2024 Conference on Diversity, Equity, and Student Success

Developing and Submitting a Proposal

The proposal submission period is now closed.

Information to Include when Submitting a Proposal

  • Name, title, institution name, and email address of each facilitator. If there is more than one presenter for your proposal, please indicate who should be listed as the corresponding presenter. The primary presenter will receive all proposal submission correspondence. The primary presenter is responsible for sharing presenter-related communications with all co-presenters.
  • Session format
  • Virtual or in-person, if applicable
  • Session title (100-character limit, including spaces)

Proposal Abstract

  • Provide a short description to be used in promotional materials. Please remember that—should your proposal be accepted—a participant’s decision to attend your session will be based, in large part, on this description. It should be accurate and as compelling as possible.

  • Describe or list the outcomes with which you hope the audience members will leave the session (i.e., the “takeaways”).

  • Share any context that will be helpful for the evaluation of your proposal. Please note that this may also appear in the detailed conference schedule.

  • Select Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced.

Tips for Writing a Strong Proposal

AAC&U strives to offer a balanced, informative, and thought-provoking conference focused on frameworks that advance quality and equity as the foundations for excellence in undergraduate education.

The proposal selection committee will include experienced academic professionals from a diverse range of backgrounds and areas of expertise. Successful proposals will represent evidence-based theory-to-practice models that interrogate the effectiveness of existing campus cultures and structures in the context of today’s student demographics; local, national, and global communities; and our nation’s reliance on an educated and engaged citizenry. It invites innovative strategies and work in progress to transform cultures that are not keeping pace with these realities. The following elements serve as proposal selection criteria:

  • Potential for the proposed session/presentation to advance expansive and inclusive strategies for teaching and learning; to address the current educational climate, including challenges and opportunities; to foster and sustain collaborations across divisions and programs;
  • Inclusion of evidence-based, theory-to-practice models that connect research and scholarship with effective approaches to develop courses, curricula, pedagogies, assessment practices, and campus cultures that engage all students in high-quality learning experiences and that ensure all members of the community feel valued and respected;
  • Extent to which the session or presentation offers creative, novel, and transformative mechanisms for designing and facilitating critical dialogues to advance understanding across differences and promote idea sharing for institutional transformation;
  • Extent to which the proposed session or presentation provides evidence of effectiveness, lessons learned, challenges overcome, and applicability across a range of institutional types;
  • Explicit plans for involving participants in reflection, discussion, exercises, and other activities that will help them understand and apply the material;
  • Extent to which proposals reflect diverse perspectives, innovations, disciplines, and strategies for change (student voices and perspectives are encouraged); and
  • Where applicable, extent to which the session activities are suited for a virtual platform.

Session Formats

Session Times: Presentation times will occur between March 21, 9:15 a.m. Eastern Time through March 23, 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

  • These are designed to guide participants as they explore significant work at the level of the course, program, or institution. Presenters should provide resources and templates to help participants structure their ideas and plans. There will be opportunities for discussion and feedback. Pre-conference workshops will be held on March 21 from 1:00–3:00 p.m. Eastern Time each session will be capped at 75 participants. Workshops will be held in-person or virtually.

  • Roundtable Discussions provide time for colleagues to examine timely and potentially provocative topics of similar interest through the iterative sharing of expertise and experiences. They provide an opportunity to work through issues, ideas, and challenges from multiple perspectives, engage in problem-solving, and engage in new ideas. The facilitators’ job is to kickstart small group conversations that then feed into a collective discussion of the question at hand.

    Proposals for Roundtable Discussions should briefly set the context for the conversation related to one of the conference themes and should clearly articulate the intended audience in terms of institutional type, position, or particular area of practice. Facilitators assist the group in examining new ways of thinking about the topic and strategies for moving forward given the professional reality and expertise of each individual at the table. Roundtable discussions will be held in-person or virtually.

  • These concurrent workshops provide an interactive environment for conference attendees to bridge theory and practice and to deeply examine, explore, and/or experience relevant theories and implementation strategies that can contribute to transformation in higher education that can be achieved and sustained. Workshops are expected to engage conference attendees in reflection and discussion about work related to, but not limited to strategic reform to address DEI efforts and inequities in higher education as well as the privileges, the biases, and the false belief in a hierarchy of human value that are embedded in our systems.

    Proposals for workshops must provide details about the research and scholarship that will inform the workshop topic and its approach to conference attendee engagement. Proposed sessions that are designed to promote engagement, such as small-group collaboration and experiential learning, will be given priority for presentation. Workshops will be held in-person or virtually.

  • These concurrent discussion sessions provide an opportunity to explore current work, recent findings, or new perspectives and allow ample time for discussion with and among audience members. Discussion sessions will be held in-person or virtually.

  • Poster presenters share visual models of research findings; DEI courses, programs, and curricular or cocurricular designs; concept maps; diversity and equity assessment rubrics and feedback loops; faculty development, support, and reward programs and policies; frameworks for design thinking and strategic planning; and high-impact practices. The poster session provides an opportunity for presenters to talk with attendees about how to apply findings to their own work.

Additional Information

The deadline to submit proposals was 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, September 22, 2023.

Upon submission of a proposal, the primary session contact will receive an automatic message confirming receipt of the submission. If the contact does not receive this message (and it is not in their spam or junk folder), please email [email protected]. The primary contact is responsible for sharing presenter-related communications with all co-presenters.


The primary session contact will receive an email message indicating the decision on the proposal on November 15.