NASPA Guiding Principles and Code of Ethics

NASPA Code of Ethics, Conduct, and Engagement Policies

NASPA is dedicated to providing a welcoming environment in all its programs, services, and volunteer opportunities. The Association strives to address the interests of its members and the student affairs profession on issues related to social justice, equity, and inclusion. We seek to foster a positive environment built upon a foundation of trust, respect, open communication, and ethical behavior.

NASPA’s Guiding Principles of Integrity, Inclusion, Inquiry, and Innovation ground the manner in which we expect members, participants, and staff to interact with one another in our programs, services, and volunteer opportunities. We seek to cultivate a welcoming environment based on open communication, ethical behavior, accountability, and learning. 


Policy and Non-Discrimination Statement

NASPA does not discriminate on the basis of race; color; national origin; religion; sex; age; gender identity or expression; affectional or sexual orientation; veteran status; disability; marital status; personal appearance; family responsibilities; genetic information; educational status; political affiliation; place of residence or business; source of income; caste; matriculation; credit information; status as a survivor or family member of a survivor of domestic violence, a sexual offense, or stalking; reproductive health decision making; or any other basis protected by law in any of its policies, programs, publications, and services. NASPA prohibits discrimination and harassment at any time, including during its events or within publications and online learning communities.


NASPA Code of Ethics

Adapted from the Higher Education Consortium for Student Affairs Certification Code of Ethics, the NASPA Code of Ethics governs the Association’s professional development, operations, and volunteer engagement. Ethical practice is essential, fundamental, and integral to student affairs and services work. The Code of Ethics is as follows:

As student affairs educators, in collaboration with other institutional stakeholders, our objectives include protecting the well-being of our students, fostering their individual and personal development, and teaching and learning from our colleagues to achieve these objectives. 

This Code is structured in three parts, beginning with ethical guiding principles, which serve as overall objectives for student affairs educators. The second section, ethical goals, outlines goals that serve as aspirational guideposts to motivate high-level performance in the profession. These goals pertain to contributing to the profession, higher education institutions, and students and others. The third section, ethical obligations, sets forth ethical actions of student affairs educators and behavior they must avoid.

Ethical Guiding Principles 

The following guiding principles serve as overall objectives for student affairs educators: 

Ethical Goals 

The following are aspirational goals to promote high-level performance as student affairs educators: 

Goals for Contributing to the Profession 

Student affairs educators are encouraged to engage in the following types of actions to support and advance the student affairs profession: 

Goals for Contributing to Our Higher Education Institutions 

Student affairs educators are encouraged to engage in the following types of endeavors to contribute to the well-being and ongoing improvement of their institutions:

Goals for Contributing to Others 

Student affairs educators are encouraged to engage in the following types of endeavors to contribute to the well-being and ongoing development of their students, colleagues, and supervisees: 

Ethical Obligations 

Individuals must not violate the following ethical requirements as a student affairs educator. The requirements focus on the expectation that, in the course of their professional work and activities, student affairs educators are not to harm others. NASPA will not tolerate individuals who engage in the following: