Interested in being an Emerging Leader?


  • Connecting with an established member of NACADA
  • A strong network of contacts in NACADA
  • Creation of a NACADA leadership goals timeline and guidance in the fulfillment of those goals
  • Financial assistance of $1500 for each Emerging Leader to be used towards expenses related to attending NACADA events (i.e. regional and annual conferences, Summer Institute, Assessment Institute, Administrators Institute)
  • Annual Conference recognition of Mentors and Emerging Leaders and their successes
  • Assistance in learning about and utilizing NACADA opportunities and resources
  • Involvement in NACADA activities and leadership opportunities


The requirements for the Emerging Leader applicants are:

  • At the time of application, must have been a member of NACADA for at least TWO (2) years and must be a current NACADA member - NO EXCEPTIONS.  (It is recommended that an applicant have at least 3 years of NACADA membership before applying for this program.)
  • Must be able to demonstrate active involvement in the association.
  • Must agree to a two-year obligation with Mentor, and a total of 2 1/2 years with the program (which includes preparatory assignments over the summer prior to the Emerging Leader-Mentor pairing, which takes place in October and begins the 2-year official mentorship period).
  • Must be able to articulate goals for increasing involvement in NACADA leadership and how taking part in the program will support those goals.
  • Must be able to articulate how their participation in the program will support the program goal of providing intentional leadership development to members of populations within the NACADA membership who are underrepresented in the association leadership.
  • Must be willing and able to attend online meetings in the Zoom environment during the summer prior to the program period beginning to become acquainted with potential mentors.
  • Must be able to demonstrate institutional support for attending at least two of the three Annual Conferences that will occur during the program period.  Applicants for the 2017-2019 Class MUST be able to attend the 2017 Annual Conference in St Louis, MO and will NOT be able to be involved in pre-conference workshops.  (ELP Orientation will take place on 'pre-conference day'.)   They will also be expected to attend the 2018 Conference in Phoenix, AZ and/or the 2019 Conference in Louisville, KY (where they will be awarded Certificates of Completion).  Attendance at other NACADA events is encouraged, but not required.
  • Must agree to take part in personal and program evaluation and assessment.

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Application Process

The application period for the 2017-2019 Class is January 15-March 15, 2017; for consideration by the selection committee for the 2017-2019 Class, plan to submit your completed application packet by March 15, 2017.

We encourage applicants to begin thinking and preparing application materials well in advance of the deadline. Applicants are required to respond to the following questions (in PDF format):

  • How will your involvement in the Emerging Leaders Program support the program goal of providing increased representation from an underrepresented constituency in NACADA?  NACADA defines diversity from a very broad perspective, which includes diversity in regard to ethnicity, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation as well as diversity in regard to institutional type, size, and employment position.
  • Discuss your prior involvement with NACADA and what you have gained from that involvement.  Specifically, explain how you have taken part in event(s), contributed to publication(s), and/or joined and actively participated in group(s).  Please begin with what you are most proud of or what your biggest commitment with NACADA has been. We would like to hear about all of your accomplishments in NACADA but are most interested in the ones that also meant the most to you.
  • How do you see yourself participating in the association as a future NACADA Leader, and how will involvement in this program assist you in achieving those goals? (Please do not concentrate on how your NACADA involvement will affect your home campus, but rather on how you want to be further involved within NACADA).

Potential Emerging Leader applicants should also plan ahead to secure the following letters of support, which they will need to upload to the online system in PDF format at the time of application:

  • Letter from applicant's supervisor that includes his/her recommendation of the application, demonstrates his/her understanding that a two-year commitment is required (including Annual Conference attendance), and indicates level of available institutional support (including financial). (Please be certain the writer is identified as your supervisor in the letter.)
  • Letter of recommendation from another NACADA member who can attest to the applicant's involvement in the association and demonstrate understanding of and support for the leadership goals. (Please be certain the writer is identified as a NACADA member in the letter.)

Online Application Submission

  • Gather the required application materials prior to starting your submission.
  • Make sure that the application materials are saved in PDF format.
  • Access the Online Submission Portal using Internet Explorer (available Jan 15 - March 15, 2017 for the 2017-2019 Class).
  • Enter a password - this can be simple and you can use the same one for other NACADA award submissions.
  • In the “Type” section, select the radial button for Emerging Leaders Program (ELP)
  • From the drop-down list under “Category,” select Emerging Leader.
  • Be sure to write down your Application Nomination Number and your password so if you have to stop and come back to the nomination form, you can do so easily!
  • Enter the information as it is requested.  NOTE: The NOTIFICATION section is for you to list those people who you would like notified if you are selected for ELP. We suggest your chancellor/president/provost and your supervisor(s).
  • When you are ready, don't forget to hit the SUBMIT button!
  • Contact NACADA at if you do not receive an e-mail confirming receipt of your nomination after you have completed the online submission process.  If possible, include the application #.


Review of applications will begin immediately at the close of the application period, with the goal of having the selection process complete and applicants notified by mid-April.

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Emerging Leaders say...

