Making Moves: What's Next for Our Student Affairs Assessment Journal (JSAIII)?

Making Moves: What's Next for Our Student Affairs Assessment Journal (JSAIII)?

This year, the Journal of Student Affairs Inquiry (JSAI) Editorial Team has engaged in an exciting process of visioning and planning. First and foremost, we have given considerable thought to the journal’s unique contribution to advancing the field of student affairs assessment. Second, we have explored and pursued new partnership opportunities that strengthen the journal’s sustainability. Finally, we have reflected how the journal can facilitate a scholarship space that calls in campus-based student affairs assessment practitioners. With this context, we have three exciting announcements to share with you today.

Expanding the Journal’s Name

After much deliberation with the Editorial Team, Student Affairs Assessment Leaders (SAAL), and conversations with campus-based leaders in the field, we are expanding the name of the journal. Moving forward, the journal will be titled: Journal of Student Affairs Inquiry, Improvement, and Impact (JSAIII). With the addition of Improvement and Impact to the title, we want to clarify the scope of the journal by clearly emphasizing that the field and work of student affairs assessment leads to the discovery of improvement needs and demonstration of impact.

The first article in the December 2024 issue will define, describe, and differentiate inquiry, improvement, and impact as it relates to student affairs assessment. I want to thank colleagues that lead high quality, cutting edge student affairs assessment programs at James Madison University, the University of Florida, and the University of North Carolina - Charlotte for agreeing to join me in writing this article. Until that publication, the JSAIII Editorial Team is defining the three terms to provide clarity to prospective authors and readers. Inquiry is the process of seeking evidence to inform quality improvement efforts and demonstration of impact. Improvement is the process of refining and enriching conditions and experiences that influence student perceptions, engagement, learning, development, and success. Impact is the demonstration of the extent to which these conditions and experiences create change in students—both individually and collectively.

JSAIII now has four article types:

Field Notes. This section provides reflections and thought leadership in student affairs assessment, through curated contributions and editorial notes. These articles position student affairs assessment in the current climate and use critical and reflective thinking, abstract reasoning, and theoretical analysis to advance inquiry, improvement, and impact.

The Scholarship of Inquiry, Improvement, and Impact. This section shares empirical studies that advance the current literature of student affairs assessment using quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods approaches.

Inquiry, Improvement, and Impact in Action. This section provides tangible, easily adaptable or replicable strategies, questions, or tools that have helped student affairs practitioners, leaders, and assessment professionals implement quality improvement efforts and share evidence of impact in a local context. These articles use successful, practical experience to help advance the field of student affairs assessment.

Media Reviews. This section is a space for articles that provide a thorough description and meaningful evaluation of the quality, utility, and significance of student affairs assessment-related resources, such as books, blogs, or podcasts. These articles provide key points of the media artifact and insight as to how the information may be useful to the reader.

New Partnership with the Center for Leading Improvements in Higher Education

The Journal of Student Affairs Inquiry, Improvement, and Impact (JSAIII) has found a new home with the Center for Leading Improvements in Higher Education at IUPUI (becoming Indiana University Indianapolis in fall 2024). It will be hosted and supported by the IUPUI University Library as one of their Open Access Journals. Student Affairs Assessment Leaders (SAAL) will remain closely connected with JSAIII to encourage scholarship by SAAL members. This new partnership strengthens the journal’s sustainability, and strengthens the collaboration between JSAIII, SAAL, and the Center for Leading Improvements in Higher Education, which hosts, among other things, the Assessment Institute in Indianapolis, the nation’s oldest and largest event focused on assessing and improving higher education, and the Leading Improvements in Higher Education podcast with Stephen Hundley.

We deeply want to thank colleagues from IUPUI and SAAL who have supported and made this move possible (alphabetically by last name): Renée Delgado-Riley, Ellissa Brooks-Nelson, Stephen P. Hudley, Caleb J. Keith, and Ted Polley.

New Submission and Review Process

JSAIII wants to encourage and support campus-based practitioners to publish and contribute to advancing the field of student affairs assessment. We recognize the traditional publication model does not always welcome or support practitioners in writing for dissemination. The traditional publication model also does not support practitioners to serve as reviewers, because it does not allow reviewers to plan when they will need to dedicate time for reviewing in advance. We want to facilitate a scholarship space that advances the field of student affairs assessment by being a journal that is ultimately of the people, by the people, and for the people.

The Journal’s Editors and Reviewers met in December 2020.
If you haven’t read the excellent articles that were published this year (2023),
checkout the Journal of Student Affairs Inquiry, 6(1).

To encourage and support practitioners to contribute to the field’s scholarship, JSAIII will now ask for a thoughtful proposal that will be reviewed and accepted before writing the entire manuscript. Once accepted, the authors and reviewers will commit to writing and reviewing on a given timeline for the publication date. Learn more about this process by reviewing the JSAIII Submissions webpage.

To this end, the Journal of Student Affairs Inquiry, Improvement, and Impact invites article proposals that provide practical insights to student affairs leaders, educators, and assessment practitioners through reflections and thought leadership, scholarly articles, adaptable approaches, and media reviews. To submit a proposal to JSAIII, you will need to:

  1. Register with JSAIII on the Open Journal System (OJS), a widely-used platform for open access publishing developed by the Public Knowledge Project.
  2. Submit your proposal on on OJS, which must include (a) the section to which you want to submit, (b) your proposed title and abstract, (c) a description and rationale for your  article, (d) an outline of your proposed article, (e) references, and (f) a list of proposed authors, their professional positions and institutions, and their contact information. The rationale should clearly outline how the article would support quality improvement efforts or demonstrate impact. The proposed article should not have been previously published or under consideration elsewhere.

Volume 7, Issue 1 (2024) Timeline

January 15Proposals Due
January 26    Decisions Made
April 30    First Draft Due
May 31Review of First Draft Complete
August 31      Second Draft Due
September 30     Review of Second Draft Complete
October 31 Final Article Due
December 2024Issue Publication

In closing, this is an exciting time for the journal! It has been a meaningful year as we have engaged in a thoughtful process of visioning and planning. There are two ways in which you can learn more about these changes and talk directly with the Editorial Team.

SAAL Structured Conversation. To learn more about all of these changes, we want to invite you to join us on Thursday, January 4 at 2:00 ET for a SAAL Structured Conversation about the Journal of Student Affairs Inquiry, Improvement, and Impact. At this time, the JSAIII Editorial Team will provide a deeper dive into the rationale for these changes and answer questions. Please register for the JSAIII Structured Conversation; we look forward to seeing you there!

Editor Office Hours. Additionally, I will be holding office hours everyday during the week of January 8, 2024 to meet with prospective authors that have questions or need a little encouragement before article proposals are due on January 15, 2024. Please join me on Monday, January 8 - Friday, January 12 from 12:00 - 1:00 ET in my personal Zoom meeting room:

Finally, we would be remiss not to thank Caleb J. Keith, who has served as an Associate Editor during this past year of visioning and planning. Caleb has been involved with the journal since it began. His impact is clear and will be long felt. We wish him the best of luck in his new role as the Director of Research Strategies & Initiatives at IUPUI (becoming Indiana University Indianapolis in fall 2024).

Warmest Wishes,

Heather J. Strine-Patterson, Ph.D. -- Editor
Director of Student Affairs Assessment, Appalachian State University

Alice A. Mitchell, Ph.D. -- Associate Editor
Affiliate Assistant Professor, University of Maryland College Park

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