NACADA Emerging Leaders Program

The Diversity Committee developed the NACADA Emerging Leaders program in 2007 to

  • encourage members from diverse groups to get involved in leadership opportunities within the organization,
  • outfit participants with the skills and tools necessary to pursue elected and appointed leadership positions,
  • increase the number of leaders from diverse groups, and
  • encourage and assist members of populations who are under-represented in the association's leadership to attend state, regional, or national conferences.


Diversity, as defined by the NACADA Board of Directors, includes ethnicity, gender, gender identity, disabilities, and sexual orientation as well as diversity in regard to institutional type, size, and employment position. Involvement in the association also is viewed broadly, including leadership at many levels (within the division units, at the division level, at the Council level, at the Board of Directors level, and with the various work groups, ad hoc committees, and task forces; serving on the Consultants & Speakers Service; writing for a NACADA publication (such as the JournalAcademic Advising Today, and the NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources); or presenting at state, allied member, regional, national, or international conferences).

Each year,10 Emerging Leaders and 10 Mentors are selected for the two-year program in which the Leaders and Mentors work closely on connecting the Leaders to the areas of the association they are interested in and in developing a plan for continued involvement and growth in the association. Emerging Leaders receive a $1,500 stipend to assist them with travel to regional, national, and international NACADA conferences.


  • To identify potential local, regional, national, and international leaders from member groups who are under-represented in the association's leadership who are interested in leadership development and leadership involvement in the association.

  • To identify Mentors from among experienced NACADA leadership to guide Emerging Leaders through a two-year leadership development program as they grow in their leadership in the association.

  • To provide Emerging Leaders with a two-year leadership development program which will develop their leadership skills for the association.

  • To provide opportunities for Emerging Leaders to reach out to colleagues and peers from under-represented groups and serve as Mentors to future NACADA leaders.

  • To provide the support network needed and desired to foster a strong leadership development program for underrepresented populations in our association.

Find more information on the program, such as application requirements and benefits to participants, by visiting additional program pages via the links in the left-hand navigation menu. If you have questions or need assistance, please email Leigh Cunningham, ELP Coordinator, in the NACADA Executive Office, at

ELP breakfast.jpg


Emerging Leaders Program Advisory Board