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Professor in her empty lecture hall

National Higher Education Month

The celebration this October might be a little different, but we remain inspired by how faculty and staff are meeting the current crisis head-on.
Published: 10/2020

Celebrate Higher Education Month

During National Higher Education Month, we celebrate the dedicated faculty and staff who ensure our students are able to grab their piece of the American Dream through higher education. Designated by the 2019 NEA Representative Assembly, October's National Higher Education Month (NHEM) provides an opportunity to build bridges between PK-12 educators and students, and their higher-ed colleagues and institutions.  

Below you’ll find NEA resources regarding higher education, including ways to fight austerity cuts on our campuses and defend the high-quality public higher education our students need to succeed. You'll also find a signup form for the NEA HigherEd email newsletter so you can stay up-to-date on the latest higher education news. 

becky pringle
Your work matters. Our work matters. From pre-kindergarten to higher education, every NEA member is connected in the mission of the NEA—to prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world.
Quote by: Becky Pringle, NEA President

National Higher Education Pledge

Pledge to reject austerity measures that damage our institutions and decrease opportunities for our students, and to raise our voices together to stand up for the public good that is public higher education.

Add your voice by taking our pledge!

What you need to know about NEA Membership:

  • Your national union can help you get the contract you deserve. 
    NEA Higher Ed maintains a comprehensive, searchable database of college and university metrics, including employee salaries, and has trained higher ed leaders in the growing practice of bargaining for the common good.

  • Your union also can help you be a better educator  
    NEA’s partnership with the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network is producing a robust, online library of Thriving in Academe guides.

  • …and improve your leadership skills, too.  
    NEA provides a variety of training opportunities and resources, including advanced workshops at the NEA National Leadership Summit and pre-summit NEA Higher Ed conference. 

  • Stay informed with NEA emails and webinars. 
    NEA Higher Ed members get the scoop from the NEA Higher Ed email newsletter, which provides opportunities to advocate on federal legislation, learn about trends on campuses, and more. 

  • Get a voice in the development of progressive policy. 
    NEA’s Representative Assembly has committed to measures to promote safe campuses, equity for contingent faculty, and a balanced approach to online learning. 

  • Be protected. 
    The NEA Educators Employment Liability (EEL) Program protects most union members with up to $1 million in personal liability coverage for incidents arising from their work. 

  • Join us in standing up for social and racial justice. 
    NEA has committed to eradicating institutional racism in every level of education, and is working to protect immigrant students and employees, as well as LGBTQ students and employees, and is organizing faculty and staff on HBCU campuses. 

  • And save money, too! 
    You don’t join a union for discounts at restaurants and hotels… but NEA Member Benefits also offers financial services around homeownership, student loan repayment, and retirement planning, plus member rates on insurance access to the NEA long-term care program. 

Become a member!

Higher Education is the Gateway to the American Dream

NEA Higher Education news you may have missed

Meet the 2020 NEA Higher Educator of the Year

Elizabeth Davenport, a professor at Alabama State University, talks about the future of HBCUs, the value of mentoring, and why she's a hard grader.

Faculty and Staff Raise the Alarm Over Reopening College Campuses

With hundreds of thousands of college students expected to move onto campuses this month, faculty and staff are worried about inevitable COVID-19 outbreaks.

NEA, CTA Win Lawsuit Against DeVos, Protect Online College Students

A federal court has ordered Betsy DeVos to implement protections for students in online programs - the latest blow to her anti-public education agenda.

Looking for resources?

Great faculty and staff create colleges and universities. NEA provides the training, tools, and community support for educators to engage students, nurture justice, and excel in their profession.
Member Marcia MacKey
The union has supported me in everything. I have gotten all sorts of training. I think I am much better in the classroom because of my union work. I think I am a better advocate because I found out I have a voice.
Quote by: Marcia Mackey, Associate Professor of Sport Management and Aquatics, Michigan Education Association

Check out Higher Ed Professional Growth

Since 1999, NEA has partnered with the Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network to provide teaching guides for faculty.


National Council of Higher Education 

NCHE is an independent membership organization for all higher education members of the National Education Association who join. 

Five Tips for Successful Class Field Trips 

A college or university visit can empower at-risk students by providing experiences that fundamentally change their feelings that college is only accessible to certain people. Check out these great tips from NEA Member Benefits before your next field trip.

State Cuts to Higher Education Threaten Access and Equity
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shares that a decade since the Great Recession hit, state spending on public colleges and universities remains well below historical levels.

Take Action on Higher Education

Contact your lawmakers and tell them to reinvest in post-secondary education, focus on affordability, and provide supportive environments for teaching and learning.
Take Action

Sign our National Pledge

Reject austerity measures that damage our institutions and hurt our students.
Sign the Pledge
Professor speaking to small group of adult students.

Learn more about NEA Higher Ed

Our work as higher education faculty, staff and graduate assistants is fundamental to the well-being of this nation. As NEA members, we embrace the mission of our national union — “to prepare every student to succeed in a diverse and interdependent world”
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.