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Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice

Ed. by Wawrzynski, Matthew R.

Aims and Scope


The vision of the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice (JSARP) is to publish the most rigorous, relevant, and well-respected research and practice making a difference in student affairs practice. JSARP especially encourages manuscripts that are unconventional in nature and that engage in methodological and epistemological extensions that transcend the boundaries of traditional research inquiries.


  • Publish and make accessible the highest quality articles on research and practice in the student affairs field.
  • Expose the NASPA membership and JSARP readers to unique commentary and scholarship from multiple methodological forms and perspectives.
  • Support and encourage scholarly contributions from a wide variety of theoretical and conceptual frameworks.
  • Build and extend the literature and knowledge of the student affairs field.
  • Encourage and engage open and critical discourse within and across disciplines from the perspective of student affairs in higher education.
  • Encourage research and scholarly writing by faculty, administrators, and students through editorial feedback and development of current and future authors.

Instructions for Authors



The vision of the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice (JSARP) is to publish the most rigorous, relevant, and well-respected research and practice making a difference in student affairs practice. JSARP especially encourages manuscripts that are unconventional in nature and that engage in methodological and epistemological extensions that transcend the boundaries of traditional research inquiries.


  • Publish and make accessible the highest quality articles on research and practice in the student affairs field.

  • Expose the NASPA membership and JSARP readers to unique commentary and scholarship from multiple methodological forms and perspectives.

  • Support and encourage scholarly contributions from a wide variety of theoretical and conceptual frameworks.

  • Build and extend the literature and knowledge of the student affairs field.

  • Encourage and engage open and critical discourse within and across disciplines from the perspective of student affairs in higher education.

  • Encourage research and scholarly writing by faculty, administrators, and students through editorial feedback and development of current and future authors.

Theory to Practice:

JSARP seeks to publish practice articles that are firmly grounded in research and literature and research articles that speak to practice. We seek to review manuscripts and publish articles that are innovative, imaginative, and forward thinking regarding issues that impact the student affairs field.

While the JSARP Editors appreciate traditional scholarship, we also welcome and will publish articles that move audiences beyond the commonly accepted or expected discourses. Especially encouraged are manuscripts that are unconventional in nature, as well as those that blend conventional and unconventional scholarly approaches that challenge the traditional paradigm of research methods, analyses, and presentation of data. We will experiment with scholarship that interrupts the traditional higher education dialogue; publish unique and sometimes unsettling ideas; and discuss topics that challenge the traditional higher education perspectives.


Areas of Emphasis:

Authors are encouraged to consider the foci outlined below as they prepare and submit manuscripts to JSARP:

  • Innovations in Research and Scholarship Features: Manuscripts submitted for review in this area may include qualitative and quantitative manuscripts that clearly provide a theory-research-practice connection. The manuscripts should be methodologically sound with a clearly defined practice section in which the author(s) shares how the research relates to college or university functioning (e.g., policy issues, community engagement, management, organization, student engagement) and/or how the findings can be used in the practice of administrators, faculty, and students. The manuscripts should provide a unique perspective on current issues impacting our institutions and students. Literature reviews and essays that connect current issues with practice, propose creative models for student affairs practice, or discuss innovative uses of theory are welcome.

  • International Features: The traditional boundaries of the higher education and student affairs field are rapidly expanding with international trends and developments. Definitions of internationalization and globalization are evolving in complexity and perspective, demanding a continual examination of how students are prepared to work and thrive in ever-changing climates. Manuscripts submitted for review in this area should include cutting-edge research on current international issues impacting higher education and student affairs. A clearly articulated relationship among theory, research, and practice is encouraged. Findings and recommendations should provide new knowledge on ways to internationalize campuses. We invite manuscripts that challenge readers to examine and embrace global competencies and skills needed to become active participants in the worldwide transformation.

  • Innovations in Practice Features: Manuscripts submitted for review in this area of emphasis should describe high-quality illustrations of effective, creative, and collaborative practices, programs, or policies. These illustrations are to be grounded in theory, research, and/or pedagogy as well as convey relevance beyond the institution(s) of the author(s). Evidence of innovation must go beyond simple measures of satisfaction and, instead, illuminate effectiveness and usefulness. Connections to and implications for student learning outcomes, campus missions, strategic plans, and government/ governing board mandates or initiatives are especially helpful. We invite manuscripts offering bold vision that challenge readers to think critically and reflectively about student affairs practice.

