ACPA’s NextGeneration Institute, generally referred to as NextGen, will take place Saturday, March 25 and Sunday, March 26 immediately before the ACPA23 Annual Convention in New Orleans. NextGeneration Institute participants are also invited to stay for the ACPA23 Annual Convention, for no additional charge.

NextGen is a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to learn about the field of student affairs. Topics include the breadth of functional areas, trends in Student Affairs, different types of colleges and universities, the graduate school application and selection process, and ACPA. The institute is an opportunity for the next generation of Student Affairs educators to learn from faculty and professionals with a variety of personal and professional experiences and identities from diverse institutional types. NextGen is a wonderful opportunity for participants to learn about the Student Affairs profession, meet new colleagues, establish mentoring relationships, and reflect on the intersection of their personal and professional identities in pursuit of a meaningful career path.

Mission Statement

The ACPA NextGen Institute engages participants in an exploration of the student affairs profession and relevant pathways into the field. By fostering connections among participants, mentors, and ACPA entities, NextGen provides opportunities for information gathering, reflection, and guidance that create a valuable pipeline for future graduate students and professionals in student affairs. NextGen strives to reflect research-informed scholarship and practice in welcoming new collaborators in our efforts to actualize more socially just campuses and a more inclusive profession and world.  


As an extension of ACPA- College Student Educators International and guided by its Strategic Imperative for Racial Justice and Decolonization, the ACPA NextGen Institute strives to center and implement the following core values in all of its aspects:

Love: We consciously, courageously, and radically choose to invest honesty, care, and respect in dismantling barriers and alleviating oppression in pursuit of individual and collective healing.

Critical consciousness: We commit to continuously heightening our own awareness of social identities and behaviors, together with understanding how we are socialized to perpetuate historical and contemporary oppression in order to disrupt it and engage in liberation.

Relationships: We strive to foster connections that mentor, sustain, and/or uplift the next generation of student affairs scholars and practitioners. 

Lifelong learning: We model and instill humility and curiosity in continually learning, listening to counter-narratives, and finding ways to hold the “both-and” in the complexities of our field.

Self-definition: We believe that every individual’s definition of thriving is unique and informed by the contexts of their intersecting identities. We are committed to assisting each individual’s determination and achievement of what thriving means to them.

Critical hope: We proudly engage in challenging, transformative work as scholars and student affairs practitioners in higher education as we move toward positively influencing belonging and success for all community members within our respective institutional environments.

Learning Outcomes

ACPA’s NextGen Institute participants will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the scope of student affairs work within higher education. 
  2. Articulate the skills necessary to be a critically reflective student affairs professional.
  3. Explain how their interests, passions, skills, and aspirations have inspired their interest in a career in student affairs.
  4. Evaluate the characteristics of a student affairs graduate preparation program that will meet their personal and professional needs.
  5. Describe how aspects of ACPA’s Strategic Imperative for Racial Justice and Decolonization (SIRJD) resonate with their personal and professional practice. 
  6. Identify an ACPA entity group (community of practice, coalition, commission, network, chapter) that they would like to engage with to further support their professional development.
  7. Develop supportive relationships with peers and current student affairs professionals to build their professional network. 

Do you know an undergraduate student that would benefit from the NextGen experience? Nominate them today and encourage them to register!