Several members of ALSC KC gathered at the 2018 annual NASPA conference

Greetings NASPA Family from the Adult Learners and Students with Children Knowlege Community

naspa diamond

Martha Harper

July 26, 2018

As NASPA leaps into an exciting year of developing the new strategic plan, and KCs follow suit, I wanted to introduce myself and invite new members to our Knowledge Community.

My name is Martha Harper, and I am the 4th Chair of the ALSC KC. I work in Region III at Virginia Commonwealth University.  After 14 years in Student Affairs, primarily working with off campus traditional students and adult learners, I have crossed the aisle into Academic Affairs and advise Finance, Real Estate and Risk Management students in the School of Business at VCU.  As leader of the ALSC KC, I follow in auspicious footsteps of three people who were involved with the KC from the very beginning.  Susan Warsaw, Katy Kemp, and James Stewart were all founding members who formed the first strategic plan and created the following statement about our purpose.

The Adult Learner and Students with Children (ALSC) KC increases awareness, disseminates information, identifies resources and tracks academic and demographic trends concerning these typically under-represented but growing, and frequently intersecting, populations of students. All of our efforts are ultimately focused on increasing the recruitment, admission, retention and graduation of this demographic.

The ALSC KC in 2018 continues to be one of the few voices on the national stage, specifically advocating for students that are collectively called by many names including nontraditional, post traditional, adult learners, night students etc. The demographic includes huge numbers of students who are parents, veterans, and transfer students.  The intersectionality of these students makes defining them difficult, because they usually have more than one identity from traditionally challenged populations in higher education.

We recognize that many of our colleagues are not specifically charged with the support of these learners, but are challenged in their various areas about how to serve them. No matter your area of concern from admissions to residency, nourishment, housing, engagement, or academic support, you are most likely working with adult learners and students who have children. Therefore, our KC is a great way to stay in touch with best practices and glean ideas for how to support this demographic.

We meet monthly in a virtual meeting space, and quarterly, we try to engage the larger community with our open topic forums.

Next week we will hold our annual kick off forum to introduce some of the more active members of our Knowledge Community and to hear from you and in what capacity you serve these students at your institution. We appreciate all levels of engagement in our community from passive to active leadership.

To join that call simply block your calendar for Friday Aug 3rd from 1:00 to 2:00pm EST

Sit back in your office and call 1-515-739-1015 and use this Caller ID 520-858-503

We look forward to meeting you in virtual space!

To join our KC. Just go to our home page and click on the “Join Knowledge Community” link. You will  need to log into your NASPA account.

Make sure you check the settings within your account to receive updates and information from our community. There will be limited emails informing you of events and meetings within our community. To get more information about best practices, news and serving this demographic, it is great to also follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

@naspa_alsc_kc  on Instagram and on Facebook find "naspaalsckc"

If you have questions about our KC and how we can support you, send an email to

Opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of NASPA. If you agree or disagree with the content of this post, we encourage you to dialogue in the comment section below. NASPA reserves the right to remove any blog that is inaccurate or offensive.

To comment, you can login to your preferred social network. Comments are lightly moderated and we do provide the option for users to flag a comment as inappropriate.

Get in Touch with NASPA