NCSL Workshop Blocks

Student workshop blocks are sets of five sessions organized into the following themes. You will have the opportunity to attend nine workshops during the conference.

Workshop Block #1
Talk to ‘Em: Effective Communications for Leaders

A recent Harvard Business Review survey stated that 69 percent of managers are not comfortable communicating messages to others in the workforce. Communication is a key component of leadership development and these workshops will help you unlock important skills about communicating your messages and representing yourself accurately. Public speaking, articulation of thought, and communicating in groups are areas that will enhance any club, organization, or future career.
Learning Outcomes and Guiding Principle:

  • Effective communication
  • Public speaking
  • Articulating a message
  • (I)nfluence
  • (I)nquiry


Workshop Block #2
Network Like a Boss

Learn how to build impactful relationships and expand your network. Gain knowledge on how to create more meaningful connections, job opportunities, and more.
Learning Outcomes and Guiding Principle:

  • Networking skills
  • (I)nfluence
  • (I)nquiry


Workshop Block #3
Ready to Work? Preparing for Your First Professional Job (repeats)

A 2019 Dell Technologies survey stated that only 57 percent of Generation Z college students believe their education prepared them well for future careers. This workshop block will help solve these concerns. Professionals from various fields will provide the tools needed to succeed in a world after graduation using a combination of roundtable, panel conversation, and workshop delivery.
Learning Outcomes and Guiding Principle:

  • Career readiness
  • Professional development
  • Mentorship
  • (I)nfluence


Workshop Block #4
Innovative Leadership for Changing Times

A joint survey by the Academy for Innovative Higher Education Leadership and 2U finds one-third of deans believe the pace of change at their institutions is too slow. When innovation is lacking, leaders must step up and take charge or risk getting left behind. It is essential to recognize gaps, trends, and to disrupt the norm. These sessions will help you take your leadership to an innovative level in order to do the work necessary to understand and excel in the world of tomorrow.
Learning Outcomes and Guiding Principle:

  • Creative Leadership
  • (I)nnovation and Ideas 


Workshop Block #5
The Life of a Leader

The customer insight platform, Vision Critical states in a survey that while 47 percent of Millennials care about work-life balance, only 38 percent of Generation Z employees think it’s important. Leadership is a life lived every day and it is essential to find balance in thought and practice. Beyond the classroom and the conference, you’ll need skills to enhance your personal development, daily interactions, and more. You’ll need to find Guiding Principle and success that impact your professional and personal space. Gain skills in financial success, entrepreneurship, time prioritization, life management, and more.
Learning Outcomes and Guiding Principle:

  • Personal development
  • Soft skills development
  • (I)ntegrity
  • (Involvement)


Workshop Block #6
Inclusive Leadership

To be a leader requires you to not only understand concepts of diversity and inclusion but to embrace them. Our world continues to develop more voices and change agents who celebrate leadership from a diverse lens. This workshop block will help you gain a better understanding of valuing difference and respecting collaborative mindsets.
Learning Outcomes and Guiding Principle:

  • Diversity
  • (I)nclusion and (I)dentity
  • (I)nvolvement


Workshop Block #7
Feel Great and Lead Well (repeats)
In the fast-paced world of student leadership we often forget to take out time for ourselves. Student leaders need to learn techniques to successfully pay attention to and nurture their mental and physical health.
Learning Outcomes and Guiding Principle:

  • Mental Health Awareness
  • Physical Wellness
  • (I)ntegrity
  • (I)nclusion and (I)dentity

The Advisor Experience

Professional development for student advisors has always been an important part of NCSL, but this year, we have changed the format and content significantly to meet changing requirements and feedback from past years. The Advisor Experience Includes three tracks.

The Evolution of Higher Education

These workshops will address challenges in higher education and will also provide strategies towards student development and also develop higher areas of professional proficiency. Using key principles of NASPA, these workshops are research based and experiential in nature. Topics include: Generation Z training, Navigation of Office Climate and Culture, Equality and Inclusion.

The Strategy Lab

Empowerment starts with you. The Strategy Lab gives advisors an opportunity to lead and participate in conversations about developing specific strategies to take back to campus. The Strategy Lab fosters innovation and sharing of ideas through roundtable discussions with direct prompts. Advisors will get the opportunity to lead the conversations on trending topics and share expertise and experience in topics including strategic planning, student success, innovations within higher education, leadership, and recruitment and retention.

Beyond the EDU

These sessions and discussions introduce topics that go beyond the realm of traditional student affairs and higher educational tenets. Including areas such as, side hustles, financial management, multitasking, effective branding and more.

Advisor Lounge

Get away from the conference for a few moments for email, business back on campus, or embrace your creative juices, the lounge is a place for you to take conversations beyond the sessions or even relax for a bit.

Special Events

Leadership Day Party (Involvement, Inclusion and Identity)
Power networking, Swag Surf, Mediation Session, Leadership Heads UP game
Leadership Pop-Up Shop (Influence)

  • Professional Headshots
  • LinkedIn Profile Review
  • Resume Review
  • Tailoring Your Professional Look
  • Workout and Fitness
  • Financial Management

Networking and Inclusion Tables (Inclusion and Identity)
Networking at a conference is never easy. It’s more comfortable to stay, sit, and speak with people you know. Throughout the conference, Network and Inclusion Tables will make it easier to break away from sitting with your school friends. According to an ABC News survey 68% of junior/entry-level professionals value face-to-face networking more than online. Conversations will range from personal to professional to social sections to ensure new faces are meeting each other and sharing meaningful moments. Each table will have titles and be accompanied by topical prompts made to encourage dialogue.

LED Talks (Inclusion & Identity, Innovation, and Ideas)
Leadership, Expression, and Development are key to successful leadership. LED Talks provide students with the opportunity to be more than just attendees. This event is about providing equal space for attendees to participate and share a space on stage with our speakers and presenters. LED Talks is about spreading ideas and hearing about leadership from a multigenerational lens.

Evening Activity

Open Mic and Showcase (Innovation and Ideas)
The NCSL Open Mic returns! Student voices matter, and this respectful and energetic platform is the perfect place for expression. We encourage students to share using spoken word, poetry, song, dance, instrumentation and more. Door prizes will be provided for select performers and attendees. The event will feature a special performance from Spoken word artist and Trill or Not Trill founder MrJeffDess.
Learning Outcomes:

  • Using spoken word as an educational, civic engagement, and personal development tool (particularly among traditionally marginalized communities)
  • Utilizing performance, art, poetry, music, prose and Hip-Hop Pedagogy as a leadership vehicle

Wake Up and Workout
Professional trainer AD will get you motivated and ready to go with an early morning workout session. No matter your level of fitness, this standard session will help you learn some basic exercise techniques.

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