Trade Associations for the education industry | Standards Michigan

Trade Associations for the education industry

In our words in action; in our thoughts and prayers, we remind the industry that it exists primarily for the education of the young; not the employment of the old.


Trade Associations for the education industry

May 1, 2019
No Comments

“The Seven Liberal Arts” | Giovanni di Ser Giovanni Guidi

How many colleges and universities do we really need?

[Last Update: May 19, 2019]

The large number of education industry trade associations may well be the defining characteristic of an industry that is both a business and a culture.  Of the 11 major economic sectors, most industries have only one or two trade associations advocating on their behalf.[1]  The education industry, however, has the better part of one hundred trade associations; as the list below will reveal.  Every branch of a typical school district, college or university organization chart seems to have a non-profit trade association competing with other trade associations for membership, sponsor and donor dollars.   They all think they are mighty special.  Many of them claim “leadership”; some claim “international”; a few of them claim hegemony over all the others. Is this the strength of the education industry — about 4 percent of US gross national product — or its weakness?

There are about 100,000 public schools and about 5000 degree-granting institutions in the United States according to the National Center for Education Statistics (a part of the US Department of Education).   We have been harvesting web sites for education industry trade associations at irregular intervals for about 10 years; largely because of the accumulation of evidence that trade associations are a contributing factor in the parabolic increase in the cost of education.  With this list (which grows weekly, and should be considered a work in progress) we hope to enlighten understanding of the regulatory landscape where trade associations compete for membership revenue and the status as the “leader” and “opinion aggregator”.

Most education industry trade associations depend upon revenue from interest categories that effectively duplicate the interest categories that dominate incumbent stakeholders in the global standards system.  The practical effect of this challenges ANSI balance-of-interest due process requirements.  The weakness of the user-interest is a wicked problem[2] and not the fault of accredited standards developers.  All accredited standards developers devote significant resources to recruiting user-interest subject matter experts.  The lack of end-user participation resembles the central problem of participatory democracy.  

We suggest that it is unwise for consensus product developers — ANSI accredited, open-source or ad hoc peer-to-peer collaborations — to assume that any one of them can claim authority to speak for an entire industry with one voice.   The list below should support this claim.  Some of them have no physical address but retain private, for-profit membership management companies.  The fragmentation of interests that we see in American society as a whole is conveyed into the education sector.   This characteristic presents challenges and opportunities.

While our primary focus lies upon the safety and sustainability of real assets — i.e. the built environment that runs about $300 billion annually in construction, operation and maintenance — there is another accreditation space that is focused on the accreditation of the academic programs:

US Department of Education Accreditation Agencies

We simply acknowledge the presence of these organizations because, as we state in our ABOUT, the serious money in the standards space lies in accreditation.  “Standards are the seed-corn for accreditation”.   With that, we proceed to our curated list of trade associations relevant to our primary business.  In approximate alphabetical order:

University of Alaska Fairbanks

AACC | American Association of Community Colleges

AACSB | Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business

Atlantic Association of College and University Student Services

AAC&U | American Association of Colleges and Universities

AASCU | American Association of State Colleges and Universities | @AASCU

AAUW | American Association of University Women | @AAUW

ABSAP | Association of Business School Business Professionals

ACTE | Association for Career and Technical Education | @actecareertech

American College Counseling Association (ACCA)

American College Personnel Association (ACPA)

AOC | Association of Colleges | @AoC_info

Association of Collegiate Conference and Events Directors – International (ACCED-I)

AACRAO | American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO)

AAMG | Association of Academic Museums and Galleries

AASHE | Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education

AAU | Amateur Athletic Union

AAU | American Association of Universities

ASEE | American Society of Engineering Education@ASEE_DC

AUCCCD | Association of College Counseling Center Directors 

ACCT | Association of Community College Trustees

AUCCCD | Association of University and College Counseling Center Directors |

ACE | American Council on Education

ACRL | Association of College & Research Libraries@ALA_ACRL

ACUA | Association of College and University Auditors@ACUA_INFO

ACUI | Association of College Unions International

ACUPA | Association of College and University Policy Administrators

ACUTA | Association of College & University Technology Advancement

Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors (AUCCCD)

The Association of Deans and Directors of University Colleges and Undergraduate Studies

AEFFA | Association of Educational Federal Finance Administrators 

AIEA | Association of International Education Administrators 

AAHC | Association of Academic Health Centers

ACHA | American College Health Association

Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU)

AAMC | American Association of Medical Colleges

ACSP | Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning

ACUPCC | American College & University Presidents Climate Change Commitment
(changed to SecondNature.ORG)

ADANDD | Association of Deans and Directors of  University Colleges and Undergraduate Studies 

ADEA | American Dental Education Association

AIR | American Institutes for Research

AERA | American Education Research Foundation

Association of Fraternity Advisors (AFA)

AAHHE | American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education

AHEAD | Association on Higher Education and Disability

APPA | Leadership in Education Facilities

APLU | Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities

AGB | Association of Governing Boards

Association of Higher Education Parent/Family Programming Professionals (AHEPPP)

AHECTA | Association of Higher Education Cable Television Administrators

ACUHO-i | Association of College & University Housing Officials International

ASHE | Academic Medical Centers

AMCSUS | Association of Military Colleges & Schools of the United States

Association of Arts Administration Educators

Association for Event Management Education

Association of College Student Affairs Professionals

Association of College Administration Professionals (ACAP)