  • Media Features and Reviews: An evolution of the book review format, manuscripts are invited by the Associate Editor and solicited directly from authors that comment on the wide variety of media currently available to student affairs educators. Authors are encouraged to comment on the implications for practice of Internet resources, blogs, newsletters, books, films/videos, presentation materials, and other available media resources.


The NASPA membership represents a broad constituency of entry-level, intermediate-level, and senior-level professionals who are practitioners, scholars, policy makers, faculty, and executive leaders, among others. These educators have responsibility for a wide variety of institutional responsibilities. JSARP seeks to publish articles that speak to student affairs educators across this broad range of levels and experiences. While the Editors recognize that published articles must be relevant and useful to practitioners, JSARP also serves faculty, researchers, scholars, and academic leaders. Not all articles will speak to all constituencies all the time. But the Editors are committed to publishing an array of articles that, at some point, will speak to all educators who work in student affairs and higher education.

Types of Manuscripts:

JSARP is interested in publishing innovative, interesting, and relevant articles that span the full range of possible forms. Please consider the following suggested manuscript types* to convey your topic. Any and all of the following manuscript types can be utilized in any area of emphasis. This delineation of manuscript types is not meant to limit but rather assist you to craft a manuscript that is successfully reviewed and published.

  • Theoretical Manuscripts are papers in which the "authors draw on existing research literature to advance theory" (American Psychological Association, 2010, p. 10) in student affairs and higher education. Similar in structure and form to review manuscripts (see below), theoretical manuscripts are different in that they rarely present data or findings. Theoretical manuscripts may be a review and critiques of existing theories or research findings; extension of existing literature; theoretical critique of practice; or innovative and forward-thinking expositions of current or future state(s) of student affairs and higher education.

  • Review Manuscripts "are critical evaluations of material that has already been published" (APA, 2001, p. 9). These manuscripts can be meta-analysis of qualitative or quantitative research, policy analysis, or compilations of existing theories or models in student affairs practice. Review manuscripts often include a) issue being considered, b) summary of previous research and literature, c) identification of relationships, "contradictions, gaps and inconsistencies" (p. 7), and d) implications for practice, policy, and next steps. Review manuscripts that speak to practice in the student affairs and higher education field at large are particularly welcome.

  • Reports of Empirical Studies are "reports of original research" (APA, 2010, p. 10). The standard form for empirical reports is introduction, method, results, and discussion but authors may adapt that form to fit the parameters of their research method. Reports of Empirical Research manuscripts submitted to JSARP must stress the link between research and practice. Several ways authors can achieve this is by addressing the underlying issues or problem related to practice that inspired the research; reveal the methodology (i.e., name and describe the specific methodology used) and discuss its relevance to the student affairs and higher education field; and/or offer a full discussion of results, implications, and conclusions that relates to practice in student affairs and higher education.

  • Methodological Manuscripts discuss new, modified, or applied methodologies in the context of student affairs and higher education. These manuscripts can discuss methodological procedures that are practice-oriented (e.g., assessment, evaluation) or theory-oriented (e.g., research). Data are discussed in these manuscripts only as a way to illustrate the use of the methodology in theory and/or practice.

  • Case Studies are "reports of case materials obtained while working with an individual, a group, a community, or an organization" (APA, 2010, p. 11). This type of manuscript is often used to present qualitative research findings, discuss an issue or problem in practice (e.g., policy analysis) and solutions to the same, reveal the use of or potential for a research approach, apply theory to practice, or analyze and/or apply an innovative practice. Case studies, whether they are analyzing data or illustrating practice, are grounded in theory.

  • Media Reviews summarize and analyze the full range of resources (e.g., blogs, websites, video, books, reports) available to student affairs educators. Media Review manuscripts, informative and critical, allow student affairs educators to learn of media useful to their work. Media reviews, invited and solicited by the Editor, should not exceed 1,200 words, and are to be discussed with the Associate Editor for Media Reviews in advance of submission. NASPA members are invited to suggest cutting edge and novel media to be reviewed in JSARP.

