The Case For ASACC
The vision that drives the American Student Association of Community Colleges is framed in the preamble of its Bylaws, as follows:
The American Student Association of Community Colleges is a student-centered national network of member colleges through which elected student leaders representing the largest constituency of American higher education learn and serve, speak and act. Its purpose is to educate its members in the dynamics of organizational leadership and development, public service, and civic action.
With such purpose, the Association represents the importance of lifelong learning as the foundation of the nation’s social and economic progress. It holds that everyone in America should enjoy educational access and equity according to their ability to benefit, in order that their talents, lives, and careers are rewarding to both themselves and society, and that the nation’s workforce will continue to excel in global economic competition.
More specifically, the ASACC Mission is formed of three planks:
1. Citizenship and Leadership Development
Student Government is an exercise that enriches a college education for those students who are seeking the formative experience that molds them as citizens and leaders in a democratic society. It is understood in ASACC that a student government qualifies as a good student government only if it is a responsible student government: i.e., a team of duly elected student leaders who function as a constructive partner and voice in campus life and community affairs. In addressing this purpose, ASACC teaches citizenship and leadership by giving members personal experience in networking, organizational and advocacy skills. President Woodrow Wilson avered, from his observations as President of Princeton, that at least half the value of a college education comes from activities outside the classroom. No campus function delivers more such value that a tradition of good student government.
2. Advisor Development
Just as peer-minded student leaders are the heart of the SGA, caring and competent advisors are its soul. The history of ASACC shows clearly that the colleges that excel in student government always have one or more dedicated seasoned advisors. To enlarge upon this history, ASACC formed its Advisor Network, which in turn has built its professional program for advisors based upon three levels of certification: Certified Advisor I, Certified II, and Master Advisor they earn these certifications through a specific curriculum for which certified education units (CEU’s) are awarded for each course. The advisor network is lead by officers of its own choosing rotating through three year terms.
Members of ASACC believe firmly that a good student government is a working institutional asset that complements the campus partnership in both internal and external affairs students have the duty and the right to speak on issues of institutional and public policy that affect the quality of student life. They value the opportunity to work with college presidents and trustees in addressing issues before the legislature and the congress, in monitoring the effectiveness of state and federal programs serving student need, and in serving their peers and the campus as ambassadors to law makers and the community.
ASACC takes pride in two ongoing accomplishments of advocacy: first, through its 25 year history, the legislative priorities that student’s voice to congress has always worked in harmony with those of AACC and ACCT trustees. The students see and appreciate the power that comes from campus partnership that works as one voice. ASACC will continue to strive for this harmony to the fullest extent consistent with the student interest. Second, and of equal significance, the ASACC conferences in Washington represent the largest on-going body of students speaking directly to members of congress about student financial aid and other priorities. This seems entirely fitting for the Association that speaks for the largest sector of under graduate enrollment—the 12 + million students—on issues vital to student need.