office). If you need to see the learning/outcome to know it exists, you’ll need a direct measure; if not, an indirect measure is the remaining option. While indirect measures may appear to be the only or easiest way, direct measures are the gold standard and should be used when possible.

Outcomes, What Outcomes?

When assessing outcomes, it is helpful to consider learning, programs, and operations.  Learning outcomes can describe significant and essential learning that students have achieved. Generally, learners can reliably demonstrate what they gained through a course or program. Knowing what learning should happen translates to writing learning outcomes. A program outcome addresses the “what and how” a program contributes to students or the institution.  Program outcomes may include a level of performance of the program. Operational outcomes address regular or procedural tasks that relate to a service or product and can typically be counted (i.e. # of users). Each type of outcome has an important place in assessment and can help share your story!

Formative or Summative?

The last set of assessment terms are formative and summative assessments. Formative is the type of assessment that monitors student learning through ongoing feedback to improve an instructor’s teaching and/or the student’s learning. Summative evaluates outcomes at the end of a cycle or specified unit of time/work.  Both are useful and knowing which type you have influences the interpretation and application of data.

If you have an assessment practice or tidbit to share in the Assessment Corner, please email Pam Shefman (pshefman@central.uh.edu)

Membership Updates

Membership Expiration

All TACUSPA memberships will expire on December 31, 2017.  New memberships or renewals received after November 1, 2017, will count towards 2017 membership unless the membership was unpaid for 2017.  Memberships must be renewed by April 1 in order to vote.  Members planning to run for an elected office on the Board of Directors must renew their membership prior to being confirmed as a candidate.

Renewing Memberships

Individual members can renew online at http://www.tacuspa.net/Memberships.  Reminder: student members cannot be full time employees at a college or university AND they must be full time students.  Verification of full time student status may be requested from a student member.

Important Note for those with institutional membership: Most of our members join through the Institutional Membership process.  If you are included in this group, please do not renew your membership on your own without first speaking to your department head, dean, or vice-president.  Institutional members will follow the instructions on outlined on the Institutional Membership webpage. 

New addition to Institutional Memberships!

The Board of Directors is excited to announce that Institutional Members may now include a FREE faculty member on their roster!  The membership must be assigned to a faculty teaching in a higher education, student affairs, or similar program.  The Board hopes that adding this position will encourage more participation in the Association from faculty who are dedicated to our current and future colleagues.  The faculty membership will be indicated on the institutional roster, which is available on the institutional memberships webpage.

Membership Questions?

Director of Membership, Stephanie Box: stephanie.box@tamucc.edu or 361.825.6290

2017 TACUSPA Conference 

The Deadline for TACUSPA Conference Registration is fast approaching.  

Early Bird Registration deadline is September 17th at midnight!  Don’t miss your chance to attend!

We also still have spaces available for the following pre-conference opportunities.  Please consider supporting your staff to attend or taking part yourself. These sessions are INCREDIBLY reasonably priced at just $40 and offer such a great experience. 

New Professional's Institute (NPI)

The underlying intent of most job interview questions in the university setting is:  What do you know how to do?  As you embark on your professional career, it will be increasingly important to gain new skills along the way and articulate your perspectives to others in meaningful ways.

The New Professionals Institute features a practical look at these timeless efforts.  Speakers will discuss how to keep up with the demands of a student affairs position while at the same time gain new ways to articulate your perspective, contribute to campus culture, be authentic, find self-awareness and identify communication styles of your colleagues.  Sounds like a lot, right?  Join us to discuss new strategies to integrate your past, present and career future in a practical way.

A new professional is defined as someone with less than five years in the student affairs profession.  

The New Professional's Institute will be held on Sunday, October 1st from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.  

Mid-Manager's Institute (MMI)

The Mid-Manager's Institute (MMI) is a unique professional development experience for student affairs professionals with 5+ years of experience. The program offers an opportunity for mid-level professionals to enhance and develop skills related to thriving as a mid-manager and preparing to future opportunities. During the Mid-Manager's Institute participants will have the opportunity to learn from higher education administrators, constituents, and partners. Participants will have an opportunity to network with other mid-managers in small groups as well as hear from experienced professionals through presentations, small group sessions, and a panel.
A mid-manager is defined as someone with more than five years in the student affairs profession.   

