An Affiliated Program Group of the College of Education Alumni Society & Penn State Alumni Association. Download a PDF of our constitution and bylaws here, or read them below.


The purpose of the Penn State Higher Education Program Alumni Council (HEPAC) shall be to foster the continued interest of all graduates and former students of the Higher Education Master’s and Doctoral Programs and related College of Education (COE) graduates and former students who have taken Higher Education graduate classes (e.g., Counselor Education, Educational Leadership/Theory and Policy); and to provide a means whereby alumni may join together for the improvement of the Program and the University in its entirety.

HEPAC is an Affiliate Program Group (APG)* chartered by the College of Education (COE) Alumni Society, focused on promoting alumni engagement. HEPAC connects Higher Education Program Alumni through various programming, networking, and professional development activities. The Council serves as an informal advisory board to the Higher Education Programs and the Center for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE) and collaborates with the COE to advance strategic objectives.

*Per the Penn State Alumni Association, Affiliate Program Groups (APGs) are chartered by their college or campus alumni society. APGs are similar to societies, with the exception that this connection is focusing on the promotion and development of the academic department rather than the entire college or campus. Some APG activities include networking, mentoring, and student recruitment. An Affiliate Program Group (APG) consists of alumni or friends of Penn State who have a common interest in a particular academic, professional, or extracurricular activity that is related to a specific college or campus program.
[Vision will be documented separately.]

The governing body of the Council shall include regular members, ex officio members, and
Executive Council as prescribed below.

SECTION 1. REGULAR MEMBERS The Council shall consist of at least ten voting members
selected from the Council’s Regular Membership. Members are encouraged to join the Penn State Alumni Association. When members donate to the Penn State Alumni Association, a portion of dues go specifically to your college.

SECTION 2. EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS The Council shall invite five individuals to serve as non-voting ex-officio members. The ex-officio positions invited to serve include: (1) the Program Coordinator (formerly Professor-in-Charge) of the HEP; (2) the President of the Higher Education Student Association (HESA); (3) the Director of the Center for the Study of Higher Education (CSHE); (4) a representative from the COE Development and Alumni Relations Office; and (5) the Head of the Department of Education Policy Studies.

SECTION 3. ABSENCES Two (2) consecutive unexplained absences from Council meetings maybe deemed a resignation. Attendance format may be in-person or virtual depending on current goals and requirements of the Council. Active participation is encouraged. Members are expected to represent HEPAC, Penn State, and the profession with a positive, action-based focus.

SECTION 4. VACANCIES OF UNEXPIRED TERMS The Council shall be empowered to fill any un-expired terms of Council members.


SECTION 1. NOMINATION PROCEDURE The Regular Members of the Council shall be identified and nominated by a Nominating Committee annually in the Spring in conjunction with term expirations, appointed by the presiding officer. Additional nominations will be accepted by the committee from the general membership of the Council. Solicitation of nominations shall be announced in all available communication outlets. The Council will accept more nominations than vacancies in the event one of the nominees declines.

SECTION 2. APPOINTMENT The slate of nominated individuals will be placed to a vote in an online format among the current Council membership. A simple majority of affirmative votes from HEPAC membership in total will signify appointment and determine the member selected in the case of multiple nominees for appointments.

SECTION 3. APPOINTMENT The Regular Members of the Council shall serve terms of three (3) years. Ex-Officio Members serve terms concurrent with their professional position.

SECTION 4. CONSECUTIVE TERMS Members may serve two (2) consecutive terms. After serving the second consecutive term, Regular Members may not serve again in the same capacity for at least three years.

SECTION 5. STAGGERED TERMS At the conclusion of the first three-year term in existence, the Council shall enact staggered terms of office for all Regular Members.

SECTION 1. OFFICERS Executive Officers of the Council shall consist of a President,
Vice-President, Immediate Past President and Secretary.

SECTION 2. ELECTION OF OFFICERS The Council shall elect their officers by process of
nomination and simple majority vote.

SECTION 3. TERMS OF OFFICE Executive Officers shall serve terms of two (2) years. Officers may serve up to three (3) consecutive terms in the same position. At the conclusion of the third consecutive term the Officer may not serve again in the same capacity for two (2) years. Executive Officers shall continue to serve until the completion of their Executive term even if it exceeds their Regular Member appointment.

SECTION 4. OFFICE VACANCIES A vacancy occurring in the Presidency shall be filled by the Vice-President. Should a vacancy occurring in the office of Vice-President, or the vacancy of the President should occur when there is no Vice-President, the President and Vice-President positions shall be filled by a vote of the Council. Should any other office be vacant, the Council shall hold a special election to fill the office for the remaining time of the term of the office.

SECTION 1. PRESIDENT The President shall preside at all meetings and other activities of the Council, and report all activities to the Council. The President shall perform duties commonly incidental to such office including authorization of all expenditures, and serving as an ex-officio member of all committees. The President shall serve as representative to the Board of Directors of the COE Alumni Society, and as such must be a member of the Penn State Alumni Association.

