Mid-Level Professionals Course

What is the Mid-Level Professionals Course?

The NACA Mid-Level Professionals Course (MLP) is designed for higher education professionals who are preparing for their next steps in their careers. Ideally, participants will have at least 3-5 years of professional experience. Each topic in the MLP Course will be led by experts in the field and corresponds with the Certification for Student Affairs Educators domains. The program qualifies for 6 Continuing Education (CE) credits towards your Certified Student Affairs Educator renewal.

This course will cover relevant topics such as:  

  • Strategic Leadership 
  • Foundations of Student Engagement 
  • Social Justice & Inclusion 
  • Human Resource Management 
  • Operational Management 
  • Assessment & Evaluation

Course Format

Participants are engaged in a multi-week series that involves synchronous learning, cohort discussions, and personal reflections of each topic. The course begins on January 11, 2024 and live sessions will be on Thursdays at 1:00 to 2:30 PM ET.

2024 Course Schedule

January 11: Welcome & Course Overview

This first week will provide a program overview, provide space for participants to network and begin making connections, and review expectations for the course.

January 18: Strategic Leadership

Dr. Cindy Kane, Assistant Provost for Strategic Initiatives, Bridgewater State University (MA)

Learning outcomes

  • Establish priorities and outcomes that align to the institutional and divisional mission and vision 
  • Implement strategic planning models and skills enabling them to employ a macro focus 
  • Identify strategies for collaboration with internal and external stakeholders 

January 25: Foundations of Student Engagement

Dr. Zeak Naifeh, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students, Texas A&M University-San Antonio
LeeAnn Sipe, Dean of Students, University of New Orleans (LA)
Dr. Loreal Robertson, Assistant Dean of Students, Diversity & Inclusion, University of Chicago (IL)

Learning outcomes

  • Explain the role of student engagement/involvement and its impact on learning at an institution  
  • Advocate for and utilize student organizations as a means of student engagement  
  • Delineate how one's own intersecting identities influence one's philosophy and practice  

February 1: Social Justice & Inclusion

Willette Capers, Assistant Dean of Students for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Augustana University (SD)

Learning outcomes

  • Develop, implement, and maintain programs, policies, and procedures that integrate DEIA. 
  • Examine whether the organization's image, environment and practice are diverse, inclusive, equitable, and accessible. 
  • Recognize, support, and advocate for DEIA best practices in advising and supervision 

February 8: Operational Management

Dr. Joe Lizza, Director of the Chamberlain Student Center & Campus Activities, Rowan University (NJ)

Learning outcomes

  • Identify and implement strategies to minimize institutional risk within the scope of their job functions. 
  • Articulate best practices for crisis response planning and implementation. 
  • Evaluate professional roles in fiscal responsibility.  
  • Manage and advocate for facilities that align spaces with institutional mission, goals, and priorities. 

February 15: Human Resource Management

Rhodes Perry, Rhodes Perry Consulting LLC
Author, Building Belonging at Work: Everyday Actions You Can Take to Cultivate Safety & Trust

Learning outcomes

  • Implement techniques to successfully manage up and down within an organization. 
  • Identify strategies for staff hiring, onboarding, motivation, accountability, and performance review. 
  • Seek out additional areas for professional growth. 

February 22: Assessment & Evaluation

Dr. Beth Hoag, Director for Assessment and Planning in Student Affairs, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Learning outcomes

  • Apply knowledge gained from evaluation data to articulate current experiences and set goals to sustain or improve programs and services. 
  • Articulate the impact of programs and services on student success, retention, and persistence 
  • Assess needs of students from multiple perspectives, identities, and populations, and ensure campus involvement opportunities are relevant and inclusive 

February 29: Closing

This last week will close out the course and provide an opportunity for any final discussion and reflection.