Quarterly Connector
May 2021

In this Issue

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President's Perspective

Not too long ago, I had a dream that we were all together for an AHEPPP Conference. By the time I fully woke up, I had lost most of the dream but two things stuck with me: 1) I felt so happy and relaxed being with “my people” again in person; 2) for some reason at this conference, I was drinking a lot of chocolate milk.

I can’t explain the chocolate milk part, but the feelings of happiness and belonging are not strange in an AHEPPP dream, or in our reality! Every time I see your names pop up in my email or hear your voices on a call, I am filled with gratitude for the community we have. I was lucky enough to invite a few RIT colleagues to our virtual summits. In a follow-up meeting, one commented about how supportive AHEPPP members were during the summit, sharing words of encouragement in the chat, not competing, and lifting one another up in an environment when you often see people bringing one another down. That is us—that is AHEPPP. 

Even in the face of a pandemic, our members stayed close and connected. I’ve been so excited and proud of the programming that has occurred in the last year, despite of (and in some cases, because of) the pandemic. Our three summits on communication, engagement, and fundraising were highly successful and an excellent new way for us to connect in a learning environment outside of the National Conference. Our webinar series this spring was on point with a great variety of topics covered. We also understand the value of those informal “hallway conversations,” which is why the Hot Topic Roundtables are returning this summer. These programs are your opportunity to share experiences and learn from one another, and there are more coming your way. 

As we approach commencement on our campuses, it’s impossible not to reflect on what an academic year we have had. In working with parents, you’ve responded to more calls this year than ever before, filled with more emotion. You’ve pulled programming out of the air at a last minute’s notice. And now, just as many of your colleagues are taking a big sigh of relief that we made it through this academic year, you are amping up for Family Orientation and preparing the new class of incoming parents.  

I see you and all of the valuable work you are doing on your campuses. I am so proud of your perseverance and creativity, and want you to know how meaningful your work is to your institution, its families, and to AHEPPP. You are the experts in family engagement. You—yes YOU—have a story to tell and advice to share. While I hope to see you in the spaces I mentioned above, I also hope you will submit a conference proposal, an Insights Blog post, or a webinar topic. While you’re at it, submit yourself (or an AHEPPP friend) for an award. Trust me, you deserve the acknowledgement and praise and should be sharing your successes loudly and proudly!

It might still be more than a year away, but the next time I see you in person, the first round of chocolate milk is on me.

Chelsea Petree
Director, Parent & Family Programs | RIT

Summer Hot Topic Roundtables

Summer Hot Topic Roundtables are back by popular demand. Join us for conversation and community building! Hot Topic Roundtables allow you to gain knowledge from other members from across the country and are great source of additional support during this tumultuous time. Thank you for offering your wisdom, advice, and caring hearts as you strive to meet the unique needs of parents and families and support your professional family in our ever-changing and increasingly important work! 

Wednesday, May 12 at 3pm ET | Move-In/Welcome Week
Friday, June 4 at 2pm ET | Fall Events/Family Weekend
Wednesday, June 23 at 3pm ET | Connecting with Sophomore Families
Friday, July 16 at 2pm ET | Communication Planning
Wednesday, August 4 at 3pm ET | Equity, Belonging, and Inclusion

2021 National Virtual Conference  

Although we are disappointed to push our in-person reunion back another year, we are excited about the opportunity ahead. The 2020 virtual conference was our top attended conference to date and the level of engagement and caliber of programming was exceptional! The 2021 Conference Planning Team is hard at work creating an event that you can count on to be both educational and engaging. While not much remains certain these days, you can continue to count on AHEPPP to be in your corner. 

Registration is now open! Click here to explore deep discounts for members.

Educational Sessions:  As family engagement professionals, we know it is important to capture and share the experiences we facilitate that bring value to our institutional communities and the families we serve. Now is your opportunity to share this knowledge with your colleagues. For priority topics and submission details, please visit our Call for Programs page.

Awards: It's time to start applying for and nominating your colleagues and your students for the 2021 AHEPPP Awards! Every day you and your colleagues across the United States and Canada advocate for parents, families, and students through top-notch communication, research, activities and programs, and important initiatives that foster student success through family engagement. This year, make sure your institution is among those being honored. It takes just a short time to apply, but the recognition is long lasting. We are seeking applications for events/programs/communications that occurred from May 2020 through May 2021.The deadline to apply/nominate is 11:59 p.m. EST, June 1, 2021. Visit our Awards page to learn more.

