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How to Form an NCTE Student Affiliate

The following information explains what an NCTE student affiliate is and the process for forming one. The benefits of setting up a student affiliate are listed along with a few suggestions for getting students in your college or university involved. 

The Affiliate Online Conversation on Forming an NCTE Student Affiliate gives a personal account of their student affiliate by Bonnie Sunstein, faculty adviser of the successful, longtime NCTE Student Affiliate of University of Iowa, and Jackie Biger, a 2012 member of that student affiliate.  They talk about how the group works (and sometimes how it doesn’t), some things it’s accomplished, and how it's kept going over the years.   Bonnie provides a recipe for the success of her student affiliate (and, frankly, any group).  She finds essential what her mentor Don Graves named as necessary for writers and writing teachers: time, place, community, and response. It seems to me that these conditions are vital to us all as we consider our professional relationships.

Rules of Student Affiliation with NCTE

Application Requirements for Student Affiliation

Student Affiliate Application

  • Your student affiliate needs to have at least 10 NCTE student members;
  • Your student affiliate needs to have a faculty sponsor who is a member of NCTE and who will represent the student affiliate at the Annual Business/Board of Directors Meeting;
  • Members of the Executive Board of your student affiliate need to be members of NCTE;
  • Your constitution should stipulate an affiliation with NCTE and your state's NCTE affiliate group, such as the Illinois Association of Teachers of English or the Idaho Council of Teachers of English;
  • Your constitution should provide for a Liaison Officer to NCTE and your state's affiliate group;
  • Your constitution needs to make a provision for disbursement of your treasury to another nonprofit organization, should your organization become defunct;
  • A copy of your student affiliate's policy on involvement of people of color must accompany your application (see NCTE's Policy on Involvement of People of Color);
  • A roster of the members of your student affiliate must accompany your application (include name, address, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses;);
  • NCTE student affiliate dues must accompany your application. Dues are $2.50/year for the entire affiliate, NOT per student.

Process Advice

  • To insure you meet the membership requirement, it's far easier in the long run to collect and submit with your application the NCTE memberships from the (at least) 10 members, including the officers, who are members of your student affiliate.
  • Unlike regular affiliates that usually have steady numbers, the members of student affiliates come and go relatively quick (in one-two years.).
  • Because the membership of student affiliate changes over annually, must of the "glue" that holds the group together resides in the faculty sponsor.
  • Sometimes pairing up "older and younger" (e.g. senior and junior) students to hold the various offices works well to provides continuity. This helps to make sure that a student who knows how to hold the office and how to operate within it remains on the board and can train a new officer.
  • The best thing your student affiliate can become is a group that meets the needs of its members.  The worst thing would be a group that did not meet the needs of its members.  This means that the "flavor" of the group will likely change from year to year.

Why Affiliate with NCTE?
NCTE Student Affiliates provide the opportunity for preservice teachers to network and gain experience in professional learning and leadership. Some of the benefits include:

  • Encouraging collaboration of student teachers of the English language arts at your college or university.
  • Becoming a member and participant of NCTE builds upon young teachers' integrity as a future English teachers, and clearly shows their dedication to the teaching of the English language arts.
  • Connection to a national network of professionals working to improve the teaching of English language arts.
  • Representation on the NCTE Board of Directors.
  • Information on a wide variety of projects and programs from the Affiliate/Assembly Lending Library and ability to share ideas and information with other leaders through the affiliate discussion list.
  • Information on NCTE through the NCTE website..

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NCTE - The National Council of Teachers Of English

A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts