Why Should You Attend Pre-Cons?

By: Lisa S. Kelsay
ACPA19 Pre-Convention Coordinator

The ACPA19 Annual Convention will again offer Pre-Convention Sessions.  These sessions are open to all from the undergraduate student up to and including senior level administrators.

ACPA19 will take place 3-6 March, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts with Pre-Convention Sessions on Saturday, 2 March and Sunday, 3 March.  There are multiple Pre-Convention sessions from which to choose. These sessions have been intentionally developed by thought leaders in the field with topics relevant and pressing for student affairs and higher education professionals.  

Participating in Pre-Convention Sessions is a great way to engage more thoroughly with a specific topic with more time than one can during general convention programs.  Pre-Convention Sessions are offered as either one 4-hour session Saturday afternoon (1:00pm – 5:00pm) or Sunday morning (8:30am – 12:30pm), or as an 8-hour session that extends over both the Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning blocks.  Pre-Convention Sessions are also cost-effective professional development opportunities at only $50 for a 4-hour session or $75 for an 8-hour session.

This year, we are excited to share that the Pre-Convention Sessions will address such topics as:

  • Assessment
  • Career Development
  • Indigenous and Black Student Affairs
  • International Students
  • Leadership
  • Racial Justice
  • Title IX

Check out the complete list which includes curriculum descriptions, presenter names, and times.

Why should YOU attend a Pre-Convention Session? ACPA members who have attended in prior years were asked how they would define or describe them, and here are some of their answers:

  • “Precons are the type of environments I learn the best within. They allow for a deeper dive into one topical area than a one hour session can allow.” (Laura Pruyne Arroyo, Associate Director for Educational Initiatives at University of Colorado Boulder)
  • “It’s really a cost-effective way to get the most from convention. I think of them more as ‘Institutes’ than Convention Sessions. One is able to delve at a much deeper level so it’s definitely worth the additional time at often a nominal cost. Definitely recommend!” (Melissa Jones, Assistant Dean for Student Involvement at University of Mary Washington)
  • “Highly recommend. Some of the best sessions I have attended were Pre-Cons” (Kent Porterfield, Vice President, Student Development at Saint Louis University)
  • These sessions are a “great way to network with a small group of people. Amazing opportunity to dive deeper into a topic of interest.” (Sean Robinson, Associate Professor at Morgan State University)
  • “Precons are a worthy investment they allow time for deeper engagement in a smaller group setting.” (Nanette Vega, Executive Director, Diversity & Inclusion at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine)

Pre-Convention Sessions are available to all, and depending on your interests, you could register for two 4-hour sessions or one 8-hour session.  There are multiple opportunities to engage in professional development topics! Sessions are now live and available for registration on-line.   If you have already registered for ACPA19, you may go back to add a Pre-Convention Session to your ACPA19 Convention Registration.  Log in to your Attendee Service Center using the link at the bottom of your confirmation email. For assistance, email info@acpa.nche.edu or call 202-835-2272.

As Jason Meriwether (Vice President for Student Success at Rhode Island College) states, participating in Pre-Convention Sessions are “Worth it.  Worth it. Worth it. Worth it.” The ACPA19 Convention Team is excited to engage with you in Boston.

Dr. Lisa S. Kelsay is the Assistant Dean of Liberal Arts and Director of Academic Arts at Moraine Valley Community College (IL) and has worked in both student and academic affairs at 2- and 4-year institutions for the past 22 years.  Within ACPA, she was the 2014-16 Assembly Coordinator of Commissions, 2009-12 Commission Chair for the Two-Year Colleges, and served on a number of directorates and convention teams. She is also a 2017 Diamond Honoree recipient.


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