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Leadership Educators Symposium

Join us December 13-15, 2023 at the University of Tampa

Registration is now closed. We look forward to seeing you at Symposium!

The Leadership Educators Symposium (an evolution of the former National Leadership Symposium) is a retreat-style experience that dives deeply into a timely leadership education topic via conversation and co-constructed learning. Participants explore the symposium topic alongside renowned scholars and approximately 30-40 other leadership educators. Program curriculum is cohort-based and highly experiential, centering dialogue principles and critical perspectives through topical lectures, workshops, and collaborative projects. NCLP has offered a symposium for leadership educators regularly since the 1990s.

Starting in 2023, Symposium will be offered bi-annually in odd-numbered years, opposite the Leadership Educators Institute (LEI), which is offered every December in even-numbered years. Now you have a leadership educator program to count on every December, which means more consistent connection with the leadership educator community and more straightforward professional development planning year-after-year.

True to the format of a symposium, we seek to engage the leadership education community in dialogue and exploration of a new topic each year. Curriculum is re-designed for each Symposium to center the featured topic while making space for participant input and program evolution and adjustment in real-time. Learning from the Symposium experience also helps guide conversations and initiatives hosted and supported by NCLP throughout the entire calendar year. Recent Symposium topics include:

  • Exploring Liberatory Learning in Leadership Education
  • Disruption by Design: Co-creating our approach to leadership education
  • Leadership Development through Disruption: Learning from 30 years of leadership education practices
  • Leadership & Interconnection: How leadership development can help students build critical hope and take action in place
  • Leadership and Democratic Engagement: The role we play and messages we send

We are excited to once again have the University of Tampa as our host institution for the 2023 Symposium! Joining as Symposium partners this year are our friends at LeaderShape, Inc., a non-profit organization well-known and respected in the leadership education community for their commitment to partnerships, programs, and initiatives to help create a just, caring, and thriving world.

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Symposium 2023: Exploring the Philosophy & Practice of Co-Construction

Join us alongside fellow leadership educators and our scholars-in-residence to explore this year's Symposium topic: Liberatory Learning in Leadership Education: Exploring the Philosophy and Practice of Co-Construction.

Liberation is about expanding beyond the limits of socialized thought and behavior that perpetuate oppressive systems and inequity (Freire, 1970). Liberatory learning inspires us to think critically, freeing the mind and raising consciousness, and taking action to advance social change and transformation (hooks, 1994; Sayles-hannon, 2007).

In 2022, NCLP and the Symposium community committed to continual exploration, learning, and growth to advance liberatory pedagogy and practice in leadership education. This work is ongoing, for ourselves as individuals and for our institutions. Whether you were with us in 2022 or not, we invite you to join us for the next step in the journey at Symposium 2023. 

We will begin this year’s experience by reconnecting with the notion of liberation, who we are in the work toward liberation, and how it connects to leadership learning and development. We will then dive more deeply into the question, “How do we do this?” or, ways to incorporate liberatory practice into our work as leadership educators. Symposium 2023 invites us to consider the philosophy and practice of co-construction as a valuable tool in design, teaching, and facilitating, including:

  • Challenging dominant narratives to critically examine messages of what leadership is and who it is for in leadership education
  • Centering narratives of diverse and marginalized people and communities
  • Designing with instead of for learners
  • Engaging learner experience and voice in learning environments

The journey toward liberatory practice includes more than checklists and simple “how-tos.” The Symposium is an opportunity to engage in critical reflective practice and enact change in your role as a leadership educator. This holistic learning experience will influence your personal leadership practice to help you transform programs and pedagogies.


Symposium Scholars-in-Residence are selected for their record of scholarship, practice, and community-building within the field of leadership education. Caring deeply about advancing critical leadership conversations, Symposium scholars craft a unique learning experience with and for Symposium participants each year and serve as guides through discussion, reflection, and engagement around the Symposium topic.

We are thrilled to have the following scholars-in-residence with us in 2023 to guide our experience together. Each of these leadership educators shares a commitment to co-construction in their work:


A vital source of support for Symposium scholars and participants (and experienced leadership educators themselves), the Symposium planning team includes faculty associates and volunteers from NCLP, our partner organizations, and our host campus. Planning team members facilitate the overall Symposium experience, assist Symposium scholars with curriculum planning, and handle all program logistics.


Registration cost is $450 per participant and includes lunch, dinner, and refreshments throughout the program. Programming takes place on the University of Tampa campus. Tampa International Airport (TPA) is a 15-20 minute drive from campus. The St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) is a 25-30 minute drive from campus. Parking will be available on campus for those driving. Programming begins after lunch on Wednesday, Dec. 13 and ends after lunch on Friday, Dec. 15. You can view the general Symposium schedule here.

A block of rooms has been reserved for Symposium participants at the Hotel Tampa Riverwalk, just a 10 minute walk to the UT campus. The Symposium rate is $199/night + tax. Registrants will receive a link to book in their registration email confirmation. Register by Nov. 21 to take advantage of the special hotel rate - space is limited! Participants are also welcome to make other lodging arrangements at nearby hotels, vacation rentals, etc. If you would like to connect with other participants regarding room sharing, please reach out to the planning team at

[NOTE: The Symposium planning team has worked meticulously to ensure the lowest registration cost possible. The registration fee only covers physical costs; sponsoring organizations cover all curriculum and programming costs and do not make any profit on this experience. If you still find yourself with significant financial hardship, the planning team is able to consider support requests on a case-by-case basis. In the spirit of equity, we ask that you consider your situation in relation to others, and then reach out to the planning team at should you wish to discuss further.]


You will be redirected to the Symposium Eventbrite page hosted by our friends at LeaderShape. Last day to register is Dec. 1. Questions about Symposium curriculum and logistics can be sent to the planning team via email at If you have technical questions related to the Eventbrite registration page, please contact

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