Affinity & Special Interest Groups (SIG)
Purpose of the SIGs
Special Interest Groups are designed to provide forums for members from various networks with shared interests in particular topics to gather to share ideas, discuss contemporary issues, and identify strategies for collaboration to support one another and move the field forward. SIGs nurture the growing diversity within the association by providing small “micro” communities within which members can network and add value to their MASCA membership experience.
The Special Interest Group key contacts will be known as the SIG Leaders. The SIG Leaders are chosen by the SIG members or self-identified by the group members and approved by the Executive Director. SIG Leaders must be members of MASCA. Each SIG is strongly encouraged to have at least two leaders (a leader and a co-leader). Although there are no terms of office, the Member Services Committee will review the list of SIG Leaders annually to determine if they will continue in their positions. SIG Leaders must agree to be proactive in engaging SIG members in networking and discussion throughout the year and to be responsive to requests for information about the SIG from MASCA staff and the Member Services Committee.
Forming a SIG
To gain recognition as a MASCA SIG, a group must submit a proposal to the MASCA Executive Director. The proposal must include:
• SIG mission statement articulating how the group furthers and promotes MASCA’s mission. SIGs formed for the discussion and/or promotion of a specific product or service will be discouraged.
• Identification of committed Leaders (ideally a leader and co-leader)
• Names of at least 10 MASCA members supporting the mission of the proposed SIG
• Examples of possible SIGs might include active retired, African American, Catholic counselors, charter schools, Latinx/Hispanic, LGBTQ, rural counselors, urban counselors and virtual counselors
Maintaining a Standing SIG
There are a few basic requirements for maintaining a SIG. If those requirements are not met, the Member Services Committee will review the SIG and its leadership to determine if there is still enough interest to continue the SIG and if the SIG requires new Leaders. Each SIG will:
• designate leaders who are MASCA members
• hold a meeting and/or activity annually
• be required to submit an annual report to the Executive Director outlining the SIG activities for the year
Dissolving a SIG
SIGs out of compliance will be reviewed by the Member Services Committee to determine viability for continuation.
Possible SIG Activities
• Promotion of SIGs – New MASCA members will be invited to join the SIGs when they join MASCA
• Meetings at Annual Conference – MASCA will work with SIG’s interested in meeting to determine meeting space and time for SIGs to meet if interested
• MASCA website and Counselor’s Notebook – SIGs are encouraged to submit SIG activities to the SIG section of the MASCA website and the monthly Counselor’s Notebook
• Identify and convey concerns and needs of the SIG to the MASCA Governing Board
(Note: Access to SIG pages is restricted to MASCA members only. You must be logged in to view the SIG pages.)
All Affinity Group and SIG-related questions should be directed to the MASCA Executive Director.