American College Personnel Association | @ACPA

ASHE | Association for the Study of Higher Education | @ASHEoffice

Association for Tertiary Education Management

Association of University Presses | @AUPresses

AUDE| Association of University Directors of Estates@AUDE_news

AUPresses | Association of University Presses

AURP | Association of University Research Parks

AUREO | Association of University Real Estate Officials

ASBO International | Association of School Business Officials International | @ASBOIntl 

Association for Student Conduct Administration (ASCA)

American Student Government Association (ASGA)

Association of Theological Schools (ATS)

AAUA | American Association of University Administrators

AUA | Association of University Architects

AUE | Association of University Engineers (UK)

AUTM | Association of University Technology Managers

Harvard University | John F. Kennedy Library

CACUBO | Central Association of College and University Business Officers

California College Personnel Association

California Colleges for International Education (CCIE)

California Community College Student Affairs Association

CFTA | Campus FM Technology Management Association

Campus Parking and Transportation Association

CAPCSD | Council of Academic Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders

CECU | Career Education Colleges and Universities@CECUed

Carnegie Classification of Higher Education Institutions

CASE | Council for Advancement and Support of Education

CCCU | Council for Christian Colleges & Universities

Center for Campus Fire Safety

CGS | Council for Graduate Schools

CHEA | Council for Higher Education Accreditation

Clery Center for Security on Campus

CLSI | Clinical Laboratory Safety Institute (services for-profit research enterprises also)

COGR | Council on Government Relations

CAA | College Art Association

Collegiate Information and Visitor Services Association (CIVSA)

Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area : Bibliography

Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education (CAS)

Council of Higher Education Management Associations (CHEMA)

Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)

Council on Law in Higher Education (CLHE)

CUCU | College and University Recycling Coalition

CUR | Council on Undergraduate Research

CUPAHR | College and University Professional Association for Human Resources

CSHEMA | Campus Safety and Environmental Management Association


Cambridge University

EACUBO | Eastern Association of College and University Business Officers

Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers (EACE)

Education Commission of the States

Education Market Association


Educational Theater Association

Smith College Campus Center | Click on image

HEFCE | Higher Education Funding Council for England@HEFCE

HEFMA | Higher Education Facilities Management Alliance

HighEdWebHigher Education Web Professionals Association@HighEdWeb


Florida State University

IAU | International Association of Universities

IACLEA | International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators

IFMA | International Facility Management Association (Has public sector membership)

ICBA | Independent College Bookstore Association

International School Theater Association

IAUP | International Association of University Presidents

International University Theatre Association

Madonna University Chapel

Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators (JASPA)

Michigan Association of Superintendents and Administrators

MICU | Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities

MCCA | Michigan Community College Association | @MIColleges

MCCA | Missouri Community College Association | @MCCATweet



Ohio University

NACUA | National Association of College and University Attorneys

National Academic Advising Association (NACADA)

National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A)

National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions, Inc. (NAAHP)

NAASFA | National Association of  Student Financial Aid Administrators@nasfaa

National Center for Campus Public Safety

NACA | National Association for Campus Activities@THENACA

National Association of College Auxiliary Services (NACAS)

National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)

National Association Of School Safety & Law Enforcement Officials

NACCU | National Association of Campus Card Users

National Association of College and University Residence Halls (NACURH)

NACDA | National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics | @NACDA

National Association for Developmental Education (NADE)

National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC)

NASFAA | National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators

NBOA | National Business Officers Association

NACURH | National Association of College and University Residence Halls | @nacurh

NACUFS | National Association of College & University Food Services

NACUBO | National Association of College and University Business Officers

NACS | National Association of College Stores

NACUMS | National Association of College and University Mail Services

NAEP | National Association of Educational Procurement | @NAEP

NAFSA | Association of International Educators

NAICU |National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities

NASEF | North America Scholastic Esports Federation@NASEFedu

NCURA | National Council of University Research Administrators

NCAA | National Collegiate Athletic Association

NCCI | National Consortium for Continuous Improvement in Higher Education

NCEF | National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

NFMA | National Fleet Management Association (Membership includes colleges and universities)

National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals (NAGAP)

NASSP | National Association of Secondary School Principals | @NASSP

NIRSA | National Intramural Recreational Sports Association

NAIA | National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics

NIAAA | National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association

National Commission on Financing 21st Century Higher Education | University of Virginia

NCBA | Northwest College Bookstore Association

NJSBGA | New Jersey School Buildings and Grounds Association

NSTA | National School Transportation Association

Partner Alliance for Safer Schools

The Pell Institute

SACS | Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

SACUBO | Southern Association of College and University Business Officers

SI | The Simon Institute

SCUP | Society for College and University Planning

SSHEO | State Higher Education Executive Officers Association


Vanderbilt University

TEFMA | Tertiary Education Facilities Management Association 

Texas Center for Educational Facilities@Facility_Center

University of Texas


University Innovation Alliance

UNA | University Neighborhoods Association

University Professional & Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) | @UPCEA

University Resident Theater Association

URA | Universities Research Association 

URMIA | University Risk Management and Insurance Association

USHA | University Safety and Health Association

Bethany College

WACUBO | Western Association of College and University Business Officers

WHES | Washington Area Higher Education Secretariat


N.B. There are regional subdivisions of the organizations on the foregoing list

[1] Lobbying’s top 50: Who’s spending big

[2] A “wicked problem” is a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize. The use of the term “wicked” here has come to denote resistance to resolution, rather than evil.  Moreover, because of complex interdependencies, the effort to solve one aspect of a wicked problem may reveal or create other problems.  Arguably, participatory democracy itself is a wicked problem.




Layout mode
Predefined Skins
Custom Colors
Choose your skin color
Patterns Background
Images Background