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ACPA-MI is a state division of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA)

Since 1952, ACPA-Michigan (ACPA-MI) has been Michigan’s comprehensive professional development organization for college student educators.

We provide a forum for networking, professional development, and research and publishing opportunities for professionals working in higher education. Our members come from a wide array of student and academic affairs functions, and from institutions all over the state of Michigan. Our members work in areas such as Academic Advising, Residence Life, Career Services, Student Activities, Multicultural Services, and many others. In addition, our members represent over 40 different institutions across the state of Michigan, including both 2-year and 4-year as well as private and public institutions. We appeal to all levels of professional experience from graduate students to teaching faculty and from new professionals to senior student affairs officers. We focus our programming on information regarding effective programs, research, theory development, diversity issues, legal issues, and ethical dilemmas in the areas of student development relevant to institutions of higher education in Michigan.

A collage of previous ACPA-MI members
A collage of previous ACPA-MI members


The Michigan division of the ACPA College Student Educators International (ACPA-Michigan) promotes and enhances student success through the professional development of college student practitioners and educators.


To be a leader within the state of Michigan in providing resources and initiatives that enhance student success, sustainability, and inclusion.


  1. Make all development opportunities accessible in location, cost, and ability.
    • Host drive-in conferences at free or reduced cost to foster participation and access to community colleges and graduate students.
    • Host digital social events for networking and self-care.
    • All materials provided to membership must meet a minimum universal design threshold.
  2. Rebuild the leadership team with a foundation of essentialism.
    • Review all role descriptions for accuracy and relevance.
    • Pause election structure till December 31st, 2023, to re-establish the organization.
    • Fill updated positions with individuals who are passionate about service and justice.
  3. Spearhead the education and implementation of Strategic Imperative for Racial Justice and Decolonization (SIRJD) in Michigan.
    • Update ACPA-MI commitments to reflect SIRJD.
    • Provide education to members on SIRJD using different modalities.
    • Create peer-peer work and support groups for professionals leading SIRJD work in their institutions.

ACPA-MI (MCPA) History

On July 31, 1952, thirteen individuals from eleven Michigan colleges and universities gathered at the University High School in Ann Arbor to formally establish the Michigan College Counselors Association (MCCA). In December, the first conference was held at Michigan State University. The first MCCA newsletter was published in 1954. 

Although the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) was not chartering state divisions in the 1950's, the MCCA continued to strengthen its ties with the national organization. In October 1957, MCCA officially changed its name to the Michigan College Personnel Association (MCPA) and adopted its first constitution. The first MCPA journal was published in the spring of 1964. 

In the 1960's, MCPA was caught in the middle of the affiliation struggles between ACPA and the American Personnel and Guidance Association (APGA). At the time, APGA was the parent association of ACPA. Reluctant to become affiliated with APGA or its state chapter, the Michigan Personnel and Guidance Association, MCPA remained as a state division without official recognition until March 27, 1972.

Part of this recognition meant that members of MCPA were also required to be members of MPGA, and during some years, APGA. In 1983, MCPA changed its constitution to allow individuals to become members of MCPA without having to also become members of MPGA. In September of 1992, after forty years of discussion about the affiliation with APGA (renamed in the interim period the American Association for Counseling and Development), ACPA officially disaffiliated from its parent association. The following July, MCPA completes its disaffiliation with both AACD and MACD. 

In October 2002, MCPA celebrated its 50th anniversary at the annual conference in Grand Rapids.  The theme of the conference was Memories of the Past…Reflections of the Future.  The organization took this theme to heart and began to plan the future of the organization.  MCPA became incorporated in August 2003 and received their 501 (c) 3 status with IRS in August 2004.  These actions moved MCPA into the position to more efficiently and effectively function as a professional organization. 

From an organization of thirteen professionals, MCPA grew to 86 members in three years and nearly tripled in size ten years later. Currently, MCPA maintains a membership of approximately 275 professionals representing nearly every area within student affairs as well as every institution of higher education in the state.  MCPA has not only grown in size, but has grown in its offerings to its members.  The organization has moved from one conference and a journal to an annual conference, three one-day professional development events, a Website, a listserv, a journal, and three newsletters a year.     

The Michigan College Personnel Association is one of the largest state divisions within ACPA, consisting of dedicated professionals who regularly contribute to the field at the state, regional, and national level.

ACPA – MICHIGAN: We became an internal state chapter (ACPA-Michigan) in 2015.

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