2019 Conference Schedule & Program

Click here for the 2019 NSPA Conference Schedule. Please note that we are still adding more sessions so check back for most up-to-date information.

Schedule at a Glance

*Schedule is subject to change.

Monday, September 30, 2019:
  • 7am-7pm: Registration Open
  • 8am-4pm: Pre-Conference 1 (includes lunch)
  • 11:30am-3:30pm: Pre-Conference 2 (includes lunch)
  • 4pm-5pm: First Time Attendee & New Member Welcome Reception
  • 5:15pm-7:30pm: Outing
  • 7:30pm-9:30pm: Movie Screening

Tuesday, October 1, 2019:
  • 6am-7am: Sunrise Yoga
  • 7am-5pm: Registration Open
  • 7:45am-8:30am: Breakfast
  • 8:15am-9:15am: Keynote Presentation
  • 9:30am-10:45am: Learning Circles
  • 11am-12:15pm: Breakout Sessions
  • 12:30pm-1:15pm: Networking Lunch & Focus Groups
  • 1:30pm-2:45pm: Breakout Sessions
  • 2:45pm-3:30pm: Break & Exhibitor Demos
  • 3:30pm-4:45pm: Breakout Sessions
  • 5pm-5:45pm: Welcome Reception
  • 5:45pm: Informal Dinner Outings
  • 7:30pm: Guthrie Theater Outing- The Glass Menagerie

Wednesday, October 2, 2019:
  • 6am-7am: Sunrise Yoga
  • 7am-5pm: Registration Open
  • 7:45am-8:30am: Breakfast
  • 8:30am-9:30am: General Session
  • 9:45am-11:45am: Workshops
  • 12pm-12:45pm: Networking Lunch & Focus Groups
  • 1pm-2:15pm: Breakout Sessions
  • 2:15pm-3pm: Break & Exhibitor Demos
  • 3pm-4:15pm: Breakout Sessions
  • 4:30m-5:15pm: Learning Circles & Exhibitor Demos
  • 6:30pm-9pm: Awards Dinner & Celebration

Thursday, October 3, 2019:
  • 6am-7am: Sunrise Yoga
  • 7am-1pm: Registration Open
  • 7:45am-8:30am: Breakfast
  • 8:30am-9:30am: General Session
  • 9:45am-11am: Breakout Sessions
  • 11:15am-12:30pm: Breakout Sessions & Learning Circles
  • 12:45pm: Mall of America Outing



The Conference offers distinct tracks. Choose one to help focus your learning experience, or attend those sessions most applicable to you and your work. Check back in June for a complete list.

Scholarship Programs 101

Panel-style discussions highlighting various foundational areas of the scholarship industry. This track is for scholarship professionals who are new to the field of scholarship program administration. Topics include:

  • Marketing, Branding, Fundraising, & Donor Relations
  • Outreach & Application ProcessOutreach & Application Process
  • Review, Selection, & Award ProcessReview, Selection, & Award Process
  • Financial Aid & Student Loans
  • Laws, Privacy, & Taxes
  • Scholar & Alumni Engagement & Retention
  • Data Management & Security
  • Program Evaluation & Reporting
  • Program Structure & Staffing

Access, Support, Connect

Sessions focused on student support services throughout the college access, completion, and college-to-career pipeline. A day will be reserved for each of these topics, centering on different aspects related to each topic specifically.

  • Day 1: Access – funding, college access, award displacement, finding scholarships & application assistance, diversity & inclusion, savings programs, promise programs, trade school scholarships, merit scholarships, non-academic merit, badges & alternative credentials
  • Day 2: Support – emergency grants, microgrants, support services & programs, coaching & mentoring, college completion, supporting diverse student populations, understanding our students
  • Day 3: Connect – alumni, college to career transition, workforce development, alumni giving, community service & engagement

Professional Development

Sessions based around providing tools to attendees to improve both professional and personal performance. Sessions should be applicable across disciplines and transferable to other careers. Topics include:

  • Time & Task Management
  • Effective Communication & Facilitation Skills
  • Leadership
  • Team/Staff Management
  • Setting Organizational Goals
  • Self-care
  • Change Management
  • Excel or Other Software Training
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Budgeting


Program offerings that may appeal to organizational leaders focusing on advanced industry topics. This track is intended for experienced scholarship providers to explore new trends and policies and their effect on scholarship programming. Topics include:

  • Advocacy & Lobbying
  • Ethics
  • Research & Trends in Higher Education
  • Partnerships & Collaborations
  • Policies & Controls
  • Endowments
  • Board of Directors

Check back soon for more information on the 2019 Conference sessions and speakers.

Click here for information about last year's Conference.

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