SECTION 2. VICE-PRESIDENT The Vice-President shall perform such duties as may be designated by the President and the Council. In the absence of the President, the Vice-President shall preside at meetings. The Vice President, or his or her designee, shall be Chair of the Nominating committee.

SECTION 3. IMMEDIATE PAST-PRESIDENT The Immediate Past-President is filled by the most recently retired President for the two (2) year period following the installation of the new President. The responsibility of this position includes providing assistance as needed for all Council Officers, assisting the President in the transitional period and in setting Council guidelines, policy and direction.

SECTION 4: SECRETARY The Secretary shall be responsible for member outreach. This position will support budget, and connections between the Council and Alumni Relations Office. The Secretary shall be responsible for the records of the Council and shall work to ensure that the website is up-to-date. Please see Article VIII – Budget – for details on HEPAC funding.

SECTION 1. REGULAR MEETINGS The Council shall hold meetings in alignment with the annual COE Alumni Society schedule to conduct the affairs of the Council. Such meetings may be held virtually or in person.

SECTION 2. SPECIAL MEETINGS Special Meetings shall be held at such time and place as
determined by the Council. Notice shall be made to the members of the Council.

SECTION 3. QUORUM A simple majority of voting members of the Council shall constitute a Quorum.

SECTION 4. PROXY VOTING Proxy voting shall be prohibited.

SECTION 1. STANDING COMMITTEES There shall be 3 Committees of the Council: Executive, Membership, and Outreach/Communications. Additional committees may be created by the Council as deemed necessary.

SECTION 1. 1 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE The members of the Committee shall be all Council
Officers. The Executive Committee shall be empowered to create the agenda for Council Meetings, have emergency decision making powers, and carry on the business of the Council whenever necessary between Regular or Special meetings of the Council; however, all decisions of the Executive Committee regarding unbudgeted expenditures of funds in excess of $750 must have prior approval by a majority vote of the Council. Responsibilities of the Executive Committee are as follows:

  • Serve as alternate representatives to the COE Alumni Society Board in the absence of the President
  • Field ad hoc projects for the Council and coordinate working groups as necessary as projects arise
  • Prepare Council meeting logistics, including space, food, agenda, and supplies
  • Communicate between the COE Alumni Society Board and the Council regarding budget
  • Maintain the membership roster in conjunction with the Higher Education Program administrative assistant

SECTION 1.2 MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE The Membership Committee is to be chaired by the Vice-President or his or her designee. This committee is charged with identifying, soliciting and forwarding nominations for membership and executive officers to the Council and assisting with activities that help connect Council members to HEP alumni and students. Responsibilities of the Membership committee are as follows:

  •  Forming and supporting a diverse representation of members on the Council
  •  Bringing forward potential members at the annual Spring meeting for   consideration by the Council

SECTION 1.3 OUTREACH/COMMUNICATION The Outreach/Communication Committee is charged with advising the HEP in its efforts to communicate with its constituencies and assisting with student development by organizing activities that enhance the career and personal development of current students and alumni. Responsibilities of the Outreach/Communication Committee are as follows:

  • Developing or referring to existing programming such as alumni panels, webinars, conferences, or events
  • Creating communication venues for upcoming events, awards, and other engagement opportunities

SECTION 2. APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEE MEMBERSHIP The Executive Committee shall assist in determining all committee membership appointments.
Each standing committee shall be chaired by a member of the Executive Committee or his or her designee, as approved by the President. Any member of the Executive Committee who has appointed a designee committee chair shall serve in a liaison relationship to that chair. The liaison relationship is encouraged, as it will help to engage more regular Council members in HEPAC leadership. The liaison relationship will also help to facilitate communication with the Executive officers for smooth coordination of operations.

HEPAC has an opportunity for access to an annual budget provided by the College of Education Alumni and Development Office. Funds may be requested from Alumni Relations through an administrative representative from the Department of Education Policy Studies, and coincide with the financial year of the Alumni Society (July 1 to June 30). While HEPAC does not focus on fundraising, and has no dues, a budget supports HEPAC community gatherings. Funds may be used towards professional development, and resources for networking and mentoring.

SECTION 2. EXPENDITURES The Council will expend funds as necessary for activities or programs directed at achieving the Council’s purpose and primary objectives.

SECTION 3. BUDGET The Council will be responsible for preparing and maintaining an annual budget in accordance with office responsibilities outlined in Article V.

SECTION 1. AMENDMENTS AND BYLAWS Amendments and Bylaws to this Constitution may originate with the Council. The proposed Constitutional amendments or Bylaws changes must be submitted in writing to the presiding officer of the Council not less than two (2) months ahead for inclusion on the agenda of the next Council meeting. Amendments to this Constitution require a 3/4th majority of the Council while changes to the Bylaws require a simple majority. Notice shall be given as required by the Constitution.

Updated October 2023