All posts by Paul Schantz

CSUN Director of Web & Technology Services, Student Affairs. husband, father, gamer, part time aviator, fitness enthusiast, Apple fan, and iguana wrangler.

Navigating NASPA: An “Insider’s Guide” to the Association


  • Sherry Mallory, Dean of Student Affairs, Revelle College, UCSD
  • Daniel Anzueto, Asst. Dir. Member Engagement/Regional Initiatives – NASPA
  • Grace Bagunu, Graduate Teaching Assistant – University of San Diego
  • Danielle Kleist, Director of Student Life & Services, Washington State University – Tri-Cities
  • Judy Albin, Senior Associate Director of Union and Student Activities – Pennsylvania State Univesity – Main Campus

Some of the things we’ll talk about:

  • NASPA Structure & Knowledge Communities
  • How to volunteer & get involved


  • NASPA = National Association of Student Personnel Administrators
  • Founded in 1919
  • 15,000 members
  • Volunteer leaders
  • 33 knowledge communities
  • Professional development
  • Publications
  • Research & policy

Leadership & KCs

  • Directors serve multi-year terms
  • Multiple regions
  • Many advisory boards
  • KCs are the gateway to the profession; each has a chair and co-chair elected by KC members for a 2-year term; each has a regional KC Coordinator and representatives for each KC; appointed by the Regional Director; National Director of KCs is appointed by the Chair of the Board of Directors, to represent all KCs on the NASPA Board of Directors
  • KCs are where it’s happening! So much to learn in these groups…get involved and “find your home.”

Volunteering & GAs

  • Loads of opportunities: NASPA is it’s members
  • Registration is a big part of running our events, this is an easy way to help out and meet people
  • Help out a KC member
  • Serve as a conference program reviewer
  • Present at a NASPA conference
  • Serve on an editorial board
  • Visit the engagement portal & “Volunteer Central” on the NASPA web site
  • Attend your regional business meeting
  • Attend a KC business meeting
  • Attend the NASPA Communities Fair
  • Follow NASPA’s SoMe (there’s a ton of ’em)

Next Steps

  • Attend your Regional Business Meeting
  • Attend a KC Business Meeting
  • Attend the NASPA Communities Fair
  • Introduce yourself!!
  • Go to the socials

Applying the Technology Competency on Your Campus



  • There’s a Google Drive link coming that contains all the information
  • #ApplyTechComp

Pretty good turnout for this session, considering it’s at 8:30 and down in the convention center’s basement ūüôā Got an opportunity to finally meet Lisa Endersby in person and catch up with some #SATech friends. Let’s see what Jeremiah has in store for us…

Lisa introduced Jeremiah and made a few shameless plugs for other sessions at the conference.



  • Competency Background
  • Michigan Tech Background
  • Our Process
  • You and Your Campus

Competency Background

  • Provides a game plan and establishes what we should be doing
  • Tech was incorporated into many different areas in bits and pieces, and talk about a standalone technology competency began in earnest in 2010
  • Special thanks to: Matthew Brinton, Joe Sabado, Josie Ahlquist, Lisa Endersby
  • Established rubric in October 2016! This is a tool that will help members of the student affairs profession to utilize and engage with the competency areas on their campuses.

Michigan Tech Background

  • 7,000 students, founded 1885
  • Our Student Affairs division contains advancement, which is a bit unique.
  • January 2012: a charge from Dr. Les Cook to form a committee to address the 2035 vision of “High Tech, High Touch.” Central idea behind the group to consider how we embrace and push the technology agenda.
  • Technology Advance Committee: multi-member group from all areas of SA and Advancement; research & present seminars/trends and work with professional development committee and leadership team to provide recommendations.
  • Challenge: small surveys work great, redundancy of seminars, needed a plan

Our Process

  • Large doc; how to apply, how to inform, how to standardize?
  • Break down the competency
  • Assess the areas: technical hardware/software; professional dev (networking); technology like SoMe and collaboration tools.
  • We let our IT division know we were planning to do this assessment. Bring them into the conversation!
  • Use your professional networks!
  • Every department has its own SoMe accounts; we needed to figure out what was going on and who was in charge of things. Transition was a concern .
  • How to evaluate? Create a baseline evaluation and rubric survey for all staff members. NASPA HAS DONE THIS FOR YOU!
  • Our survey: questions a user can self-rate; comfort levels; open questions; 50 questions in total including department identification.
  • Our VP helped to hype the survey, including how we planned to use the information to inform increased resources/training.
  • CampusLabs is the backbone of our survey.
  • 39.75% response rate; largely mid-ranged responses; additional areas of professional development needed
  • Wanted to figure out where our people were uncomfortable. It turned out that a lot of our people didn’t know where to turn for help.
  • You can use our assessment for your own campuses, and we encourage you to use it!
  • Next Steps: present findings to SA and Advancement directors; meet with professional dev committee for recommendations; assist in professional development; reassess one year from initial survey.
  • We’re right in the middle of this process…we hope to¬†see improvement next year!