*See the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (2010), 6th edition, for further discussion of these manuscript types.


The Editorial Review Process and Criteria:

  • Exclusive journal review: Manuscripts under review by JSARP should not be under consideration by other journals.

  • Blind review: Any identification of the authorship MUST be removed prior to submitting the manuscript. To assure blind review, ALL identifiers must be removed: names on the cover page, identification embedded in the electronic document properties, references to institutional affiliations, and citations that identify some or all of the authors. The cover page must include only the title of the manuscript. Manuscripts with obvious and/or subtle identifiers will be returned to the author for redaction prior to beginning the review process.

  • Review criteria: Manuscripts will be reviewed by up to three JSARP Editorial Board members. The criteria all relate to the student affairs and higher education field and include:

1. Exceptional, creative, and relevant application to the wide range of thinking, practices, and perspectives in student affairs and higher education;

2. Thorough and sound discussion of the practice, theory, issue, policy, and/or topic;

3. Inclusion of far reaching, relevant, and insightful implications and breakthroughs which go beyond the relevance of the institution(s) under study;

4. Regarding research manuscripts,

a. accurate and appropriate description of the methodology,

b. method aligned with and suitable for the focus of the study,

c. findings clearly and skillfully communicated,

d. implications for practice and/or theory clearly communicated, and

e. quality measures obviously indicated and discussed;

5. Evidence of high quality, readable, and rigorous writing (e.g., coherent, cohesive, cogent);

6. Presence of practice implications in theoretical or research-based manuscripts and theoretical implications in practice-based manuscripts;

7. Rigorous treatment of the ways the theory, research, and/or practice under discussion can make a difference in the field;

8. Presence of a timely, significant, and appropriate topic;

9. Evidence of a profound and meaningful level of analysis (theoretical or practical) addressing the concerns, interests, and needs of student affairs educators;

10. Apparent contribution to current knowledge, literature, scholarship, theory, and practice; and

11. Research, theory, or practice findings connected to larger areas of concern (e.g., policy, decision making, leadership, student development).

Technical Requirements:

>Manuscripts must be submitted in .doc or .docx format.

> Length: 7,000 words maximum (inclusive of references, cover page, tables, appendices, and all materials). The length of manuscripts is limited to 7,000 words because the editors are committed to increasing the accessibility of the journal to a wide range of authors. The number of words and pages the Journal can publish are limited by a number of factors related to cost and publication limits. Longer articles decrease the accessibility of the journal to as wide a range of authors as possible.

> Format: American Psychological Association (2010) (6th Edition) 

> Spacing and Fonts: Double-spaced, including references, block quotes, tables, and figures, consistently applied throughout the manuscript. Standard 12 point font throughout. 

> Abstract: 75 or fewer words.

> Figures: All figures must be submitted as a PDF document or EPS or uncompressed Tiff (600 dpi) file in black and white or grey tones.

> Language: English or with translations to English included. Writing free of prejudiced, biased or disrespectful language.

> Voice: Active voice and research findings reported in past tense.

> Professional preparation: Manuscripts exceeding the length limits or requiring additional proofreading, formatting, and/or reference checks will be returned to the author(s) for further editing. 

> Submission: All manuscripts must be submitted through http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/naspa_jsarp

Editorial Review Process:

1. Upon receipt, the Editorial Assistant will briefly review the manuscript to ensure that it meets the above minimum requirements.

2. A unique number will be assigned to the manuscript to enable the blind review process. Editorial Board members are also assigned a number to assure the integrity of the blind review process.

3. Manuscript submission and revising, communication, and the review process are conducted online through the JSARP website. When the manuscript is received, an automatically generated acknowledgement email is sent to the first author. It is the first author's responsibility to forward these communications to other authors.

4. The manuscript is assigned for review based on areas of professional and research expertise. The first review is expected to be completed in four weeks but may take longer.

5. Editorial board members complete their reviews online. Upon completion, these reviews are available through the JSARP website for authors to access.