Fun: Please complete this planning poll today. Help shape the 2021 Virtual Conference by sharing your preferences on networking, social events, and all the fun extras that make the AHEPPP national event so special!

Membership Matters

There is no other organization solely dedicated to supporting your work with families and providing you a community of colleagues who understand what you do. We are grateful for your support and partnership and look forward to a wonderful year. Thank you for renewing your membership and a sincere welcome to those who have just recently joined!

This quarter we welcome 8 institutions to our professional family:

AHEPP Member Logo

Augusta University
Lasell University
Norwich University
Oklahoma State University
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Salve Regina University 
Tulane University

University of Texas at Tyler

We also welcome back University of San Diego, California after staffing changes.

New Resource for First-Year Parents

AHEPPP members have authored a new book for parents, College Ready 2021: Expert Advice for Parents to Simplify the College Transition. AHEPPP is proud to endorse this publication written by our expert-members! It's available for pre-sale on Amazon.
Just in time for parent/family orientation the publisher, Wise Action, is making electronic versions available to AHEPPP in bulk. AHEPPP member schools will receive a 60% discount from the Amazon list price. The bulk sale rate for AHEPPP members is $3 per copy 25 to 200 copies, $2 per copy between 201-500 copies, $1.50 per copy for over 500-1000 copies, and $1 per copy for 1001+ copies. And the fulfillment will be super easy. You will be provided with a customized website and a code for your parents to download. Bulk paper copies are also available at a slightly greater cost if you'd like to hand out in-person. If you are interested, please visit the book's website at and email Dan Solomon at [email protected]. You are also welcome to direct questions to Lindsay McKinney at [email protected].

Assessing Your Parent/Family Program with CAS 




As we approach the end of the academic year, it is a great time to think about assessing the programs and services we provide to families as well as how our programs function and relate to our institutional missions. 

Founded in 1979, the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS) is the pre-eminent force for promoting standards in student affairs, student services, and student development programs. CAS provides Standards and Self-Assessment Guides for Parent & Family Programs that can help you assess and enhance your program! AHEPPP members were instrumental in developing the CAS standards for Parent & Family Programs, so you know that they are relevant and useful.

As an AHEPPP member, you have free access to the CAS standards for Parent & Family Programs. Simply log in at and hover over “Member Resources.” You can also review the Orientation standards to help you prepare for summer orientation programs. Should you want to conduct a CAS review, you can purchase the Self-Assessment Guide for Parent & Family Programs at Guides cost $65 and will include the standards, criteria for assessing your program, and detailed instructions on how to conduct a thorough self-assessment. 

Christine Self is the Associate Director of Parent & Family Relations at Texas Tech University and serves as the CAS representative for AHEPPP. Should you ever have any questions about how CAS can help you or how a CAS review works, please reach out. Happy assessing!  

Future National Conference Locations Announced

Hilton Lake Buena Vista

November 2-4, 2022 | Orlando Florida

Make plans to join us at the Hilton Lake Buena Vista - Disney Springs Area for the 11th Family Engagement in Higher Education National Conference. Comfortable and affordable, this hotel is steps away from Disney Springs and is an Official Walt Disney World Hotel. We can’t imagine a better professional family reunion in 2022 than at “the happiest place on earth.” 

Royal Sonesta Hotel at Night

November 6-9, 2023 | Baltimore, Maryland

The Royal Sonesta Harbor Court is a boutique hotel situated on Baltimore's famous Inner Harbor. Walking distance to the National Aquarium, the historic USS Constellation, the Maryland Science Center and Oriole Park this waterfront location promises to be perfect for both learning and play as host to the 2023 Family Engagement in Higher Education National Conference. 

Job Postings

We've launched an all new job board!

This new job board is mobile-friendly, incredibly convenient, and easy to use. Jobs can be posted any time in under five minutes. Plus, members continue to receive complementary job postings as a benefit of membership. You are welcome to post on behalf of your campus partners!

Are you hiring? Our job board exclusively serves industry experts, putting your opening in front of the most qualified higher education leaders. 

Looking for a new opportunity? The AHEPPP Job Board provides a comprehensive list of job openings in the field of parent/family engagement as well as other partner areas within higher education such as Orientation, Enrollment Management, Advancement/Development, Alumni Relations, and Senior Level Student Affairs roles. 

Click here to check it out!

Questions? Please contact

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