Membership FAQ


Who can join?
Current and former NOLS/WMI Instructors.  If you are a graduate of an IC or ITC, the NIA wants you, no matter how many courses you work each year. 


What's an Associate Member?

Associate Members are former instructors.  If you are Senior Staff (having worked 60 weeks or more), but you haven't worked in the last three years, you are eligible to be an associate member.  The NIA holds periodic votes to determine the President and Board Members, as well as our stance on particularly important issues.  Associate members aren't eligible to vote.  


Why do I have to pay dues?
The money we collect from members funds all of our operations: visibility and recruitment projects, branch meeting supplies, modest stipends for the board members who put in the most time, and this website. We don't receive any funding from NOLS. You can see where your dues go here.  


Even more importantly, a contribution is the means by which we differentiate members from non-members. Otherwise we could claim that all instructors are automatically NIA members. The Board of Trustees and Executive Director Team would likely find this unconvincing. 


We think our dues are quite reasonable: only $20 per year.  That's less than $2 a month.  By means of comparison, Walmart Associates pay $60 each year in dues to their representative organization (O.U.R. Walmart).

My auto renewal lapsed because the credit card I used has expired.  
How do I update my credit card info to maintain my membership?
  1. Open a second window in your browser so that you can refer back to these instructions.  
  2. In your second window, visit nolsinstructorassociation.org and click "Login" in the far upper left corner of your window.  If necessary, click the orange "Forgot password" link to retrieve it from your email. If this email does not arrive promptly, check your junk mail folder.
  3. Once logged in, click on your name in the top left corner of the screen.
  4. Click the "Renew to Weekday, Month Day, Year" button.
  5. Click the "Update and next" button.
  6. Click "Pay online."
  7. Continue to follow prompts to enter your new credit card information.

My auto renewal lapsed because the credit card I used has expired.
I never want to deal with this again.
How do I switch to a Lifetime Membership?

  1. Open a second window in your browser so that you can refer back to these instructions.  
  2. In your second window, visit nolsinstructorassociation.org and click "Login" in the far upper left corner of your window.  If necessary, click the orange "Forgot password" link to retrieve it from your email.  If this email does not arrive promptly, check your junk mail folder.
  3. Select "Join" from the menu at the top of the screen. 
  4. Click on the blue "Edit your member profile" link.
  5. Click the white "Change membership level" button on the right side of the page.
  6. Select "Lifetime Membership."
  7. Continue to follow prompts to enter credit/debit card information.

Click here for step-by-step photo instructions on how to switch to a Lifetime Membership. 


If you'd like to apply the dues you've already paid since the inception of nolsinstructorassociation.org on May 1, 2014 towards your Lifetime Membership, email the Membership Administrator for a code.


How do I get my t-shirt or belt buckle?

Check in at the NIA Table at the Faculty Summit and WMI Staff Meeting each year to receive your membership gift.  Branch Reps also distribute gifts during meetings.  Lifetime member who can't make it to a NOLS Branch this year?  E-mail the Visibility Coordinator and she'll send your belt buckle and t-shirt through the mail.


Can I cancel my dues in the future?

Sure. You will be notified by an automatically generated email before your credit card is charged, and canceling is easy:

  1. Open a second window in your browser so that you can refer back to these instructions.  
  2. In your second window, visit nolsinstructorassociation.org and click "Login" in the far upper left corner of your window.  If necessary, click the orange "Forgot password" link to retrieve it from your email.
  3. Select "Join" from the menu at the top of the screen. 
  4. Click on the blue "Edit your member profile" link.
  5. Click on the "Invoices and payments" button.
  6. Click the "Stop recurring payments" button. 

How does the NIA differ from a Union?

All unions are Labor Organizations, but not all Labor Organizations are unions.  The NIA is a Labor Organization, but not a union.  Although some of our many roles, such as advocating for a sustainable level of compensation, overlap with some of the roles fulfilled by unions in other fields, there are important differences between the NIA and a union.  For instance, NOLS instructors are never compelled to join the NIA.  In fact, the opposite is the case. Our influence is a direct function of the number of staff who voluntarily chose to demonstrate their support for our positions by paying $20 in annual dues.

Membership Gifts


Members and Associate Members get a trucker's cap or beanie when they join.







Lifetime Members get a hat and a belt buckle.





Not sure yet? All Instructors get a sticker.



Think creatively.

Act collectively.

Join the NIA.

The mission of the NIA is to communicate and advocate instructor views and to work within the NOLS community to promote the school's mission and values

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