50 Amazing Professional Development Resources for the New Year

My higher ed grad program at The University of Rhode Island had a saying that went, “everyone a teacher, everyone a learner, all the time.”

That’s how I approach professional development, and it reminds me to constantly reassess where I need to grow. Luckily in the field of higher education, there are so many resources out there for SA pros who are looking for new ways to boost their professional development and foster growth at their institutions.

Whether you want to learn about inclusion and diversity initiatives in student affairs, how to manage social media, or the perfect tool to manage that semester-long project, there is something new to be learned each and every day.

Here are 50 resources (grouped into categories for maximum efficiency) — to help you strengthen your higher ed muscles.

Ready? Let’s go!



1. eduPUNX Podcast

Recommended listen: Episode 006: Presence & Edu Tech Start-ups

2. The Student Affairs Spectacular Podcast

Recommended listen: Episode #136: Richard Okello on Revisiting Allyship

3. Josie And The Podcast: Connecting Tech & Leadership in Higher Ed

Recommended listen: Episode 14: Lesley D’Souza on the Secret Sauce of Storytelling, Higher Ed in Canada, #RyersonSA, & Empathetic Assessment

4. The Educate Podcast

Recommended listen: Protecting the Legacy of HBCUs

5. Code Switch

Recommended listen: Episode 30: Safety-Pin Solidarity: With Allies, Who Benefits?

6. The Science of Social Media

Recommended listen: SSM005: Why Personal Branding Is The Best Thing You Can Do For Yourself

7. Resilient Campus

Recommended listen: Doctor Jon Paul: Speaking Truth of Power and Centering Your Activist Spirit in Higher Education


Recommended listen: Episode 010: A Conversation About Racism In The Workplace & Intentional Self-Care with Dar Mayweather

News resources


9. Inside Higher Ed

Read for: Higher ed news, career insight, job postings, and conversation starters.
Recommended read: Affordability in Higher Ed (compilation)

10. The Chronicle of Higher Education

Read for: Higher ed news, opinions, and job postings. Find out what is happening at colleges and universities nationwide.

11. The Skimm

Sign up for daily emails or use the Skimm App to stay in the know about daily world news.

12. Diverse Issues in Higher Education

A news source serving as a catalyst for change in higher ed.
Recommended read: Leaders Turning to Data, Cultural Strategies to Boost Tribal Students’ Success

13. EdTech Magazine

Learn more about the future of campus technology, data analytics and current best practices at institutions for retaining students with ed tech.

Higher ed blogs


14. Resilient Campus

Recommended resource: Social Justice Toolkit

15. Dr. Josie Ahlquist

Recommended read: Empowered to Unplug

16. Eric Stoller

Recommended read: Onboarding Technologies to Organizational Culture

17. Amma Marfo

Recommended read: A Brief Spotlight on Shyness

18. Paul Gordon Brown

Recommended read: Building Off of Bloom: Writing Progressive Learning Objectives

19. On The Go With Ed Cabellon

Recommended read: A Digital Communication Training Model

20. NASPA Blog

Recommended read: Centering the Diverse Experiences of Black Women Undergraduates

21. Joe Sabado – Student Affairs Technology & Leadership

Recommended read: ACPA/NASPA Technology Competency for Professional Development

22. #RyersonSA – Thoughts On Life Outside The Classroom

Recommended read: Failing ‘Akeisha’: Who Isn’t Coming To Orientation Week?

23. Roompact Blog

Recommended read: 100 Questions You Can Use For “Intentional Conversations” In The Residence Halls

Webinars & online courses


24. Student Affairs Assessment Leaders

Recommended course: Apply & Leading Assessment in Student Affairs

25. Studentaffairs.com

Check out this list of upcoming webinars focused on residential life, to surviving as a new student affairs professional.

26. JPHigherEd

Recommended webinar: Developing An Effective Professional Development Plan As A New Professional

27. HigherEdLive

Recommended webinar: Campus Crisis Management & Communication

28. Civitas Learning

Recommended webinar: Personalize Planning Decision to Increase Graduation

Policy & practice


29. The Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals

Recommended resource: LGBT policy & practice recommendations

30. Transgender Studies in Higher Ed

Recommended resource: Trans* Studies in Higher Education Syllabus

31. Education Advisory Board

Recommended resource: The Student Success Best Practices Library


Recommended briefing: Five Things Student Affairs Professionals Can Do to Support Latinx/a/o Students at Community Colleges

33. Western Washington University

Recommended best practice: Recruiting & Retaining Faculty and Staff of Color

Student leader resources


34. Residentassistant.com

Recommended resource: Monthly Planning Guide

35. Prevent.zone

Recommended course: Digital Wellness Toolkit for College Students

36. The American Association of University Women (AAUW) Blog

Recommended resource: 4 Tips for Negotiating for the Salary and Benefits Your Worth

37. The Center for Sexual Pleasure & Health

Recommended resource: Sex and…

38. The Student Leadership Challenge

Quick tips and activities for executive boards and organization retention.

Project management & communication


39. Trello

Streamline work processes and project communication with this agile project management (free) tool.
Recommended resource: Inspirational Trello boards to help you get started

40. Slack

Cut down, or get rid of team emails completely, with this nifty communication tool.

41. Grammarly

This helpful online proofreader tool helps check grammar and spelling. Helpful before you have to send out a campus-wide e-mail! Available as a Google Chrome extension.

42. DropBox Paper

Has many powerful functionalities with a clean interface which makes it easy for communicating on page and making to-do lists (our favorite).

43. Calendly

A great tool for scheduling meetings with colleagues without the back and forth e-mail. Students or co-workers cannot book time when you’re unavailable (time management win)!

Social media management


44. Tweetdeck

Use for social listening on Twitter specifically. Tweetdeck provides simple columnss to “listen” and monitor specific hashtags or searches on Twitter. Great for campus-wide hashtags and events — never miss a tweet!

45. Buffer

A social media scheduling tool that allows you to tailor post updates for Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Update: Buffer has recently released Instagram direct scheduling, as well.

46. Bit.ly

More than just an URL link shortener, it’s great for social media posts to understand how many clicks convert traffic to a website or form.

Relevant literature

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47. Learning Is Not A Sprint

Collins and Roberts discuss how to assess and document student leader learning in co-curricular involvement.

48. Advancing Equity and Diversity in Student Affairs

Jackson and Charleston highlight how the field of student affairs has grown and how to take diverse student needs into consideration through appropriate student development theories.

49. Decision’s Matter: Using a Decision-Making Framework with Contemporary Student Affairs Case Studies

Vaccaro and Champagne review a decision-making framework to support new student affairs professionals in ethical decision-making as well as solving complex problems they may face within their first few years on the job.

50. Careers in Student Affairs: A Holistic Guide to Professional Development in Higher Education

Holzweiss and Parrott address contemporary issues in higher ed that are not consistently addressed across master’s programs. For SA pros who are looking to further professional development at any level of leadership.


51. Presence Blog

Recommended read: Expert Inclusion Tips for the Beginner Facilitator

Kayley Robsham

About the author: Kayley Robsham is the former Community Engagement Manager at Presence, the complete student engagement platform. Learn how we can help get your students involved.

Check I'm Here is now Presence. Learn more about this change in our blog post here.