About the National Leadership Symposium

The NLS is an annual program co-hosted by NCLP and NACA. Throughout the program, participants get to explore the symposium's topic alongside renowned scholars and approximately 50 other leadership educators.


More details including the symposium theme, scholars, and registration is available at


2020 National Leadership Symposium

Transforming leadership education through design thinking, innovative learning, and application

Dates: Monday, July 6 - Thursday, July 9, 2020

Location: University of Tampa


Participants of the 2020 National Leadership Symposium will be able to:

  • Apply innovative teaching and learning techniques to advance student leadership learning 

  • Leverage design thinking to students’ leadership learning and application 

  • Integrating social, cultural, and spatial tactics to transform student-centered learning environments


Symposium Description:
Leadership educators are often challenged in creating intentional learning environments that help students navigate and adapt to an ever-changing world. More often than not, professionals in the field tend to use previously developed programs with little consideration how programs are created, who the audience is, and why these programs exist. 


Utilizing principles of design thinking, innovative teaching and learning practices, and examination of emerging leadership education beyond dominant narratives, the 2020 National Leadership Symposium (NLS) aims to advance participant knowledge and ability to develop creative and inclusive leadership development curricula.  Incorporating design thinking into student programs and development allows for a deeper understanding of the needs, perspectives, and expectations of diverse student populations found on campuses across the country.


In its 30th year, the NLS is an intensive, interactive, and intimate opportunity to connect with noted scholars and practitioners around current topics in leadership. The 2020 theme, “Transforming leadership education through design thinking, innovation, and application,” is an opportunity for leadership educators to engage in critical conversations related to implementing meaningful, intentional, and purposeful changes in their curricula. 


The Symposium includes a variety of formats, exercises, and conversations to engage different learning styles and preferences. Given the immersive learning environment of the Symposium, it is advised that participants have moderate-significant professional experience in leadership education. In order to fully engage in the Symposium learner community, participants are expected to read several selected readings in advance of arriving for the NLS experience. The National Leadership Symposium is designed for an intimate collegial learning environment of 50 participants. Participants engage in intense periods of learning in large community, small group, and individual levels.



About the Leadership Educators Institute

Leadership education of college and university students is an important and ongoing process within higher education institutions. Student affairs professionals play an essential role in coordinating, shaping, and evaluating this area by developing leadership courses and programs, creating co-curricular opportunities, and using new technologies. The Leadership Educators Institute (LEI) is an innovative forum geared specifically towards new to mid-level student affairs professionals and leadership educators with these responsibilities. The Institute is coordinated by NASPA, ACPA, and the National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs (NCLP).

Call for programs and registration details can be found at


Leadership Educators Institute


The LEADERSHIP EDUCATORS INSTITUTE will engage practitioners and scholars in active learning and dialogue to assist with program and leadership development.
December 13-15, 2020
New Orleans, Louisiana
Sheraton New Orleans Hotel
Important Dates
June 12, 2020: Call for Programs Deadline
September 13, 2020: Early-Bird Registration Deadline
November 13, 2020: Regular Registration Deadline