6. At the completion of the review, each reviewer makes one of the following recommendations: Not to Accept, Major Revisions Required, Accept Pending Minor Revisions, or Accept. The Executive Editor and/or appropriate Associate Editor examines the reviews and renders a final decision. The first author is sent an email outlining that decision with links to a decision letter from the Editors and instructions on how to access the reviews.

> Not to Accept/Not Accepted After Initial Review: The manuscript does not mean one or more of the criteria in regards to the scope and direction for publication in JSARP.

> Major Revisions Required: The manuscript has potential for publication, but must be revised before publication can be considered. The author is to address the editorial comments and make appropriate changes within one month. Authors will submit a revised draft for a second round of editorial review. The second review is expected to be completed in 6 weeks but may take longer. The resubmission and second review does not guarantee acceptance. A third revision is often required.

> Accept Pending Minor Revisions: The manuscript is considered worthy of publication pending the successful completion of minor revisions. Authors are requested to make the revisions and return the revised manuscript within one month. The Editorial Assistant and Executive Editor review the final manuscript submitted to ensure that the suggestions have been appropriately addressed.

> Accept: The manuscript is considered appropriate and timely for JSARP. An email is sent to the author confirming its acceptance.

1. After a revision from the author is accepted, the final manuscript is forwarded to a Copy Editor who edits the manuscript. The Copy Editor will contact the author, when necessary, about changes.

2. The Executive Editor works with the authors and publisher to compile the issue.


JSARP is available online through http://journals.naspa.org/jsarp/ four times each calendar year. Subscriptions are also available through the JSARP website.

Exceptions to any of the above instructions should be discussed with the Executive Editor prior to submission. Questions about the submission and review process can be directed to the Editorial Assistant (jsarp@naspa.org).

Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice is covered by the following services:

  • Cabell's Directory
  • Celdes
  • CNKI Scholar (China National Knowledge Infrastructure)
  • EBSCO - Education Research Complete/Education Source
  • EBSCO - TOC Premier
  • EBSCO Discovery Service
  • ERIC (Education Resources Information Center)
  • Google Scholar
  • J-Gate
  • JournalTOCs
  • Naviga (Softweco)
  • Primo Central (ExLibris)
  • ReadCube
  • Summon (Serials Solutions/ProQuest)
  • TDOne (TDNet)
  • Ulrich's Periodicals Directory/ulrichsweb
  • WorldCat (OCLC)

Executive Editorial Board:

Executive Editor:
Matthew R. Wawrzynski, Associate Professor, Michigan State University

Editorial Assistant:
Jay B. Larson, Michigan State University

Technical Editor:
Ashleigh Brock, University of Richmond

Associate Editors:

Innovations in Research and Scholarship Features:
Heather Rowan-Kenyon,
Boston College

Innovations in Practice Features:
JoNes VanHecke,
Gustavus Adolphus College

International Features:
Siu-Man Raymond Ting
, North Carolina State University

Media Features and Reviews:
Bridget Kelly,
Loyola University Chicago

JSARP Advisory Board:

Cary Anderson, Vice President for Student Affairs, St. Joseph's University
Shaun Harper, Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania
Robin Hughes, Assistant Professor, Indiana University - Indianapolis
Reynol Junco, Lock Haven University
Larry Moneta, Vice President for Student Affairs, Duke University
Ernest Pascarella, Professor, The University of Iowa
Laura Rendón, Professor, University of Texas - San Antonio

Editorial Board Members:

Class of 2015:

