ACPA Foundation Grants Program
Call for Proposals
Annual Deadline: July 1, 2017


The ACPA Foundation is the fundraising organization for ACPA–College Student Educators International. The Foundation seeks philanthropic support for ACPA initiatives involving research and scholarship, professional development, and leadership programs for student affairs professionals in higher education.

Each year, the Foundation awards $10,000 in response to research proposals that enhance the student affairs profession and disseminate knowledge about college students.

Funding eligibility is limited to ACPA members who are conducting research that is consistent with the purposes and interests of ACPA: to enhance the student affairs profession and disseminate knowledge about college students.

The Foundation encourages applicants who are more established scholars to co-author projects with junior scholars and practitioners as a way to support their professional development and scholarly growth.   

At each annual convention, the ACPA Foundation provides the previous year’s grant recipients the opportunity to present their research in a Foundation-sponsored program slot. Grant recipients may choose to submit proposals to the annual convention’s peer review process or to participate in the Foundation’s Research Grant Symposium. Recipients will be contacted in the fall following the conclusion of their grant year to determine their interest in this session.

Award Amount

The annually-awarded research grants usually range from $1,000 to $2,500 for one-year projects. Multi-year grants can be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Research grants may be used to fund such items as graduate student support, travel for data collection, transcription services, software for data analysis, supplies, postage, and printing.  The Foundation does not provide funding for travel to conferences to present/disseminate research findings.  The Foundation reserves the right to award less than the requested amount, based on availability of funds.

If you have any questions, please contact the coordinator of the ACPA Foundation Research Grants Program, Dr. John Mueller, at

Apply Today

Recipients for 2016

Mauriell Amechi
University of Wisconsin—Madison
Straight out of Foster Care: A Qualitative Anti-deficit Study of Student Achievers

Carrie Kortegast
Northern Illinois University
Persistence Practices: A Visual Ethnography of the Huskies Service Scholar Program

Tonisha Lane
University of South Florida
Challenges, Opportunities, and Strategies: A Phenomenological Study of Black Women in Doctoral Programs across the U.S.

Jason Lynch
Old Dominion University
Exploring the Impact of Secondary Trauma in U.S. Higher Education Professionals

Kari Taylor
The Ohio State University
Contextualizing How Undergraduate Students Develop Toward Critical Consciousness

Sarah Whitley
University of Virginia
Exploring Academic Major Choice and Self-Efficacy in a Shifting Landscape: Low-Income Undergraduate Students and Pursuit of the Humanities Degree

Apply Today

Recipients for 2015

Matthew Couch

The Ohio State University

Phenomenological Study of Over-Involvement in Undergraduate Students


Jason Laker & Erica Boas

San Jose State University

Sexual Coercion and Violence in College: Reforming Policies and Practices for Consent Education and Personal Agency


Anh Le

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Beyond Adjustment: A Phenomenological Study of High-Achieving International Students


Elizabeth Niehaus & Letitia Williams

University of Nebraska-Lincoln/University of Trinidad and Tobago

Exploring Student Engagement and Student Development in Caribbean Tertiary Education


Dan Tillapaugh

California Lutheran University

Shattering Perceptions: The Experiences of Men Who Survived Sexual Violence in College


Recipients for 2014

Zak Foste & Susan Jones

The Ohio State University

Exploring the Gendered Experiences of Collegiate Males in Service-Learning


Quint Gies

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Academic and Social Experiences of College Homeless Students


Bryce Hughes

University of California-Los Angeles

How a Jesuit University Addresses LGBT Issues: A Case Study


Dan Tillapaugh

University of Maine

Beyond Persistence: A Phenomenological Study of High-Achieving First-Generation College Males


Heidi Whitford

Barry University

Undocumented Students’ Experiences of Higher Education Access: Opportunities & Challenges

Recipients for 2013

David Perez II

Miami University-Oxford

Over the Ivy Walls: A Phenomenological Study of Latino Male Achievers at Highly Selective, Predominantly White Institutions in the United States


Ellen Broido

Bowling Green State University

Disability Leadership and Activism in College Students


Kenneth Nienhusser

Columbia University

Role of Higher Education Administrators in the Implementation of State and Institutional Policies Affecting Students without Documentation


Samuel Museus

University of Hawaii

The Impact of Culturally Engaging Campus Environments on Student Persistence in to the Second Year of College


Thandi Sule

Oakland University

Alternative Breaks: Pedagogy of Service or Critical Social Transformation

Recipients for 2012

Commission for Counseling and Psychological Services
Higher Education Mental Health Alliance – Campus Teams Resource Guide


Pamela Larde
Mercer University
Examining the Transition Process for Service Members in the Pursuit of Higher Education after Returning from Combat


Lori D. Patton & Jessica Harris
University of Denver / Indiana University-Bloomington
Intersecting in the Center: Black Culture Centers and Intersectional Approaches to Supporting Black Students’ Multiple Identities


Dafina Lazarus Stewart

Bowling Green State University
Just Before the Dawn: African American Narratives of Race at Private Liberal Arts Colleges in the Great Lakes Area, 1945-1965


Terrell L. Strayhorn & Derrick L. Tillman-Kelly
The Ohio State University
Best Places to Work in Student Affairs Survey

Application Submission

Proposals should be submitted via the online form. The proposal must include the following information:

  • Project Title
  • Project Director name, institution, address, phone, and email
  • Project Director’s CV (uploaded file)
  • Project Description
  • Relationship of the project to the interests of ACPA Foundation
  • Project Timeline
  • Detailed Budget (uploaded file)

Evaluation Criteria

Research proposals will be evaluated based on the importance and usefulness of the topic to student affairs professionals and the strength of the research methodology. The specific evaluation criteria include:

  • Purpose and goals of project/research
  • Significance of project/research
  • Supporting literature and rationale for project/research
  • Appropriate methodology
  • Degree project supports and relates to mission & goals of ACPA and foundation
  • Clearly outlined budget & financial need
  • Background and experience of applicant

Reporting Requirements

As a condition of receiving grant funds, the Foundation requires that all materials or products related to the project must acknowledge that the project was funded by the ACPA Educational Leadership Foundation. Also, at the conclusion of the project, the author must submit a one-page abstract of the study and a 3×5 professional photograph of the grantee.

Presentation of Research

At each annual convention, the ACPA Foundation provides previous year’s grant recipients the chance to present their research in a Foundation Sponsored Program slot. You may choose to submit your proposal to either the annual convention, or you may elect to participate in the Foundation’s session. Recipients will be contacted in the fall to determine their interest in this session.

Deadline for submission is July 1 annually

Contact Dr. John Mueller (, Chair of the ACPA Foundation Grant Program if you have questions regarding the application or submission process.