In 2010 there existed two active associations within Canada that represented higher education learning specialists: the Learning and Study Skills Association (LASSA), created in 1978, composed of members from Ontario and English Quebec; and the Learning Specialist Association of British Columbia (LSABC), created in 1979, composed of members from British Columbia and other western provinces. In December 2008, the memberships of both associations voted to create an ad-hoc committee to explore merging their associations to form one national higher education learning developers association. This Constitution and these Bylaws are the results of this convergence of thought and effort.
This national association is of interest to those professionals who may hold one of the following job titles: academic counsellor, academic skills counsellor, academic skills strategist, academic specialist, counsellor, disability counsellor, disability specialist, disability strategist, education officer, educational counsellor, learning centre coordinator or manager, learning counsellor, learning skills strategist, learning specialist, learning strategist, personal academic counsellor, professional tutor, personal counsellor – education, student services counsellor, or any other title that indicates a similar role. This list of titles is not exclusionary.
The Constitution and Bylaws of this national association should be interpreted in an inclusive way across Canada.
Definition of Terms
- Biennial – an event that occurs every two years.
Article 1. NAME
- The name of the organization shall be the Learning Specialists Association of Canada, hereinafter referred to as the LSAC or the Association.
Article 2. PURPOSE
- The principle purposes of the Association shall be to:
- provide national and regional leadership on issues relevant to our members
- promote the professional status of our members
- develop, encourage, and support sound professional and ethical standards amongst our members
- facilitate the networking of our members to share information and hold conferences and other gatherings
- support the professional development and practice of our members.
- present, publish, and disseminate research and discussion material appropriate to our members
- serve as a link with other similar organizations internationally.
Article 3. MEMBERSHIP
- Our members are committed to academic success and the belief that learning is a lifelong process.
- Our members are professionals whose work in higher education institutions supports and furthers students, faculty, staff, and administrative goals. They have specialized education and training that often includes educational theory and practice, developmental psychology, curriculum design, and/or accessibility/disability issues.
- Our members are skilled in counseling, teaching, facilitation, problem solving, and communication. They use their skills to provide comprehensive learning development support through a variety of assessments, methods, strategies, and programs that are developed using scholarship, empirical data, practical experience, and sound pedagogy.
- The categories and procedures for membership shall be set forth in the Bylaws.
Article 4. OFFICERS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- The Officers of the Association shall be the:
- The election process for the Officers, their duties, responsibilities, and terms shall be set forth in the Bylaws.
Article 5. BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- The Board of Directors shall be composed of:
- The Officers of the Association
- The Regional Chairs of the Association
- The Past-President
- The National Conference Chair
- The International Relations Director
- The composition of the Association’s regions, the election process for the Board of Directors, their duties, responsibilities, and terms shall be set forth in the Bylaws.
Article 6. MEETING
- The Officers, Board of Directors, and membership of the Association shall meet regularly as set forth in the Bylaws.
Article 7. FINANCES
- All revenue received by the Association shall be used entirely for the work of the Association in furthering its purpose.
- The Association will conduct its business as an incorporated non-profit.
- The membership fee and other financial obligations shall be set forth in the Bylaws.
Article 8. AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION
- The Association may amend its constitution by an affirmative vote of two-thirds of the professional membership according to the voting procedure set forth in the Bylaws. Such amendments will be considered valid provided that notice of motion is given to the membership in writing at least fourteen days before the meeting at which the amendment is proposed. Affirmed amendments will go into effect five business days after ratification.
Article 9. BYLAWS
- The Association shall have the authority to adopt or amend Bylaws for the conduct of its affairs. The procedure for adopting or amending Bylaws shall be set forth in the Bylaws.
Article 10. NON-DISCRIMINATION
- The Association will not discriminate on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, or mental or physical disability in any of its policies, procedures, or practices.
Article 11. CONFLICT RESOLUTION
- There shall be a conflict resolution process to resolve conflict related to the governance of the Association that will proceed in a positive way that respects the individuals involved, considers multiple perspectives and possibilities, and values the legitimate needs of everyone involved.
Article 12. DISSOLUTION
- Proposals and the procedure for the dissolution of the Association shall confirm to the rules for constitutional amendments. After satisfying all debts and liabilities the assets of the Association shall be dealt with as set forth in the Bylaws.