Last month, CACUSS published a paper entitled "Leaders in Learning: Student Affairs in Canada in the 21st Century & Implications for the Canadian Association of College and University Student Services" [PDF]. CACUSS is the Canadian equivalent of NASPA or ACPA - the U.S.-based "generalist" student affairs associations.
According to the CACUSS website, the paper "attempts to position the field of student services, as both a practice and a federation of professions, and CACUSS, as an organization, in the context of 21st century transformation." It's a compelling read. Included in the document is a listing of contemporary issues in Canadian Higher Education:
- Aboriginal Education
- Access, Diversity & Inclusion
- The Globalization of Higher Education
- Student Engagement
Of particular note is the section on "Information Technology." Unlike the "Professional Competency Areas for Student Affairs Practitioners" publication from NASPA and ACPA, which frames technology as a thread, the CACUSS document acknowledges the slowness of which student affairs has been in adapting to new technologies. Additionally, the importance of supporting distance learners is stressed in the context of student affairs work - something that I haven't seen directly expressed in U.S.-based student affairs conversations.
The future of Canadian student affairs is extremely exciting. The Identity Project mentions the use of blogs, webinars, wikis and other forms of social media to create learning opportunities and connections for CACUSS members. The professionalization of student affairs is surely the future for practitioners in Canada. I, for one, am thrilled to see potential future collaborations between CACUSS, ACPA, and NASPA.
Update: While I was finishing this post, Shagufta Pasta, a higher education professional in Toronto, shared a new resource for CACUSS members with me: "Learn.cacuss.ca - a knowledge community for leadership educators in Canadian higher ed." The site looks like a great resource for Canadian Student Affairs Practitioners. Another resource that I recommend following is the CACUSS Twitter account: CACUSStweets.
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