You & Your Campus

  • This is very accessible, and the model we think is useful for any size campus
  • Join TKC
  • Self-assessment:Figuring out what you’re comfortable with is important
  • Training resources: YouTube, knowledge base, ticket database
  • Reach out and ask! People out there have had the exact same problem as you in the past.
  • What to do at the campus level? ¬†Join the TKC; create a committee (does not have to meet on a regular basis), talk to others; use the rubric/create an assessment; training resources; reach out and ask.
  • To get people to complete your assessment, tell them¬†what you’re doing and what they’re going to get out of it.
  • The main thing is to TRY SOMETHING! Now is the time to jump on this!


  • How were the survey results shared with your IT division? How were¬†they¬†received, and did¬†it result in changes in service/collaboration between divisions? Our IT department gets 250 tickets a day, they’ve been able to use our assessment to help streamline some processes and develop some training materials to help improve services.
  • Did you have others in your division who were interested in participating in the competency area? Yes, but we were able to use this assessment and model as a starting point.

A Social-Psychological Perspective on College Persistence

Presenter: David S. Yeager, UT Austin Department of Psychology

  • Research Affiliate, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS)
  • Fellow, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
  • Co-Chair, Mindset Scholars Network
  • Co-PI, College Transition Collaborative (CTC)

Information on the Terry Piper lecture series

Opening Remarks by William Watkins, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at CSUN

  • This is the sixth annual Terry Piper lecture!
  • Deepen understanding of factors that lead to student success
  • Terry Piper served as VP from 2001 until he passed in 2010
  • Terry was on a mission to put students at the center of what we do every day. He was an intentional and collaborative leader, a trendsetter and someone who wanted to make CSUN an exemplar in becoming a learning-centered campus. Dr. Piper was at the center of all the conversations around this movement.
  • Student success is not just the work of faculty members in the classroom, but all of us who work on this campus.
  • Our CSU system has focused on student success this year, in particular, through Graduation Initiative 2025 to help more students graduate – “make it to the finish line.”
  • We need to look beyond barriers students may experience

Remarks from Provost Yi Li

  • I appreciate how many people are in attendance today! This is important because it takes our entire community to support our students.
  • I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Yeager speak last year, along with several of my colleagues, and I was extremely impressed with his research in advancing our knowledge of student mindset, their ability to be aware of their place in the campus ecosystem, and their value, self-worth and potential for growth.
  • Dr. Yeager’s message is not just theory…it includes practical advice on how to address students who are having challenges. In general , we are not encouraging when having difficult conversations. We tend to use punitive language that frequently leads students to give up…the exact opposite of what we want students to take away.
  • CSUN’s initial work using Dr. Yeager’s recommendations is very promising!

Dr. Yeager’s Presentation

  • More than 1/2 of your students are first-time college attendees…your institution is a gateway to the American dream for so many people.
  • Your campus is doing great work with developmental math, and you have a willingness to learn and improve, which is critical to making improvements.
  • I’m going to share some insights about our research…some levers you might try pulling in your own work. My hope is that this will help you transform and continue to improve an already great place.
  • Our findings came¬†through research and work over decades

“Solutionitis” – doing something – anything – to and for students

  • Mentoring, cohorts, accountability, choosing major, placement, career planning, video games, etc. These solutions may work for some students in certain situations, but are they coherent?
  • Most of these solutions did not “move the needle” in the desired direction, and in some cases falsely led to conclusions that students have a lack of ability and shouldn’t be in college to begin with.
  • Approach to doing things with more rigorous and faster: you need to keep standards high, but improve the supports for students
  • The questions students ask themselves when they encounter adversity can heavily influence their college success trajectory.

The College Transition

  • Self esteem typically drops during the first semester; it’s hard initially, but it improves over time.
  • When the student’s self esteem falls, we need to ask attribution questions: “Is this normal,” and “does it get better?”
  • These are the same kinds of questions our veterans ask themselves.

Belonging Uncertainty

  • The persistent worry that “people like me” don’t belong and cant succeed here.
  • It’s not just the questioning, but the questions themselves. Ambiguity can lead to answers that lead to concrete attributions, i.e. if you’re looking for certain answers, you’re gonna find them.
  • This is a recursive process that can gain momentum and ¬†spiral downward.
  • It’s typically cumulative, beginning with bureaucratic hassles. Dr. Yeager provided flowchart examples for math and engineering pathways, which was pretty funny ūüôā
  • Another bureaucratic hassle: web forms that delete your information! What does it MEAN that the form is frustrating. If you’re surrounded by advantages, than this frustration doesn’t portend anything significant…it’s just annoying. If you’re NOT in this position, the annoying form could be significant to you in other ways.
  • 1st generation students aren’t walking around asking whether they don’t belong, but when they encounter difficulty they may interpret it in a negative way.
  • What can you measure in high school that will impact retention? High belonging uncertainty is a big factor (particularly among 1st gen and minority students).
  • Belonging is something with traction that you can focus on
  • CSUN 2015 – 2016 survey: what is the best predictor of first-year, full-time enrollment for Fall & Spring?
    • Belonging
    • Extracurricular involvement