James Archibald, Valdosta State University
Matthew Birnbaum, University of Northern Colorado
Marguerite Bonous-Hammarth, University of California, Irvine
Candice Elaine Brooks
Eric Buschlen,
Central Michigan University
Tony Cawthon, Clemson University
Diane Dean, Illinois State University
Jerrid Freeman, Fort Hays State University
Casandra Harper, University of Missouri
Daryl Healea, Boston University
Michael  Hevel, The University of Iowa
Sharon Holmes, Binghamton University
Steve Janosik, Virginia Tech
Toby Jenkins, George Mason University
Elizabeth Jones, Holy Family University
Linda Kuk, Colorado State University
Jason Laker, San Jose State University
Chris Linder, University of Denver
Sherry Mallory, Western Washington University
Jennifer Massey, Baylor University
Malinda Matney, University of Michigan
Dorian McCoy, University of Vermont
Tryan McMickens, Suffolk University
Donald Misch, University of Colorado - Boulder
Brian J. Mistler, Ringling College of Art & Design
Edlyn Pena, California Lutheran University
Marcia Petty, Loyola University New Orleans
Stephanie Quade, Marquette University
Reuban Rodriguez, Virginia Commonwealth University
Charles Ryan, Wright State University
Robert Schwartz, Florida State University
Jim Settle, University of North Carolina - Greensboro
Roger Sorochty, The University of Tulsa
Dianne Timm, Eastern Illinois University
Michael Torrence, Lehigh Carbon Community College
Kimberly Truong, Northeastern University
Jrg Vianden, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
Jeffery Wilson, University of Memphis
Christian Wuthrich, Washington State University
Tamara Yakaboski, University of Northern Colorado
Erica Yamamura, Seattle University

Class of 2016:

Robert Ackerman, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
C. Ryan Akers, Mississippi State University
Mark Bauman, Bloomsburg University
J. Patrick Biddix, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Joy Blanchard, Florida International University
Darnell Bradley, Cardinal Stritch University
Monica Burke, Western Kentucky University
Rozanna Carducci, University of Missouri
David Clark, Wake Forest University
Colleen Doyle, University College Dublin
Stephanie Foote, University of South Carolina Aiken
Joy Gayles, North Carolina State University
Roger Geertz-Gonzalez, Florida International University
Pamela Golubski, iCarnegie
Susan Iverson, Kent State University
Dimitra Jackson, Texas Tech University
Jody Jessup-Anger, Marquette University
Melissa Johnson, University of Florida
Ezekiel Kimball, University of Massachusetts at Amherst 
Sheryl Kimmel, University of Kansas
Susan Longerbeam, Northern Arizona University
Carol Lundberg, California State University, Fullerton
Susan Marine, Merrimack College
Thomas Miller, University of South Florida
C. Casey Ozaki, University of North Dakota
Henrietta Pichon, Northwestern State University, L.A.
Shaunna Payne Gold, University of Maryland
Richard Reddick, University of Texas at Austin
C. Sean Robinson, Morgan State University
Elena Sandoval-Lucero, University of Colorado Denver
Clayton Smith, University of Windsor
Joel Thurston, University of California, Santa Barbara
Esau Tovar, Santa Monica College
David Vacchi, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Kristan Venegas, University of Southern California
Henrietta Williams Pichon, Northwestern State University, Natchitoches
De'Sha Wolf, Loyola University

Class of 2017:

Danielle Aslandor, Louisiana State University
Susan Barclay,University of Central Arkansas
Vivian Barnett, NC A&T State Universtiy
Diane Blyler, Northcentral University, Arizona
Brian Bourke, Louisiana State University
Jonathon Dooley, Marquette Universtiy
Jason C. Garvey, University of Alabama
C.P. Gause, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Wanda Hadley, Central State University
Pamela Havice, Clemson University
Carol Hughes, Boston College
Robert Kelly, Loyola University
Forrest Lane, The University of Southern Mississippi
John Michael Lee Jr, Association of Public and Land Grant Universities
Sandra Mahoney, University of the Pacific
Dina Maramba, State University of New York, Buffalo
Judy Marquez Kiyama, University of Denver
Sarah Marshal, Central Michigan University
Kimberly McElveen, Columbus State University
Danielle Molina, Mississippi State University
Laura Oster-Aaland, North Dakota State University
Darbi Roberts, Columbia University
Andrew Ryder, University of North Carolina Wilmington
Sally Sagen-Lorentson, California Lutheran University
David Smedly, The George Washington University
Shirely Sommers, Nazareth College
James Tarbox, San Diego State University
Annemarie Vaccaro, University of Rhode Island
Elizabeth Wallace, Tarleton State University
Matthew Weigand, University of Buffalo
Jermaine Williams, Northwestern Illinois University, Chicago

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