History

In the spring of 1975, it was proposed that Ohio student affairs professionals organize a state chapter of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA). A committee of 20 met and worked over the summer of 1975 to gather a membership, write bylaws, and consult with other Ohio associations to form a new entity.

1976 charter certificate photo

In March 1976, the Ohio College Personnel Association (OCPA) completed a 10-step membership process and was granted a charter by ACPA at its annual convention in Chicago.  

The first OCPA conference was held in 1977 at Kenyon College in Gambier with 189 attendees. Since that time OCPA has grown to offer multiple formats of professional development, develop a membership base of Ohio professionals across functional areas and institutions, and establish a robust and well-attended annual conference. Some of the earliest founders of OCPA remained active throughout their careers, and although the original generation of founders has moved on, their mentees and students carry on their ideas to give us an intergenerational association. Ohio's student affairs professionals rely on OCPA for a local, low-cost strategy for keeping skills fresh, new ideas coming, and to anticipate the challenges of the future; but it is the network of people and relationships we build that are at the heart of OCPA.

In 2015, the membership of OCPA voted to become an independent association. The clolsely-allied Ohio Association of Student Personnel Administrators (OASPA) folded into OCPA as a new era began. January 2016 marked the first annual conference of OCPA with its new identity, as it celebrated 40 years.

OCPA leadership is committed to maintaining a rich archival record of the history of the association, which is entrusted to the National Student Affairs Archives in Bowling Green, Ohio. Additional information about OCPA history can be found in the OCPA manuscript collection (MS-525) by contacting the NSAA or visiting the archives in Jerome Library at Bowling Green State University. The following documents provide overviews developed by members of OCPA.