Pre-Matriculation Mindset Intervention

  • Difficulties are normal, and can get better with time if you take steps to become socially and academically integrated.
  • Growth mindset and social belonging
    • Give if/then behaviors to do
    • Give theory and meaning in advance, not proscriptive steps to follow
    • Make surveys as brief as we can
    • Read about the brain: struggle – “getting smarter,” not “dumb.” The brain is a muscle that needs exercise.
    • Read statistical results of a survey of upperclassmen
    • Read stories from diverse upperclassmen
    • Write your own story to comfort next year’s freshmen (“saying is believing”). This is an invitation to a community.
    • Freshman Orientation Website
    • On time degree completion in one of our studies: tripled and even quadrupled when the interventions mentioned above are done: 16% growth mindset only, 20% social belonging only, 20% mindset & social belonging.
    • UT Austin study showed a 20 %- 40% reduction in the achievement gap

Post-Matriculation Moments of Psychological Friction

  • How many events are students experiencing that threaten their success?
  • Common student frustration factors:
    • Faculty members’ beliefs that only students with exceptional brilliance can succeed: “If it’s not easy for you, you’re in the wrong major”
    • Losing interest in pre-req courses
    • Frustrating web sites and other bureaucratic hassles
    • Stigma of remediation and probation
  • What can be done to slow decline and psychological friction?
    • Mentor’s dilemma: how to simultaneously criticize and motivate. Many do this via the “shit sandwich,” i.e. provide a useless compliment, followed by the gut punch of criticism, followed by another useless compliment.
    • High standards & achievement that show you respect students. Example: a Post-it note given to students a couple weeks in advance of a writing project, “I give criticism because I have high standards, and I know you can meet them.” was quite effective.
  • Relevance matters: help students¬†see and construct the relevance of classroom activities.
    • Select a topic covered in class
    • Write a one paragraph essay that applies the topic to your life or to the life of someone you know (control: just summarize)
    • 3-5x per semester

Think about the “belonging uncertainty” pipeline and fix the leaks!



Hey y’all! Here’s my “MEGA POST” for my stint at the 2016 EDUCAUSE national conference in Anaheim from October 25 – 28.

Tuesday, October 25

Wednesday, October 26

Thursday, October 27

Friday, October 28

  • [ KEYNOTE ] Because I Said I Would

Student Mobile Takeover: Announcing the Winners of the Great Mobile Appathon


  • Mark Albert, Director, University Web & Identity Services, The George Washington University
  • Andrew Yu, Founder and CTO, Modo Labs, Inc.
  • Matthew Willmore, mobileND Program Manager, University of Notre Dame

Goal was to get the tools for managing web apps into the hands of non-technical people at universities, so that they could make amazing apps themselves.

Schools participating in this event iteration included:

  • George Washington
  • Harvard
  • Florida State University
  • Notre Dame
  • Arizona State University


  • 14 teams, 56 students competing in total
  • Students and university benefited from this competition
  • We like the fact that through this competition, we can see exactly what student want
  • Students enjoyed the experience
  • “NutitioNOLE” was the winner at FSU
  • Eat, move learn

George Washington

  • Great way to raise awareness of the platform
  • Better understand how students wish to use their mobile devices
  • Better understand the gap between the app and student needs
  • To get the word out, we did posters, postcards, email blast, reminders to students in class
  • 80+ students; 12 teams competed
  • Outstanding ideas from our students
  • Modo’s support was great
  • 2nd place: parking app
  • 1st place: Gworld – campus ID card: dining/retail, printing, load $$, places to study


  • Fun and competitive environment to find out what our students want
  • Marketed via web site, My ASU banner ads, email
  • 10 teams, great wide-ranging ideas
  • Of our judges, each had a different winner
  • 2nd place: travel on campus
  • 1st place: ASUFit – targets fitness culture and social engagement


  • Driven by student interest; strong culture of hackathons; event that allowed non-programmers to participate
  • Marketed via Student IT interest groups, student houses, SoMe, school CIOs
  • Intense, collaborative, inspiring
  • 2nd place: dining app that includes nutritional information so students can choose the correct
  • 1st place: bliss, a resource for maintaining mental health

Notre Dame

  • Always seeking opportunities to engage students in real-world development and design
  • Equal interest in students with and without technical chops
  • First opportunity for us to see how well students could use Publisher
  • Proved to us that we can use students more to manage our mobile app material
  • Marketed via: campus flyers, table tents, email, banner and home screen icon, co-promotion with other like events
  • 7 teams
  • 2nd place: Rate My Plate – allows students to provide feedback about dining services.
  • 1st place: Mary’s View – highly visual way to find events of interest around campus; incorporates maps so students can find events near their location.

Judges & Judging Criteria

  • Chris Barrows, NYU
  • Jenny Gluck, Syracuse
  • Julia Zaga, Uber
  • Santhana Naidu, Indiana State
  • Sarah Hoch, GE Power
  • Eric Kim, Modo Labs
  • Judging Criteria: address challenge of improving campus life; creativity and innovation; design/user experience; completeness

Harvard’s “Bliss” App is the winner!