Annual Conference Call For Proposals

Opens December 14, 2018 and Closes February 21, 2019 

Submit a Proposal

Proposal submission overview (recommended reading for anyone considering submitting a proposal).

Call for Proposal Brochure Instructions on Submitting a Proposal Track Description

Proposal Submission Information

Specific information on proposal submissions may be found by clicking on the tabs below. If you cannot find what you are looking for, please contact us at or call the NACADA Executive Office at (785) 532-5717.

Instructions for Online Submission
Presentation Proposal Tutorial
Important Online Submission Instructions

Online Submission Instructions

  1. You must complete all items of the online proposal - incomplete applications will not be accepted. If you experience difficulty submitting online, please call the NACADA Executive Office at (785) 532-5717 or email
  2. Please submit all information in plain text. 
    1. **No bullets or other special characters will be accepted in the abstract.
    2. Bulleted lists are allowed in the proposal.
  3. Proposals received after February 21, 2019 will not be reviewed.
Proposal Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of:

  • Timeliness of the subject matter
  • Topic's contribution to advising field
  • Clearly stated purpose and objectives
  • Creativity in an approach to a situation or in ways to manage it
  • Adaptability of ideas to a variety of institutional settings
  • Reflective of good writing practices

Presentation titles should be descriptive of the content of the session. They need not reflect the title of the conference. Presentation titles should be short and concise.

Priority will be assigned to proposals that demonstrate new ideas or methods, or indicate a high level of knowledge and unique treatment of the topic. Proposals from novice, as well as experienced presenters, researchers, and practitioners are earnestly solicited.

Understanding the Online Application Form

Please enter 1 to 2 keywords that best describe your presentation (maximum of two words per field). Examples would include but are not be limited to: retention, 2-year college, military students, academic coaching, high-achieving, appreciative advising, etc. These keywords will be used to match your proposal with the appropriate reviewers.

Only co-presenters who will actually be at the conference should be listed. You may have many persons who worked on your project, but we list only those presenters who will be making the actual presentation. 

Prior Experience Information
Made available to the program and advising community chairs to help them decide which proposals to designate as 'Community Sponsored'. We strongly encourage submissions from both experienced and novice presenters.

Commercial Policy
Proposals from individuals who do not represent accredited higher education institutions will be reviewed separately. At no time is it permissible for a session or workshop presenter to use his/her presentation time slot to advertise or promote a commercial product, service, or company. View a complete description of the NACADA Commercial Policy.

Program Format
If you choose concurrent as the format you wish to present, please be specific in your abstract on how much interaction will take place in your session. Concurrent sessions are 60-minute presentations that can be either a lecture format, or a panel format. 

Panel Format
A panel will consist of a brief introduction by the panel moderator, followed by a brief presentation from each panelists followed by an interactive question-and-answer period with the audience. The best panel sessions are highly interactive, with panelists representing multiple points of view or perspectives from different institutions.

Panels will be formed by individuals submitting their own teams; panels will not be teamed up by the Annual Conference Committee. All panel sessions are expected to have a moderator for their session. When submitting a proposal please include all panelists names that will be taking part in the presentation. Panels are expected to represent the views or perspectives of more than one institution.

Poster Presentations
Presented in the form of a bulletin display and delivered primarily through the use of graphics and handout materials. These sessions are most appropriate for display of specific programmatic approaches and research findings. The presenter should expect to make brief remarks when approached by attendees, share information, and answer questions about the presentation topic. All poster sessions are presented during a 1 hour poster breakfast or lunch. Audiovisual equipment nor internet is available for poster sessions.

Audio/Visual (AV) Requests

  • Check only specific equipment essential to deliver your presentation. Technology should be utilized only when it significantly enhances the quality of your presentation. Please be conservative in your request and consider alternatives. Presenters must be capable of connecting their own computers to rented data projectors. NACADA cannot provide setup assistance to individuals at the conference. 
  • You are encouraged to bring your own data projector. NACADA will provide a projection cart and screen. Again, be adept at setting up your own computer and projector at the conference.
  • Computers are your responsibility.
  • AV cannot be utilized for Poster Presentations.

Program Tracks
Select an advising topic/track as it applies to the content of your presentation.  Tracks and keywords are used in dividing the proposals up to go out to readers. The tracks are also used in the onsite program to help attendees decide which session they would like to attend.

Target Audience
This information is required but will be used for the conference program only, not as part of the acceptance process.

Presentation Proposal
Include the complete title of the presentation, but do not include your name. The proposal should state the presentation's objectives and clearly describe how objectives will be met (materials, methods, activities, etc.) Refer to evaluation criteria above. There is a 750-word limit on the proposal.

Presentation Abstract
135-word limit. Do not use bullets, italicize, bold or underline for emphasis.

The format will not be retained after online submission. This abstract will be published in the printed program should your proposal be accepted. Conference participants use session abstracts to determine which sessions to attend; therefore, it should accurately describe the content and focus of your proposed session. Include the complete title of the presentation, but do not include your name. Enclose cited publications in quotation marks. PLEASE proofread your abstract.

Abstracts exceeding the 135-word limit will not be reviewed. The 135-word limit includes the presentation's title.

