Extend your learning and enjoy interacting with colleagues in the intimate comfort of a pre-session on Monday, November 11th, prior to the opening of the NCAC conference. For the past several years, due to the high quality of NCAC pre-sessions, they have been sold out! We expect this year to be no different, as these seven pre-sessions are rich educational experiences led by seasoned facilitators. Each year participants comment that they come back because the sessions are on target, well worth the nominal price and provide them with something to use as soon as they return to school.

Each full day session is $300 and includes continental breakfast, lunch, all materials and free wifi. Rates are per person.

Monies from your Carl Perkins or Title 1 grants are allowable for these sessions. We have a chair with your name on it!


#1 - Academies and Social & Emotional Learning: A Powerful Combination

Did you know that the number one skill employers look for in a new hire is creative problem solving? In fact, many hiring managers feel that while technical job knowledge is desired, it’s not as important as “soft skills” like problem-solving, critical thinking and teamwork. It’s not surprising that these social and emotional competencies rank high on the list of desired employee traits. Yet, fewer and fewer young adults are entering the workforce equipped with what many employers feel should be innate social and emotional skills.

Academies offer an excellent way for students to develop social and emotional learning (SEL) competencies. SEL is the process through which individuals acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

Using the research from the Collaboration of Academic and Social-Emotional Learning (CASEL) framework, participants will learn how to embed core SEL competencies into CTE, counseling and core academic curriculum.  These strategies can easily be implemented into your current lesson plans and units! Best practices will be shared on how to provide and enhance students’ job shadowing, internship and other experiences which will empower them to practice and master these skills and attributes in a real-world setting. In addition, participants will learn easy methods to measure SEL skill acquisition as well as school climate and culture. Time will also be allocated for action planning at the end of day.

We encourage teams of administrators, teachers, counselors and academy coaches to attend this fun and interactive workshop.

Dr. Nicole Cobb, Vanderbilt University

#2 - Creating Authentic Learning Experiences through Project Based Learning

Do you want your students to experience learning that takes them outside of the textbook and the classroom and connects them to authentic experts in the field? Authentic learning experiences should be created around genuine, outside experiences but also meet content standards, and engage students in critical thinking and 21st Century learning. This session will provide you with an understanding of how to use project based learning to engage your students in relevant and real-world learning. At the completion of the day, participants will have a better understanding of:

  • The components of PBL—how to make sure you are doing authentic projects that focus on content standards
  • The need to provide students with alternative ways to show mastery of content standards
  • How to assess authentic projects using a multiple sources

This workshop will allow for project ideation and will set participants up for project development as next steps.

Dr. Kelly Henderson, Education Consultant

#3 - Career Academy Carpentry - Creating a Blueprint for Success

Career academy leaders hold a variety of positions.  Be it an academy director, coach, team leader or other professional, as a leader of career academies, you are charged with guiding students and teachers through a successful experience that never stops evolving.  In this session designed for academy leaders, you will sharpen your tools with with a series of activities that will help you build a vision, frame out accountability structures, subcontract with business and community partners, and pass your final inspection while striving for continuous improvement.  After completing this training, you'll know how to measure the work of your academies from year to year and will create a foundation for academies that will stand solid through the inevitable earthquake of changes that occur in education.

Dr. Chaney Mosley, Middle Tennessee State University

#4 - Building Strong Business and Community Partnerships

Learn how to successfully onboard a business or community partner from intake to placement. Utilizing the PENCIL Partner continuum, participants will discover how to build and nurture sustainable partnerships. PENCIL Partnership core characteristics will provide insight on how to define, recruit, and retain partners.

Bob Kucher, PENCIL Foundation

#5 - Empowering Academy Leaders to Become Instructional Leaders

You are an academy leader and an instructional leader. What does this mean? How is being an instructional leader different from being a district leader, building leader, teacher leader or a leader in general?  This workshop will guide participants along the transitional path from being a manager of leaders and teachers to genuinely utilizing the National Standards of Practice to increase student achievement through enhanced leadership and teaching and learning practices.  Participants will leave this workshop with an action plan with clearly defined next steps for the implementation of effective instructional leadership theories and practices.

Dr. Josh McDowell, Grand Island Public Schools

#6 - Highly Effective Teaming

This session provides teacher teams, teacher leaders, coaches, and administrators with all the foundational elements for becoming a high functioning team or facilitating the development of teacher teams.  In this session, participants will learn:

·     The stages of team development

·     The processes and protocols that support focused and effective meetings

·     Steps to creating an academy-wide system of academic interventions

Participants will practice using an Innovation Configuration (IC) Map and review academy artifacts, like academy meeting agendas and minutes, academic intervention plans, and meeting observation forms to simulate the monitoring and evaluation process.  Participants will leave the session with basic skills and resources necessary to support, monitor, and evaluate the implementation of interdisciplinary teams.

David Holden, American Alliance for Innovative Systems

#7 - Programs of Study with Industry Certifications

How to Audit Your Existing Offerings and Select Ones that Lead to Real Choices for Your Students. At first glance, the approach seems fairly straightforward. Scan what is available, and then expose students to those offerings. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple or that straightforward. For every highly-touted CTE program of study and industry certification, there are others that are simply dead ends. These dead ends can be identified by students who graduate underprepared and have limited employment opportunities, or by communities that are unable to produce the number of skilled and learned workers needed to meet the demands of their current and projected industry needs.

Beyond this simple diagnosis lies a host of other factors that can place a well-intentioned academy on a dead-end road that includes (1) misaligned CTE programs of study, (2) outdated CTE courses and standards, and (3) misaligned, non-valued industry certifications.

To avoid these dead ends and offer real choices to students, session participants will audit their current academy CTE programs of study and industry certifications or build a new program of study with embedded certifications.. Participants will learn the core non-negotiables of program quality and how to undertake certain simple, straightforward steps to identify and promote robust, aligned academy CTE programs of study with correct industry-valued certifications.

Dr. Danielle Mezera, DCM Consulting