The Mid-Managers Institute will be held on Sunday, October 1st from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Pre-Conference: Assessment Seminar 

The Assessment Seminar is a “boot camp” for professionals interested in building their assessment skills as a practice. Designed for campuses and/or departments with limited resources, the program offers an opportunity for participants to learn the basics needed to either enhance the work you are currently doing or begin something new for your area or campus. Program format will include presentations, small group work, and practical workshops that make assessment more salient in your work.

Presentations include: 

  • Assessment 101
  • Assessment when you are the only one doing it
  • Surveys and other data collection methods
  • Basic statistics that I need to know

The assessment pre-conference will take place Sunday, October 1, 
2pm – 4pm

Register at http://www.tacuspa.net/Conference

Hotel information:  the hotel room block for online booking is closed but rooms can still be booked in our group and at our rate by calling 1-800-468-4571.  Visit the TACUSPA Conference hotel page for more information. 

Call For Webinar Presentations

2018 TACUSPA Call for Webinar Presentations

Partner with us to deliver high quality education and training.

An essential service of any association is offering high quality continuing education and training to its professional members. Development of the 2018 TACUPSA Webinar Series is underway, and we invite you to collaborate with us!  The Webinar Series has been successful, with over a 100 attendees from across Texas.

We hope you will consider submitting a webinar proposal.  It would be a wonderful opportunity of networking with our colleagues across the state and educating our colleagues on an area of passion for you.

Suggested Webinar Topics

TACUPSA welcomes webinar presentations on the following topics and more:

  • Effectiveness of evidence-based practices
  • Retention
  • Personal Growth
  • Campus Behavior & Safety
  • Equity & Inclusion
  • Law & Policy
  • Student Organizations
  • 1st Generation College Students
  • Supporting Students
  • Non-Traditional Students
  • Advising Students
  • Motivational Interviewing
  • Leadership & Supervision
  • Working with Students
  • Ethics
  • Student Success
  • Assessment & Evaluation
  • Student & Organization Conduct
  • Student Veterans
  • Service Initiatives
  • Advocacy & Activism on Campus
  • Professional Development

Webinar Details

  • All webinars are free to participants.
  • TACUSPA will consider proposals for 60 or 90 minute webinars only.
    • Presenters should prepare approximately 90% of time for presentation and allow 10% of time for questions and answers throughout the webinar
  • Maximum 2 presenters per presentation; no previous training experience is required.
  • The live event will be recorded and shared with all attendees for future free, on-demand viewing.

What does TACUSPA provide?

  1. Marketing: Advertisement to TACUSPA’s membership and affiliate networks. Detailed webpage on TACUPSA website that contains description, learning objectives, presenter(s) information and date of webinar.     
  2. Technical Support: TACUSPA uses GoToWebinar to host its webinars. TACUSPA staff will handle all technical aspects of the webinar including training the presenters and monitoring/assisting with the entire live webinar presentation to assure the highest quality webinar
  3. Assistance: TACUSPA staff or a designated facilitator are available to help the presenters in the planning and presentation of the webinar.
  4. Logistics: The presenters will be provided with helpful background information and guidelines to ensure the PowerPoint presentation is appropriate to use for this virtual presentation.

How will webinar presentations be selected?  

TACUSPA will be accepting webinar presentation applications until the close of business on October 2, 2017. Applications will be selected according to the following criteria: 

  • All sections of the application are complete. 
  • Description and learning objectives are clearly stated.
  • Session structure and organization are clearly defined.
  • Presenters have sufficient training experience and knowledge of the subject matter.
  • The topic area corresponds with those most in demand by the profession.

The Selection Committee will contact chosen presenters via email by October 16, 2017.

For more information, visit http://tacuspa.net/CallForWebinars/

Student Affairs on Campus Journal/Research Grant Application

Check out the latest from Student Affairs on Campus, the peer review journal from TACUSPA. Explaining the Employment Rate of Recent Texas Public University Graduates by Dr Adolfo Santos.  

Also please note - The Research Grant application has been extended to September 17.  For more details please refer to the Research Grant Application.

Quarterly Report

The TACUSPA Newsletter is edited by Christine Self, Associate Director of Parent & Family Relations at Texas Tech University, and Kristy Pacheco, Director of Student Activities at Austin College.

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