What are Convention Sponsored Programs?

By Jenny Small and Jason Cottrell, ACPA19 Sponsored and Co-Sponsored Programs Co-Chairs

In June 2018, the program submission process for ACPA19 launched. If you peruse the list of program types on the Convention website, you can review the six different program categories available for proposals. Your proposed session may fit best as a Career Snapshot, Extended Program, Research Paper, or Research & Practice Poster. If your topic would best fit as either a Convention Program (60-minute presentation or panel session on a specific topic) or an Experiential Program (75-minute presentation of a specific topic that includes an interactive skill-building or active learning opportunity for participants), we recommend you consider submitting your program for entity group sponsorship.

As Co-Chairs of Sponsored Programs for ACPA19, we want to ensure everyone has the necessary information to determine if sponsorship is appropriate for their programs. As former entity group leaders ourselves (Jenny as a past chair of the Commission for Spirituality, Faith, Religion, and Meaning, and Jason as a former President of the North Carolina College Personnel Association and the ACPA Assembly Coordinator for State Chapters), we know how critical it is to have excellent proposals pass through the sponsorship process.

Entity groups are subgroups within our association that allow us to gather with others who share our identities, professional roles, career levels, and locations. Membership in these groups is self-selected; if you want to join, you are free to do so! There are dozens of Coalitions, Networks, Commissions, and Communities of Practice, each of which brings together ACPA members from around the association to learn, share, support, and network. (For the purposes of ACPA19, sessions sponsored by Chapters and International Divisions will follow a different process.)

Each entity group may sponsor up to five programs at Convention. The leadership of each entity group selects their own program reviewers and makes their selections for sponsorship based on the program reviewer rubric. Programs submitted through this method bypass evaluation by general program reviewers, instead of being considered by those with direct knowledge and/or experience in the entity group’s focus area. During Convention, sponsored and co-sponsored programs receive extra support from their sponsoring entity group(s), typically with targeted advertising, a special listing in the program guide, a personal introduction during the Convention itself, and raised attendance at the session by people affiliated with the group.

There is one more factor we ask you to consider before proposing a sponsored program, and that is the potential match of your session topic with the identity, professional role, or career level represented by our entity groups. Sponsored programs are most effective when there is alignment between the topic at hand and the interests of entity group members.

During the submission process, you will be able to choose up to two entity groups for potential sponsorships. If selected, your program may be sponsored by either group or co-sponsored by both. If neither group selects your program, it is reviewed in the general program submissions process. Please contact the ACPA19 Program Team at conventionprograms@acpa.nche.edu with any questions.

Remember: the deadline for all program submissions is Friday, 7 September 2018.


Dr. Jenny L. Small (she/her/hers) is an independent scholar, teacher, and facilitator on the topic of college student worldviews. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Convergence, Managing Editor of Convergence Magazine, and an Associate Editor of Journal of College & Character. Dr. Small is a past Chair of the ACPA Commission for Spirituality, Faith, Religion, and Meaning.


Dr. Jason Cottrell (he/him/his) is a Research Analyst in the Office of Postsecondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education (ED). His work focuses on program evaluation, Titles III, V, and VII (HBCU and MSI) grants, and data analysis. Prior to working at ED, Dr. Cottrell worked at several institutions in a variety of functional areas. He also served as the President of the North Carolina College Personnel Association (NCCPA) and the ACPA Assembly Coordinator for State Chapters.

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