Ed Session Proposals

The National Association for Campus Activities invites staff and students from member institutions and associate members to submit educational program proposals for NACA® Live and NACA® Conferences. Presenting is an excellent professional development opportunity, as you share expertise and demonstrate knowledge on topics relevant to students and professional school staff in campus activities and those who provide products and services related to campus activities.

Deadlines to Submit:

  • NACA Providence - July 18
  • NACA Birmingham - July 25
  • NACA Lexington - Aug. 1
  • NACA Riverside - Aug. 8
  • NACA St. Paul - Jan. 23
  • NACA Live - TBD

Choose the best format for your 50-minute presentation.

Components of an Education Session Proposal

Title: Give your ed session a title. While it is nice to have a catchy title, it is also important that the title reflects what the session is about. Try to limit the number of words in your title.

Description: You will be asked to provide two descriptions. The first description will be more in depth for the reviewers to read. The second will be a brief description (this is your elevator pitch!) that will be included in the NACA App and other print materials.

Target Audience: Choose ONE of the following audiences:

  • Undergraduate Students
  • Graduate Students
  • New Professional Staff (0-3 years experience)
  • Mid-Level Professional Staff (3-6 years experience)
  • Seasoned Professional Staff (6+ years experience)
  • Associate Members

Topics: There are pre-determined topics for each audience and your proposal should align with at least one of the topics for your proposed audience.

  • Undergraduate Student topics (align with the Student Leader Competencies)
    • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Accessibility
    • Leadership Development
    • Organization Development
    • Programming Development
    • NACA Member Information
  • Graduate Student topics
    • Campus Culture & Community Building
    • Human Resource Management
    • Organization Development & Advising
    • Program & Event Management
    • Social Justice & Inclusion
    • Graduate Student Experience
    • NACA Member Information
  • Professional Staff (topics are the same for all staff levels and align with the Professional Competencies)
    • Campus Culture & Community Building
    • Human Resource Management
    • Organization Development & Advising
    • Program & Event Management
    • Social Justice & Inclusion
    • NACA Member Information

Type of Presentation: What is the format of your presentation? All sessions are 50 minutes long so be sure to select the best format to relay your information.

  • Competency/Professional Development – focus on NACA Competencies and/or career readiness/professional development
  • Deep Dive – in-depth insights and discussion on a topic relevant to campus activities
  • Light Bulb – information about a best practice or latest trend in campus activities
  • Panel – diverse exploration of a topic with insight from a variety of perspectives

Learning Outcomes: List 2-3 learning outcomes - what you want participants to know or be able to do as a result of attending your session. Focus on what they will learn, not what they will do. For example, “students who attend this session will be able to list the five stages of the team development model.” Identify how participants can apply the material presented to their own work or personal development. 

Additional Presenter Details:  Be prepared to share the name, title, and institution/agency for any additional presenters.

NOTE: If you intend to submit an ed session to more than one conference, we recommend you type everything into a Word document so that you can copy and paste for each conference.

Presentation Formats

  • Competency/Professional Development – focus on one or more competencies listed in Competencies for Campus Activities Professionals and/or Competencies for Diversity & Inclusion and/or the Competency Guide for College Student Leaders and/or career readiness/professional development for undergraduate and graduate students or professional staff.
  • Deep Dive – in-depth insights and discussion on a topic relevant to campus activities. These sessions are typically designed for expereinced student leaders or seasoned professionals. 
  • Light Bulb – information about a best practice or latest trend in campus activities. This is a great opportunity for students to present!
  • Panel – diverse exploration of a topic with insight from a variety of perspectives. Gather folks with different experiences to provide insight.
  • Roundtable – engaging participants in a roundtable or networking discussion about a topic of common interest to participants. Roundtables are a flexible way to discuss a variety of topics through varied perspectives.

Presentation Tips

  1. Apple Devices: If you are using an Apple device or computer for your presentation, bring along your adaptor for LCD projectors. It will be needed in order to connect to the system correctly.
  2. Sound: Sound from your computer may not be provided. If you plan to show a video, bring a speaker.
  3. Microphone: You are required to use the microphones provided. This is an accessibility issue. Use the microphone even if you think you are loud enough or if you ask everyone can hear you and they say yes.
  4. Internet can be tricky: The convention center does have Wi-Fi, but with thousands of delegates, we cannot guarantee its strength. Bring a hot-spot, or download the videos and files you need before arriving at the conference. 
  5. Respect the next presenter: Pay attention to the time so you allow the next presenter the full time for set-up. Some set-ups are simpler than others, but everyone deserves the opportunity to fully prepare themselves to do what you just completed! 
  6. Determine the take-away message: People tend to only remember three to four points from a presentation. 
  7. PowerPoint/Prezi, keep it simple: Slides/frames that are easy to read and understand are typically the most effective slides in the presentation. Charts and graphs should be easily interpreted. We suggest no more than five words per line and no more than five lines per slide. Striking contrasts in color between words, graphics, and the background are more appealing to the human eye. 
  8. Respect the audience: Your message is further engaged in the audience’s mind when they sense that you care for them as audience members.
    • Eye contact: maintain eye contact with the audience. Slowly move from person to person and occasionally hold the contact for a few seconds.
    • Honesty: No one is perfect and all-knowing. When you don’t know an answer, admit it, offer to find out, and get back to the person. 
    • Save face: If you must disagree with an audience member, do so in a manner that allows the person to not feel shamed for their answer. 
    • Challenge:  We are all attending NACA events to learn something.  We understand that many of our delegates are students; however, that doesn’t mean they are not capable of grasping high-level concepts. We have delegates that are all at different levels of their experiences with campus activities, so make sure you create opportunities for delegates who attend your session(s) to expand their learning.
    • Learning Styles: Everyone has different learning styles.  Try to create some variety in your session in order to cater to different learning styles.  For example, if you’re presenting a lecture style session, you don’t have to stick to the traditional lecture, activity, share, questions, wrap up outline.  Have some fun and mix it up a bit.
  9. Manage questions: Make sure to allow time within your slotted presentation time for questions. Thank audience members for their questions and praise them for good points. Anticipate questions that most likely will be asked and mentally prepare answers. After the last question, transition into your summary as to have the last piece of your presentation.

Ed Session Scoring Guide

Volunteers review educational sessions on five categories using the following scoring guide:
0 = poor     1 = fair     2 = good 
Sessions that score an average of 4 or less will not be considered.

Session Description - Are the descriptions clear and does the session seem organized? Does the type of presentation chosen align with the subject matter and audience?

Learning Outcomes - Are the learning outcomes clearly stated? Are they relevant and applicable to the intended audience? Does the content align with the learning outcomes?

Applicability - Does this session provide practical knowledge that participants can apply to their own professional or personal development? 

Relevance/Importance - Is the session relevant for the intended audience? Is this topic important to the work of NACA participants and/or important to offer at the conference? Does the session align with NACA's values and/or competencies?

Overall Quality - Is the session new and innovative? Will this be a good session?