5 Great Conferences on Higher Education

For professionals who work in a college or university setting, conferences on higher education are an easy way to build a broad skill set. After all, the technologies, policies, and research that affect education are constantly changing. Conferences provide updates on the most important and timely issues, all in one convenient place. Armed with that information, university staff and administrators can provide a better educational experience.

1. AACU Diversity Conference

Each year, the Association of American Colleges and Universities hosts a conference that focuses on diversity and inclusion at the college level. This conference is a must for anyone that deals with diversity programs, hiring, recruiting, or admissions; it’s informative and useful for all higher education professionals. While each year has a different theme and focus, attendees can expect to come away with practical strategies for improving the diversity of the faculty, staff, and student body. Some of the topic areas include activism, changing university operations to promote equity, and finding ways to break down institutionalized racism for lasting change.

2. ACE Annual Meeting

One of the most important higher education conferences in the United States is the American Council on Education’s annual meeting. It’s targeted toward high-level executives and administrators, but also attracts high-ranking leaders from colleges around the country. This is a large event, attended by thousands of people. Attendees can expect to leave feeling inspired to improve the state of their institutions. The ACE annual meeting promotes relationship-building. The schedule usually includes a wide range of formal networking events, including breakfasts and mixers.

3. NAFSA Annual Conference

According to the U.S. Department of State, more than 300,000 students study abroad each year and higher education professionals must be prepared to meet their needs. That’s where the NAFSA: Association of International Educators Annual Conference comes in. Here, attendees learn about issues relating to study abroad students and international citizens who come to the United States for higher education. Topics such as immigration policy, social justice, health, and cultural understanding. It’s a great conference for higher education professionals at all levels, from administrators to international liaisons.

4. NACAC National Conference

For professionals in admissions, the NACAC National Conference is one of the top conferences for higher ed. Hosted by the National Association for College Admission Counseling, this event focuses on all aspects of admissions: counseling new students, college consulting, non-traditional students, advising, early decision, diversity, and more. With a full schedule of sessions, attendees’ only struggle is narrowing down their options. This conference is appropriate for anyone who recruits, admits, or counsels students, regardless of job seniority. Don’t miss the handy first-timers’ orientation, which can help make the experience more manageable.

5. HighEdWeb Annual Conference

Higher education is becoming increasingly digital, and professionals must be ahead of the curve to help their institutions succeed. That’s why the HighEdWeb Annual Conference is essential. It’s run by the Higher Education Web Professionals Association and features a variety of technology-themed sessions. From UX/UI design to managing content marketing strategies, this conference is known for its highly actionable presentations. The conference also runs a variety of academies that teach crucial digital skills in a hands-on, collaborative environment — these sessions are geared mainly toward newer professionals and people with skill gaps.

Conferences are an excellent way to network and learn more about the factors that affect students and universities in the United States. By attending professional conferences on higher education, it’s easy to get crucial updates and stay current on policies and laws.

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