Things to Remember (if your proposal is accepted)
  • All presenters (except for preconference workshops) are expected to submit electronic versions of handouts or other materials used in their sessions to NACADA, preferably prior to the conference, but within one week after it. The material is published to the conference web page, accessible only to conference attendees.
  • Due to budgetary considerations, it is not possible to offer either an honorarium or a waiver of registration fees to program presenters.
  • All presenters and co-presenters must register and pay for the conference.
  • Scheduling of programs is a complex process. If accepted, your program may be scheduled at any time during the conference. In June, you will receive notice of the date and time scheduled for your presentations. Please make travel plans accordingly.
  • A session canceled after August 1st is considered failure to meet the agreement made between NACADA and the presenter/s. Presenters canceling after the August 1st deadline will not be considered for further presentations for 4 consecutive years
  • All presenters listed must be registered. Failure to contact the Executive Office prior to August 1st of a presenter no longer participating in the session will disqualify the person from presenting for up to 4 consecutive years.

Questions? Contact the NACADA Executive Office | Phone: 785-532-5717 | e-mail:

Abstract vs. Proposal - What is the Difference?
  • The Abstract will appear in the conference program and is meant to attract attendees to your session.
  • The Proposal is your outline, or description, of your session that the proposal readers use to evaluate your session for inclusion in the conference schedule. Your proposal is never seen by conference attendees.
Three Characteristics of Effective Proposals
  1. A solid foundation for proposal content (a framework of the program should be evident based on data indicating success of a program or strategy discussed). Proposals should reflect the diversity of students and advising programs when possible.
  2. Adherence to proposal submission guidelines.
    • It is important to include all information requested in the program proposal guidelines and adhere to length restrictions where indicated.
  3. Reflective of good writing practices.
    • Well-written proposals are rated more favorably than those lacking clarity, specificity and conciseness. A logical program organization should be evident. Proofreading your proposal before submitting is essential.
Evaluation Criteria Used by Reviewers

Your proposal will be evaluated by fellow NACADA members, readers with expertise in the track area(s) you will choose on the proposal form, and members of the conference committee using these four standards:

  1. Clearly stated purpose, objectives, and learning outcomes
  2. Timeliness of the subject matter
  3. Topic's contribution to the advancement of the field of advising
  4. Creativity in an approach to a situation or in ways to manage it
Guidelines for Writing the Proposal

Reviewers rely on an in-depth, well-written description to enhance their understanding of the content and goals of the presentation. A complete description includes background information, an overview of the presentation, and a description of the format. If the program is reporting research, a description of methods, findings and recommendations may be appropriate - an emphasis on research results and collected data is highly desirable. The program description should also include learning outcomes, the relationship of the program to the conference theme, methods of audience involvement (i.e., engaging in discussion, sharing effective practices, analyzing a case study), and the familiarity and background of the presenters with the subject matter of the program.

If appropriate, an effective proposal description

  • Mentions relevant theories and research.
  • Includes an outline of the presentation.
  • Describes intended learning outcomes for participants.

Example of well-written proposals

Guidelines for Writing the Title and Abstract

The abstract and title are the portions of your submission that are printed in the conference program. Attendees will read these to decide which session to attend; therefore please accurately describe what attendees can expect at your session. Both should be considered thoughtfully, written concisely, and thoroughly proofread before submitting.

Writing an Effective Title

The program title is your first opportunity to invite the reader to your program. An effective title encourages the reader to review the abstract; a poorly written title can cause the reader to dismiss the proposal.

At a minimum, an effective title

  • Introduces the subject matter.
  • Captures the interest of the reader.
  • Does not become a run-on sentence (keep it brief).

If appropriate, an effective title

  • Identifies the scope, sequence and/or level of the program content.
  • Identifies specific group presenting.
  • Identifies potential target audience.

 Example of well-written program titles:

  • Why Do I Have to Take This Class??!
  • Advising as Teaching and Learning: Best Practices, Tools, and Tips
  • Applying the Glue that Holds Us Together: Building Trust Through Effective Advising Administration and Leadership
  • Helping High-Achieving Students Develop Parallel Plans

Writing an Effective Abstract

The abstract is a brief description of your presentation that provides the reader with an accurate picture of what the presentation will cover. The abstract helps conference attendees choose between over 25 concurrent sessions. Well-written abstracts identify the purpose and intent of the program, are concise, organized and specific. Additionally, effective abstracts begin with the most important information or thought. Defining unfamiliar abbreviations and acronyms is helpful to the reader. One hundred thirty-five words is not much; you may want to save your research and theory for the actual presentation and use the 135 words to outline the presentation content.

At a minimum, an effective abstract

  • Captures the attention of the reader.
  • Adheres to the abstract submission guidelines (135 words, including title). Please note that the abstract limit for preconference workshops is 250 words.
  • Previews the content and what the attendee can learn.
  • Identifies the manner of audience involvement
  • Clarifies the contribution of the topic to the field.
  • Alludes to the benefits of the program content.

If appropriate, an effective abstract

  • Summarizes the content and activities of the presentation.
  • Distinguishes the program format (e.g., group discussion).
  • Clarifies special programs that may not be familiar to NACADA members.
  • Designates the scope, sequence and/or level of the program content.
  • Names the potential target audiences.

Example of well-written abstracts

Important Reminders
  • A well-written proposal and abstract will enhance your application. Check for spelling errors before submitting! 
  • An individual may submit a maximum of four (4) presentation proposals, whether as a lead or co-presenter, for preconference workshops, poster sessions, concurrent sessions, panel sessions, community group meetings or Hot Topic sessions, per conference.
  • It is critical that the title and abstract reflect the content of your proposed session. Attendees depend on the abstract, printed in the conference program, to determine which sessions to attend.
  • Poor evaluation scores often result when the printed abstract bears little relation to the actual presentation and handouts are not uploaded on the interactive schedule planner before the conference begins. These are the two most mentioned criticism on individual evaluations.
  • Deadline for submitting is February 21, 2019Late proposals will not be accepted. Do not wait until the last day to submit your proposal.