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CALL FOR PROPOSALS

If you're working to improve the transfer experience, we want to know about it!

As a NISTS 2024 presenter, you’ll have the opportunity to share your insights and lessons learned with hundreds of higher education professionals who, like you, are focused on transfer success. Whether you’re a staff or faculty member, administrator, researcher, or graduate student, we want to learn from your experience and expertise. Presenters hold a variety of roles within student and academic affairs and work at community colleges, universities, state systems, and other organizations throughout the country (and beyond). 
 

Proposal Deadline:  Wednesday, September 13th at 11:59 pm EST (8:59 pm PST).

Decisions will be announced in late October-early November, with the final session line-up to follow in early December.

The deadline to submit a proposal has passed. We hope to see you in St. Louis!

What To Expect

This year’s annual conference will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, February 21-23, 2024. We hope you’ll join us for a mid-sized convening (500+) that features numerous face-to-face learning and networking opportunities. Additional details about the event, including a description of this year's conference theme, is available on the general conference webpage.
 

If you’re unable to present in St. Louis, please stay tuned for information about our new online professional development community going live later this fall. 

PRESENTER RESOURCES

What We're Looking For

This year's conference theme encourages us to celebrate our wins, both big and small, as catalysts for system-wide change. Selected sessions will have an important role in helping attendees see the transformative power of incremental progress and embrace their roles as change-makers. 
 

Since every event is only as good as its content, we’re relying on you to contribute valuable insights and inspiration for conference attendees. We recognize that transfer is very context/institution-specific and are eager to see your creative approaches to ensuring transfer students have access to the information, support, and opportunities they need to be successful.  
 

We’ve listed some reflection questions below to jumpstart your brainstorming, but all transfer-focused session ideas are welcome. If you have questions or need clarification about any part of the proposal process, please don’t hesitate to reach out


In thinking about the knowledge, tips, and strategies you could share with other transfer professionals, how do you: 

  • Track progress, identify milestones, and create system shifts? 

  • Overcome barriers and cope with setbacks? 

  • Stay motivated in challenging times?

  • Involve students in your work? 

  • Measure your impact and share your results? 

  • Collaborate with others and leverage your resources? 

  • Inspire colleagues to join you in your efforts?

SELECTION CRITERIA

The information on this webpage provides an overview of the details we need to determine whether your session is a good fit for this event. We strongly suggest you reference the Proposal Checklist and other hyperlinked documents to plan and organize your submission. 

Please ensure your proposal is detailed, well-organized, and includes appropriately cited source material (as needed). Because we’re primarily interested in content and substance, you are welcome to use the writing style that feels most natural to you - e.g., conversational, informative, narrative, scholarly, etc. 
 

Volunteers will assess proposals in a masked review process, meaning reviewers won’t see your name or other identifiers. As indicated in the Proposal Review Guidelines, proposals must: 
 

  • Address a significant issue or challenge in the transfer field. Clearly explain your topic, along with the background and rationale for your session. Our sample topics list provides a snapshot of possible issues, but you may explore any aspect of the transfer student journey or what it takes to support it. 
     

  • Offer practical implications and takeaways. We want attendees to leave your session with concrete ideas and actionable strategies they can immediately put into practice. List the top 3-5 recommendations, resources, guidelines, templates, or toolkits you plan to cover during your presentation and briefly describe why they are important and potentially useful. 
     

  • Promote adaptability and scalability. Highlight the ways your presentation material might apply to other types of institutions/systems or transfer professionals. Be sure to consider whether your ideas can be customized to fit different contexts (e.g., student body size, characteristics, needs, staffing, and financial resources), or how they might be applied to different stages of the transfer process. 
     

  • Engage attendees in meaningful ways. We encourage you to thread interactive and participatory methods that foster reflection, dialogue, and collaboration among attendees throughout your session. Provide a basic outline of your presentation, noting the techniques you might use to engage and involve your audience (e.g., quizzes, polls, demonstrations, case studies, role plays, group discussions, etc.). 

 
Additionally, your proposal should emphasize one or more of the following elements for the best chance of being accepted. Although optional, these factors can significantly strengthen the potential relevance and impact of your presentation. 
 

  • Student perspectives and voices. Center your session around the specific challenges and needs of transfer students, emphasizing their unique characteristics, backgrounds, and experiences. If students cannot participate as co-presenters, consider using pre-recorded stories or testimonials or sharing quantitative or qualitative student data.
     

  • Collaborations and partnerships. Highlight the importance of working with others to facilitate transfer success. Include co-presenters from other areas or institutions or discuss how you fostered relationships with various stakeholders, such as faculty, administrators, or community partners.
     

