About the Spring 2016 NCSL Conference


ncsl spring 2016

Leadership the NCSL Way

Since 1978, the National Conference on Student Leadership has provided values-based,purpose-driven leadership development opportunities to college student leaders and campus professionals from across the country and around the world. NCSL, offered each fall and spring, is a vital training forum for student leadership development based on the Social Change Model, Strengths Based Leadership, and Everyone Leads.

Leadership the NCSL way is designed to help college students practice effective, heart-centered leadership as individuals, in their administration of student organizations such as student government, committees, clubs, or other student living/learning/working groups, and in their engagement with their communities and the wider world.

Leadership the NCSL way is based on three high impact models of leadership:

  • Strengths Based Leadership*— Investing in your strengths and those of your team.
  • Everyone Leads*— Engaging diverse community members to achieve common goals.
  • The Social Change Model* — Taking responsibility to step up and drive transformative change.

New this year, Skills for Changemakers.

The Spring 2016 NCSL Conference will take student leaders on a deep dive into developing skills for changemakers. We believe that students are the solution to major social challenges on campus and beyond. Spring NCSL will equip them with the skills they need to drive positive change.

In addition to inspiriting keynotes and engaging workshop sessions, exciting plenary sessions will offer expertly facilitated activities to prepare students to confront pressing issues at the level of root cause.  Historically NCSL conferences have three breakout session tracks based on the Social Change Model (individual leadership development, group leadership development, and community/civic engagement/social justice leadership development.) This year, the ENTIRE Spring 2016 conference will focus on providing leadership skills for that third area; specific skills needed for students to affect change. “Leadership for Social Change”.

The basic concept is that students are the solution to major social challenges on campus and beyond, and that our job is to equip them with the skills they need to be the drivers of transformative change. Student participants will walk away from this 3-day experience equipped with the tools to be a changemaker – ready to put their leadership skills to work to drive positive change on their campuses and in their communities. Unlike any other student leadership conference, Spring 2016 NCSL will help prepare students to take on the urgent challenges of social justice, to change lives and change the world!

Spring 2016 NCSL Conference Participation Digital Badge

And NCSL offers participants the unique opportunity to earn a digital badge to document their achievement.

The optional Certified Student Leader® program provides an opportunity for students to strengthen their leadership foundation.

Networking events provide space to learn by sharing ideas and experiences with delegates from campuses across the country and around the world.


*Komives, Susan R., and Wendy Wagner. Leadership for a Better World: Understanding the Social Change Model of Leadership Development. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2009.

Rath, Tom, and Barry Conchie. Strengths Based Leadership: Great Leaders, Teams, and Why People Follow. New York: Gallup Press, 2008.

Schmitz, Paul. Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2012.


The National Center for Student Life

Our mission is to help higher education students and professionals develop leadership and other critical skills to drive transformative change for safer, healthier, and more equitable campuses and communities.

Our vision and purpose is to make a meaningful difference and drive positive change for a better world through education. In our day-to-day operations, as well as through our programs and products, our intent is to create a positive triple bottom line impact:

  • Social equity
  • Environmental stewardship
  • Economic justice

Our Values

  • Excellence
  • Integrity
  • Compassion
  • Inclusion
  • Diversity
  • Lifelong learning