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3 Tips for 2016 Annual Conference First-Timers

With the ASCA 2016 Annual Conference just around the corner, ASCA staff and leadership are buzzing with excitement in anticipation of all the great things in store for attendees. This year's theme, "Growing the Profession," highlights the intersection between student development initiatives, the compliance expectations impacting student conduct practices, and the professional development necessary to evolve how student conduct professionals work with students and grow the profession. 

Conference attendees are already taking an important step in growing the profession by taking a proactive approach to their own professional development and engaging with fellow student conduct professionals to discuss top issues in the field. Here are a few tips to help first-time attendees make the most of their conference experience:

1. Plan ahead

The conference will showcase a number of sessions covering a variety of topic areas, including sexual misconduct and Title IX, conflict resolution, and threat assessment – to name a few. So many great options can leave any attendee wondering where to start. A great starting point is reviewing the session options and planning ahead. Make note of the opening general session and slot in other sessions you'd like to attend.

Also check out this year's keynote and featured speakers:
 
  • Irshad Manji – Keynote, Author, and Professor at New York University
  • Susan Komives – Featured Speaker, Author and Executive Editor of the New Directions in Student Leadership series
  • W. Scott Lewis, J.D. – Featured Speaker, Partner with The NCHERM Group, and President of the Student Affairs Community College Association
  • Saunie Schuster – Featured Speaker, Partner with The NCHERM Group, and former ASCA President
  • Bill Fisher - Featured Speaker, Vice President for Student Development at the University of Dayton
  • Dr. John Wesley Lowery – Featured Speaker, Department Chair, and Professor in the Student Affairs in Higher Education Department at Indiana University of Pennsylvania
  • Dana Bolger – Featured Speaker, Co-founder, and Executive Director of Know Your IX

2. Take advantage of resources

Be sure to schedule time for the First-Time Attendee Orientation. We recommend setting up a tour of the conference site to get acclimated to the layout – which will be helpful in getting from session to session on time! ASCA's Career Connections will be hosting various events, such as a resume review session on Saturday morning, throughout the conference and there will be opportunities for both new and seasoned professionals to get involved. You can also visit the Lobby/Hospitality area to relax or mingle with other attendees. Conference staff is available to help locate sessions or assist with dining/shopping recommendations.

3. Be active

One of the best things about the annual conference is the opportunity to network with other student conduct professionals. There will be many opportunities to network, mix, and mingle with attendees from across the country. ASCA also hosts state meetings members can attend to connect with colleagues from their state or region. For those who would like to engage with folks online, follow ASCA on Twitter and Facebook and use the conference hashtag #ASCA16 to join the conversation.

Still have questions or concerns? ASCA is a friendly group, so feel free to reach out to other members, officers, past presidents, state coordinators and committee members for advice or help!

For more info on the annual conference, visit: http://ascaconference.com.

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