  • Evidence-informed decision-making. Emphasize the use of theory, research, best practices, or assessment data to support and measure the effectiveness of your work. Cite relevant sources/studies, provide data from your own projects, or share examples of data collection methods and evaluation frameworks that can help attendees assess and improve their own programs.

RIGHT OF REFUSAL

Whether you focus on research, theory, or a specific policy, practice, or program, your proposal should be tailored to meet the goals and expectations of this conference. NISTS reserves the right to refuse proposals that do not clearly center transfer student needs and identities or the professionals who support them on their journey. Additionally, proposals that promote a product or service from organizations that are not confirmed conference sponsors will be automatically disqualified.  

Session Formats & Types

When submitting your proposal, you must designate your session as one of the following session formats and types. Due to high demand and space constraints, we may assign some sessions to an alternate format, type, or duration. 
 

Please note that presenters must submit a copy of their presentation slides and handouts approximately three weeks prior to the event start date so that we have plenty of time to upload the materials to the conference app. Detailed instructions, as well as tips and suggestions for delivering both concurrent and poster presentations, will be emailed to all confirmed presenters in late fall/early winter.
 

SESSION FORMATS

  • Concurrent (50- or 30-minutes)
    The concurrent format allows presenters to deliver a prepared presentation to a group of up to 100 conference attendees. All concurrent sessions are scheduled for either 50 or 30 minutes, and attendees may choose from several presentation options within each concurrent block. Presentation styles may vary (see the session types below for details), but a minimum of 10 minutes must be reserved for audience Q & A, reflection, or discussion. Session rooms are typically set in a theater or classroom layout and include a presenter’s table, projector, screen, and USB clicker at the front. Presenters must use their personal laptops and speakers to deliver session content. 
     

  • Poster (2-hour gallery)
    The poster format allows presenters to share their work concisely and creatively through visual elements such as graphs, charts, images, and text. Each presenter will have a 4' x 8' bulletin board to display their self-made/printed poster, providing ample space to highlight key findings. Posters will be showcased in a two-hour gallery during the Opening Reception (date and time tbd) where presenters can informally answer questions, provide additional context, and network with attendees. ​

SESSION TYPES

When submitting your proposal, you must also designate your session as one of the following session types. Each option aligns with a specific style of presentation, catering to different approaches and preferences in knowledge sharing and engagement. [view full session type descriptions here]

  • Collaboration Circles

  • Facilitated Discussion

  • Focus on Fundamentals

  • Research Spotlight

  • Solutions Showcase

  • Under Construction

  • Educational Partner/Sponsor

Content Themes

We believe it takes all of us working together, beyond silos, to effectively support transfer students’ identities, contributions, needs, and pathways. All conference sessions must align with at least one of the following broad content themes, which intentionally blur traditional boundaries between functional areas and across community colleges, universities, and blended institutional types.  [view full content theme descriptions here]
 

  • Enhancing Access, Affordability, and Wellness

  • Fostering Inclusion, Engagement, and Community

  • Leading and Advocating for Change

  • Maximizing Credits and Streamlining Pathways

  • Optimizing the Matriculation Process

  • Supporting Diverse and Special Populations*

*Conference evaluation data consistently indicates that attendees crave more content related to this theme. If you have expertise in this area, please share it!

How To Submit

Please review the Proposal Checklist for a detailed list of required information. All proposals must be submitted online using the University of North Georgia’s InfoReady Review platform. Presenters will be required to accept the terms of the Presenter Agreement prior to submitting their final proposal.

Important! Session proposals undergo a masked review process to ensure reviewers don’t see your name or other identifiers. Please do not include any personal information in your proposal. If necessary, you may use placeholders like [Institution Name] or [Program Name] then update them if your presentation is accepted. 
​​
 

INFOREADY INSTRUCTIONS
 
  1. Create an Account. Access the InfoReady Application Portal. Click the Login link in the top right corner of the screen then click the Register button under the "Login for Other Users" section. Provide your name, email, and password and click Create Account. If you've previously created an account, then your existing login information should still work.
     

  2. Confirm Account. After creating your account, you will receive an automated email requesting account confirmation. You must use the link provided in the email to verify your account and enable proposal submission.
     

  3. Log In. Access the InfoReady Application Portal and login using your newly created account under the "Login for Other Users" section. Select the "NISTS 2024 Call for Proposals" application and follow the prompts to submit your session proposal.

 

The deadline to submit a proposal has passed. We hope to see you in St. Louis!

Questions

Please contact Emily Kittrell if you have questions or need additional information. 

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