Engage and Support Your Chapter Members

As a NSSLHA chapter, your most important resources are your members. But how do you get the students in your CSD program to join? And how do you keep them coming back semester-after-semester??

Not only do we have super helpful member recruitment and retention tips online, but your fellow NSSLHA chapters are doing some pretty awesome things to engage their members.

Check out what our 2017-18 Chapter Honors awardees did last year:


California State University, Los Angeles, NSSLHA Chapter, launched a mentorship program that gave undergraduate and post-baccalaureate students a chance to connect with grad students who share similar experiences and interests. To help reach their desired goals, each pair established professional and academic goals, as well as provided encouragement and support to one another.

Midwestern University NSSLHA Chapter [pictured above] set up a “big–little” mentorship program where second-year members passed on their knowledge to first-years. This brought unity among the chapter as each first-year student now had someone who could provide dedicated and valuable guidance.

University of Iowa NSSLHA Chapter randomly assigned members to a graduate student executive board member as a mentor. The mentor and mentees got together at the beginning or end of the meeting as a way to foster relationships within the chapter and establish an environment that promotes cohesiveness and collaboration.

Access to Professors, Professionals, and Learning Opportunities

City University of New York, Lehman College, NSSLHA Chapter, developed and offered member-only classroom-to-clinic opportunities that included becoming an Aphasia Conversational Partner, being a Letters and Literacy Fairy, and supporting evaluations as a language translator.

James Madison University NSSLHA Chapter connected students and professors every month at their chapter meetings, by featuring a professor to speak about their expertise. For other professors, they scheduled research meetings and/or coffee dates with members.

Monmouth University NSSLHA Chapter featured a different ASHA-certified professional who presented on varying topics, work settings, or advocacy issues at their chapter meetings. Members learned about PROMPT therapy, Wilson certification, VitalStim as a treatment option, and a variety of other topics.

University of Missouri NSSLHA Chapter arranged for professionals from different settings to speak at their monthly meetings. This way, members could get a sense of what a day in the life of a CSD professional would look like.

University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, NSSLHA Chapter, engaged more members—many of whom work multiple jobs or have families—by holding a live and streaming “Pizza with a Pathologist” series. The series showcased professionals from different settings, allowing students to learn more about their preferred workplace. By streaming the seminars, more students were able to benefit!

University Programs in CSD at Eastern Washington University and Washington State University NSSLHA Chapter put together a funding proposal for a GRE preparation support group and submitted it to the university’s fees committee. Once approved, the officers implemented a GRE preparation mentor model, in which they provided GRE study prep books. They also presented information about navigating the requirements of applying to grad school, gave first-hand support and tips, and connected juniors with seniors and with grad students who had already been through the process. Many students reflected that this experience was a turning point for them on their path to attend grad school.


Case Western Reserve University NSSLHA Chapter came together with other Ohio chapters to hold the Ohio Statewide NSSLHA Conference. Attendees grew their network and learned about events that other chapters were holding, giving them ideas for how they can grow their chapter’s involvement and membership.

University of Memphis NSSLHA Chapter has planned and hosted the Mid-South Conference on Communicative Disorders for the past 48 years! This has given students the opportunity to build leadership skills and grow their influence within the program and community.

Member Perks

Clarion University of Pennsylvania NSSLHA Chapter introduced new membership levels with incentives to become a “gold status” member. Members were required to attend 75% of meetings, participate in at least one fundraiser per semester, pay semester dues, and obtain five hours of community service. Members who earned gold status for two consecutive semesters received a gold cord to wear at graduation.

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