Defining Terms

NACA has adopted the following definitions to provide a baseline and framework to guide the work of the Association as we strive to create college communities where everyone belongs.

  • Campus Activities - beyond-the-classroom experiences that intentionally connect, engage, and develop a community where everyone belongs.
  • Involvement - Interactions that allow for intentional participation and consumption of experiences which allow participants to choose a level of investment in the university experience.
  • Engagement - Sustained and shared interactions that create experiences for personal meaning making, emotional responses, and/or further personal development.
  • Sense of Belonging - The extent to which individuals feel their authentic self is personally accepted, respected, included, supported, and safe in the university environment.
  • Diversity – the practice or quality of including, involving, understanding, and appreciating individuals within the context of, but not limited to, the social constructs of: race, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, nationality, documentation status, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, along with physical and mental abilities and disabilities.
  • Equity – an intentional, design-centered approach and concept that promotes fair treatment, access, opportunities, resources, and advancement of all people while striving to eliminate barriers and disparities that may have prevented the full participation of a marginalized group.
  • Inclusion – the implementation of accessible opportunities and resources and active, intentional, ongoing engagement and practice that empowers and promotes individuals to create a sense of belonging, support, cultural competence, and humility, with diversity as the core.
  • Accessibility – the premise of minimizing disadvantages by creating intentional space, means, and opportunities where individuals can feel empowered to acquire information, engage in the same interactions, and complete tasks in an autonomous and independent manner.
  • Social Justice  the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to create learning environments that foster equitable participation. Social Justice also functions as a process to the revision of injustices that encompass, but are not limited to, human rights, access, participation & equity.