2018 NASPA Region III/SACSA New Professionals Institute

June 02 - June 07, 2018
University of North Carolina Charlotte

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About the Institute:

NPI - New Professionals Institute is the preeminent professional development opportunity for new student affairs professionals in the south (we consider ‘new professionals’ anyone with five years or fewer of full-time experience in Student Affairs). Co-sponsored by NASPA Region III and SACSA, NPI is an intensive, interactive week of learning, sharing, networking and professional and personal development. This unique opportunity allows new professionals to draw on their first years of experience to improve their effectiveness and to learn from others. It is a time of professional and personal renewal and assists new professionals in the development of their careers.NPI requires a commitment by the new professional to work intensively over five days with other new professionals and a team of more-seasoned faculty members. To assure that new professionals' participation in the Institute is fully endorsed by the current senior student affairs officer at his/her institution, registrants must have a letter of support submitted by the senior student affairs officer at the institution. Generally, there is a limit of two participants per institution.

Many institutions have used this Institute not only as a training ground for rising stars in the profession, but as a form of recognition for outstanding new professionals on their campus. Participants come from all areas of student affairs: student activities, orientation, career services, residential life, recreation, student conduct, accessibility services admissions, fraternity and sorority life, counseling, international services, and more!

Perspectives from past NPI participants:

“NPI was a wonderful experience that was simultaneously refreshing and challenging. There were opportunities to connect with new professionals in similar career stages, as well as seasoned professionals who provided great wisdom and insight. Months later, I still find myself reflecting on the experience and utilizing knowledge gained from conversations and presentations. I highly recommend NPI!”- Lauren Meyer

"I recommend NPI for the out of classroom engagement. I remember every night our mentor met with us in small groups to reflect on the day and take any questions we might have. It was a privilege to have up-close and personal time with a VP when I was a new coordinator at the time. I also met some amazing friends and went on a canoeing trip for the first time. Clearly that was an unforgettable experience. I highly recommend NPI as it was life-changing.”-Valerie Walston

“NPI gave me a deliberate time to pause and really reflect on where I was and where I was going. With the help of my mentor and the peers in my cluster, I got a chance to explore the trajectory of my career and identify competencies I still needed to bolster. More than anything though, NPI gave me a network of both mentors and peers that has lasted long beyond our time on campus and has provided opportunities for collaboration and continued professional development!” - Jeremy Bourgoin 

“NPI knitted my heart together with others who have the same passion, zeal and heart that I do. I developed connections that will last a lifetime. A flame remains in my heart.” – Jarvis Lane

Potential NPI Topics:

  • Career and Life Planning
  • Leadership
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Budgeting
  • Professional Standards
  • Navigation the politics of higher education
  • Professional associations and engagement
  • Critical and Current Issues in the profession
  • Leadership panels
  • Emerging research and theories
  • Effective goal setting
  • Collaborative environments
  • Transitioning to supervisory/administrative roles

Other Components of the NPI Experience:

  • Regular meetings with small mentoring groups facilitated by your faculty mentor
  • Site visits to different institutions
  • Individual consultations with seasoned professionals
  • Networking and social opportunities
  • There will be an optional 3-hour “Foundations of Student Affairs” session on the first day of NPI before we officially kick off the week. Please note that if this affects your travel plans and requires you to arrive a day early on Friday, 1, 2018, you will incur an additional cost of $50 for lodging for that extra night.  Participants interested in attending the pre-institute workshop must arrive on campus on Saturday June 2nd by 11am.

Participant Info 

The Application Process:

The application process for NPI 2018 is a three-step process:

1.     Each applicant must fill out an on-line application to include a high-resolution, photo head-shot (this will be included in the NPI Participant Manual).

2.     Each applicant must have an on-line letter of support completed by his/her senior student affairs officer. This step is to assure that the new professional's participation in the Institute is fully endorsed by his/her current administration.

3.     Submit payment by Friday, May 11, 2018

  • Note: All participants are expected to stay through the remainder of the Institute. Institute begins at 4:00pm on Saturday, June 2 and concludes at 10:00pm on Wednesday, June 6th for departures beginning the morning of June 7. 
  • Registration fee and additional costs:
  • The baseline cost of NPI registration will be approximately $650 for NASPA/SACSA members, with an additional $100 cost for non-members.
  • The fee includes Institute materials, 5 nights in housing with linens, and most meals. There will be one dinner on your own ($15-$20) with the option to explore Charlotte.  
  • Participants should bring cash to cover these costs.

Presented By

Region III


This event is most likely to influence these groups.

  • New Professional

Important Dates
  • April 22, 2018: Due date for submission of application
  • April 25, 2018: Applicants advised of selection decision
  • May 11, 2018: Due date for payment and invoice


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  • Dr. Cynthia L. Hernandez

    Dr. Cynthia L. Hernandez

    Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
    Texas A&M University

    Faculty Bio

  • Dr. Jay Lambert (Institute Director)

    Dr. Jay Lambert (Institute Director)

    Vice President for Student Affairs
    University of Houston Victoria

    Faculty Bio

  • Dr. Barry S. McKinney

    Dr. Barry S. McKinney

    Associate Dean of Students and Director of Student Activities
    University of Texas at San Antonio

    Faculty Bio

  • Dr. Jacqueline Gibson Preastly

    Dr. Jacqueline Gibson Preastly

    Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management
    Mississippi Valley State University

    Faculty Bio

  • Dr. Ryan E. Smith

    Dr. Ryan E. Smith

    Assistant Professor of Social Work/Program Coordinator
    Alabama A&M University

    Faculty Bio

  • Dr. Melinda Sutton Noss

    Dr. Melinda Sutton Noss

    Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
    University of Mississippi

    Faculty Bio

  • Dr. Jason W. Umfress

    Dr. Jason W. Umfress

    Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management
    College of Coastal Georgia

    Faculty Bio

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