  • The Emerging Leader program has not only increased my involvement within NACADA, but it has also influenced how I do my job, and how advising is structured on my campus. The involvement that I have had, the opportunities that I have been exposed to and the life long connections I have made, make ELP one of the best experiences I have ever had; not only professionally, but also personally. Thank you NACADA for such an amazing program!.
    Heather Doyle, Dalhousie University, 2009-2011 Class
  • Prior to being an Emerging Leader, I knew NACADA was a strong and supportive organization and that I had access to national leaders in our profession. When attending conferences, multiple invitations were extended to become involved in NACADA in various ways. The ELP program shifted those 'invitations' to 'expectations' for me, in every good way. As advisors, we know how important it is to help students articulate specific goals, support them throughout the process, hold them accountable when necessary, etc. The ELP created this same kind of 'optimal mismatch' of challenge and support for me, that allowed me to learn, develop, grow within the advising profession.
    Susan Anderson, University of St Thomas, 2008-2010 Class
  • Why did I apply for the Emerging Leader Program? I was looking for an opportunity to work in NACADA. I had an urgency to work and not just attend sessions and meetings. It was not enough to sit on the sidelines; I wanted to be actively engaged in the organization. This was an opportunity to take a giant step into being a part of the progress that was being made by NACADA. I wanted to be able to say. 'I helped accomplish that goal.’
    Audrey Jackson, Florida Community College-Jacksonville, 2007-2009 Class
  • I feel more connected to the organization than ever before. I feel I have a wealth of resources at my fingertips. I feel I have developed as a professional in the field of advising and am being recognized at such.For those considering being mentors, this is a great way to help others out. It’s a unique opportunity to form a special bond with another member of the association and help them to navigate the organization. For those considering being Emerging Leaders, this type of programming helps to increase the sense of community I already felt from being a member of NACADA. It forces you to develop leadership skills and is a great avenue to apply leadership and management skills, especially if you are in a position at work that you don’t consider to have a lot of supervisory responsibilities.
    Jose Rodriguez, Florida International University, 2007-2009 Class
  • Although my goals have changed over the last two years, I’m more involved with NACADA than ever before.... It is because of the Emerging Leaders Program and [my mentor] that I’ve felt comfortable and confident as I’ve navigated my path of involvement with NACADA... Thanks to all those before us who paved the way for this program. It has been one of the best professional and personal opportunities of my life.
    Ross Hawkins, Missouri State University, 2011-2013 Class
  • I have grown as a leader in the past two years and I honestly believe that I would not have written for a publication or considered chairing a commission or interest group if not influenced and encouraged by my mentor and the NACADA community. The skills that I have acquired are transferrable to my work in higher education. The program provides a wonderful community of people and resources that is a network that is easy to relate to and rely on for information and guidance. I have made friends for life through the program.
    Joy Cox, Indiana University Southeast, 2010-2012 Class
  • As I reflect over the last two years in the ELP program I would say it has been a great experience professionally and personally. From the moment I applied, I believe I have had an enriching opportunity through self-reflection, professional growth and the opportunity to build strong relationships within NACADA. As advisors we all know that we are on a continual road of life long learning and the Emerging Leadership Program is part of my journey. The program has provided me with the opportunity to think outside of my box. I have taken on initiatives and opportunities that I may well never have considered.
    Yvonne Halden, University of Manitoba, 2010-2012 Class
  • This experience is hard to quantify or qualify. Since joining NACADA’s Emerging Leader Program, I have had an extraordinary surge of courage and confidence to apply for NACADA leadership opportunities as well as advising administrator positions that I would have otherwise never exposed myself to. I was surprised to see how brave I became when I knew I had a support mechanism in place. I found myself looking for more and more challenging opportunities, contacting [my mentor] for recommendations, support, and guidance, then putting myself out there…which is completely outside of my comfort zone. Even when I failed, I knew I had the support to get back up and try again, instead of being defeated.
    Cynthia Pascal, Northern Virginia Community College, 2010-2012 Class
  • Above and beyond the Mentor experience – which has been truly amazing – ELP has truly given me something very special through becoming part of a larger ELP family. That has been the most surprising and rewarding aspect of this experience is that I have gained so many people that I truly think of as my NACADA family... When people ask me one word to explain ELP program to them, the one that I come back to again and again is family. Thank you for letting me is a part of this process. I am so excited for the future.
    Amy Korthank, University of Iowa, 2012-2014 Class
  • Sometimes in life you need an extra push to become a better version of yourself. The ELP program helped to do that for me. My time within the program was definitely well spent... the connections that I have made will inspire me to continue challenging myself and creating new goals... I’m eternally grateful to the NACADA ELP program for jump starting the next steps in my career and involvement with a community of academic advisors who inspire me and support me.
    Terri Baker, University of California-San Diego, 2012-2014 Class
  • I truly feel honored to be a part of this program. It is inspiring to meet so many amazingly talented people that all have goals to forward the field of advising. I appreciate the time and effort NACADA has taken to build this program. I also appreciate the time and effort NACADA takes to adapt the program to make it even better. I recommend the ELP program highly!
    Wiona Porath, Sienna Heights University, 2014-2016 Class
  • Going into this program, my goals were to find my fit within NACADA and particularly in my region, since that’s where I wanted to focus my attention at this time. I have found a family in my NACADA ELPers, and have discovered passions I didn’t even know I had.
    Jenny Cornet-Carrillo, University of California-Berkeley, 2014-2016 Class

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2010 Cynthia Pascal.jpg

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