When I found out that I was the education chair for the 2013 annual conference in St. Louis, I had a split-second nervous breakdown followed by an excitement that can’t be expressed into words. This is my first time serving on the Conference Planning Team and my first time working to create intentional and inspired educational content for an international conference. Our Central Office liaisons and the International Education Council have been incredibly supportive and helpful, and the entire experience so far has been exactly what I always dreamed it would be—stressful, inventive, challenging, and just plain awesome!
There are quite a few pieces of conference education that the education team and I are excited for you to discover at the annual conference next March. The first is the promise of more than 20 hours of educational opportunities over the course of the conference! We will be offering 10 education blocks with eight to 10 educational sessions per block, as well as 10 25-minute “discovery sessions” (flash sessions) offered during a variety of education blocks throughout the week. The “unconference” education format introduced in Boston will continue with its own block of “perspective discussions” (round-tables). Technology demonstrations will occur periodically during ACUI Expo times, allowing education to weave through every aspect of the conference.
Additionally, the education team is very excited to introduce a Conference Education Guide that will have a strong focus on the ACUI core competencies and is meant as a tool to assist conference delegates in making education a more intentional experience at the 2013 annual conference. Delegates will be able to create an organized conference schedule prior to arrival in St. Louis which will focus on one or two desired core competencies. The guide will assist them in creating educational goals and can be used to track progress throughout the conference. It is important to note that this guide is meant as an educational tool only and is not a mandatory expectation for all conference delegates to use. Our hope would be that those who do choose to utilize it provide us with feedback before, during, and after the conference as to the tool’s effectiveness for future conferences.
Finally, we are extremely excited about our focus on educational session presenters; both those that are chosen for the 2013 conference and those not chosen. We will be working closely with all chosen presenters to assist them in focusing their final presentations. Those not chosen will be provided individualized feedback on their session proposal to assist them for future educational session submissions. Also new this year is the development of a presenter webinar, which all chosen presenters will be encouraged to attend, so that education expectations and presenter tips can be shared.
As the educational session submission deadline approaches, we fully encourage any and all ACUI members to submit at least one proposal by Wednesday, Aug. 1. We would love to see new presenters and a diverse array of session topics for the 2013 annual conference. If you are interested in submitting a session or would just like to learn more about the 2013 annual conference, visit www.acui.org/stlouis.
What new perspective will ACUI delegates discover from you at the 2013 annual conference?
is the Program Coordinator for the Office of Student Activities & Leadership Development at Western New England University.
Laura is currently serving on the 2013 ACUI Conference Program Team, as well as volunteering at the regional level as a part of the Region 1 Leadership Team’s Education Council. Laura was recently awarded the ACUI Region 1 New Professional Award and the Adell McMillan Scholarship. She has a master’s degree in counselor education with a concentration in student development in higher education from Central Connecticut State University.