From the time they step on campus, today’s college and university students are increasingly focused on what comes next. As concerns about employability dominate campus dialogue, employers have also made it clear—in avenues from Forbes articles to studies by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)—the top skills they’re seeking are not those readily discussed on syllabi or evaluated through midterms. Rather, these skills—like communication, team work, problem solving, and decision making—are best gained through learnings outside the classroom.

As student educators and long-time advocates of the lifelong knowledge and skills gained through cocurricular experiences, this is something campus recreation professionals know well. NAPSA’s latest publication, Engagement and Employability: Integrating Career Learning through Cocurricular Experiences in Postsecondary Education, would hardly be complete without input from our field. This is why NIRSA is so proud to have been asked to lend its voice and expertise to this critical work.

Adam Peck, Dean of Student Affairs at Stephen F. Austin State University and the book’s editor, approached NIRSA about authoring a chapter demonstrating—through real-world examples—how students involved in campus recreation gain, develop, and articulate these highly-sought-after skills. Knowing that as collegiate recreation develops the next generation of leaders and young professionals, it is more pertinent than ever for members of this field to tell their story, NIRSA readily agreed. The Association enlisted the expertise of David Hall, the Director of Campus Recreation and Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at Springfield College, and NIRSA Executive Director Pam Watts to co-write the chapter, which is aptly entitled “Developing Employment Skills in Collegiate Recreation.”

Engagement and Employability will be released in March of 2017, but it is already available for preorder on the NAPSA website. The book will also be the subject of a panel discussion featuring its chapters’ authors at the 2017 NASPA Annual Conference. Expect to hear much more about this exciting text, which—according to Nancy Chrystal Green, Executive Director for Student Engagement at University of Florida—“solves a long-standing challenge in the student affairs profession: How we explain our impact on student learning in terms that stakeholders will not only accept, but will celebrate and champion.”


  • For more information, please contact NIRSA Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships Erin O’Sullivan.
Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships at | NIRSA Profile

Erin O'Sullivan is currently the Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships at NIRSA.