For nearly 40 years, the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) has served the higher education community by providing community and technical college faculty, staff, and administrators with programs and resources that facilitate teaching and learning excellence. In preparation of the 2017 NISOD’s annual conference, we asked NISOD Executive Director Edward J. Leach to share some fun facts, details, and information about this “must-attend” event for community and technical college educators.
Can you tell us a bit about the history of NISOD and the conference?
NISOD was conceptually conceived as a means to identify and disseminate best teaching practices to community college practitioners. During the 1960s and 1970s when community colleges were proliferating and establishing themselves as major players in their local communities, there was no widespread, organized strategy for sharing new ideas to improve teaching and learning. In 1978, at the American Association of Community Colleges’ annual conference, NISOD was born. For community and technical colleges that want to make the most of their professional development dollars, NISOD provides budget-friendly, high-quality, and faculty-focused programs and resources. For nearly 40 years, NISOD’s customer-focused approach has helped align our wide array of benefits with the needs of our members, which explains why the American Association of Community Colleges named NISOD, “The country’s leading provider of professional development for community college faculty, staff, and administrators.”
NISOD’s annual international conference became the flagship of its professional development activities. Each May, hundreds of faculty, administrators, and staff travel to Austin for multiple days of conference activities—a fitting time and way to celebrate another successful academic year. Corporate and other partners participate in the conference by identifying pressing issues facing community colleges, designing unique strategies to address those issues, and disseminating their offerings to member colleges.
What are the biggest impacts for conference attendees?
NISOD’s annual conference provides attendees with the resources, ideas, and solutions that drive excellence in all areas of community and technical college campuses. Conference participants are inspired by thought-provoking sessions and pre-conference seminars designed specifically for community and technical college educators committed to improving student achievement. With more than 300 sessions in a variety of focus areas and formats presented by community and technical college educators from across the nation and internationally, participants return to their campuses with dozens of ideas then can implement immediately!
What are some of the highlights of this year's conference?
This year’s conference will be held May 27-30 at the Hilton Austin. Highlights of the conference include:
- Keynote Speakers, Chuck Underwood and Dr. Belle Wheelan.
- Three Saturday excursions, including trips to San Antonio, Texas and to UT’s LBJ Library.
- The Sunday Evening Excellence Awards Dinner and Celebration honoring and celebrating Excellence Award recipients.
- Intensive, hands-on preconference seminars facilitated by teaching and learning experts.
- Special sessions facilitated by experts on the important issues facing today’s community and technical colleges.
- An exciting Exhibit Hall featuring NISOD exhibitors and sponsors demonstrating products and services.
- The Administrator Series featuring upper-level administrators sharing real-world solutions to today’s demanding campus challenges.
Many thanks to Executive Director Leach for sharing so much great information about NISOD as an organization as well as providing details about this year’s annual conference. ATE Central has been attending NISOD for almost a decade and will as usual have a booth (#404) in the Exhibit Hall. We will also have a Breakout Session on Sunday, May 28th where we will talk about ATE funding and resources for community college STEM educators. We would love to see you there! More information about conference registration can be found here. Faculty members at NISOD member colleges who would like to attend the 2017 conference, but do not have the financial means to do so, can apply for a NISOD Conference Scholarship.